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Li Feng, Ling Gao, Qingbo Guan, Xiaolei Hou, Qiang Wan, Xiangdong Wang and Jiajun Zhao

The sole effect of either saturated fatty acid or moderate ethanol consumption on SLC2A4 (GLUT4) expression is widely reported but the combined effects of them remain obscure. Here, we observed their combined effects on SLC2A4 expression, explored the underlying mechanism mediated by AMP-activated protein kinase α (PRKAA2) and myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) both in vivo and in vitro. In the in vivo experiments, 36 male Wistar rats, divided into three groups, were fed with normal diet, high-fat (HF) diet, or HF diet plus ethanol for 22 weeks. We measured the expressions of total-PRKAA2 (T-PRKAA2), phosphorylated-PRKAA2 (pPRKAA2, activated form of PRKAA2), MEF2, and SLC2A4 in epididymal adipose tissues. In the in vitro experiments, primary adipocytes, isolated from normal Wistar rats, were incubated in the presence or absence of palmitate, ethanol, and compound C (an PRKAA2 inhibitor) for 1 h. Thereafter, T-PRKAA2, pPRKAA2, MEF2, and SLC2A4 expressions were measured. We found that both HF diet and in vitro exposition to palmitate impaired SLC2A4 expression in rat adipocytes with a parallel reduction in PRKAA2 activation and MEF2 expression. This impairment was reversed by ethanol administration. We further demonstrated that ethanol-mediated PRKAA2 activation stimulates MEF2 and SLC2A4 expressions in adipocytes, as evidenced by compound C blockade of these effects. In summary, long-term moderate ethanol consumption reversed the adverse effect of saturated fatty acid on SLC2A4 expression in adipocytes, which was likely to be a result of PRKAA2 activation and subsequent up-regulation of MEF2 and SLC2A4 expressions.

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Dang-Dang Li, Ying-Jie Gao, Xue-Chao Tian, Zhan-Qing Yang, Hang Cao, Qiao-Ling Zhang, Bin Guo and Zhan-Peng Yue

Tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (T do 2) is a rate-limiting enzyme which directs the conversion of tryptophan to kynurenine. The aim of this study was to examine the expression and regulation of T do 2 in mouse uterus during decidualization. T do 2 mRNA was mainly expressed in the decidua on days 6–8 of pregnancy. By real-time PCR, a high level of T do 2 expression was observed in the uteri from days 6 to 8 of pregnancy, although T do 2 expression was observed on days 1–8. Simultaneously, T do 2 mRNA was also detected under in vivo and in vitro artificial decidualization. Estrogen, progesterone, and 8-bromoadenosine-cAMP could induce the expression of T do 2 in the ovariectomized mouse uterus and uterine stromal cells. T do 2 could regulate cell proliferation and stimulate the expression of decidual marker Dtprp in the uterine stromal cells and decidual cells. Overexpression of T do 2 could upregulate the expression of Ahr, Cox2, and Vegf genes in uterine stromal cells, while T do 2 inhibitor 680C91 could downregulate the expression of Cox2 and Vegf genes in uterine decidual cells. These data indicate that T do 2 may play an important role during mouse decidualization and be regulated by estrogen, progesterone, and cAMP.

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Wang-Yang Xu, Yan Shen, Houbao Zhu, Junhui Gao, Chen Zhang, Lingyun Tang, Shun-Yuan Lu, Chun-Ling Shen, Hong-Xin Zhang, Ziwei Li, Peng Meng, Ying-Han Wan, Jian Fei and Zhu-Gang Wang

Obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are both complicated endocrine disorders resulting from an interaction between multiple predisposing genes and environmental triggers, while diet and exercise have key influence on metabolic disorders. Previous reports demonstrated that 2-aminoadipic acid (2-AAA), an intermediate metabolite of lysine metabolism, could modulate insulin secretion and predict T2D, suggesting the role of 2-AAA in glycolipid metabolism. Here, we showed that treatment of diet-induced obesity (DIO) mice with 2-AAA significantly reduced body weight, decreased fat accumulation and lowered fasting glucose. Furthermore, Dhtkd1−/− mice, in which the substrate of DHTKD1 2-AAA increased to a significant high level, were resistant to DIO and obesity-related insulin resistance. Further study showed that 2-AAA induced higher energy expenditure due to increased adipocyte thermogenesis via upregulating PGC1α and UCP1 mediated by β3AR activation, and stimulated lipolysis depending on enhanced expression of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) through activating β3AR signaling. Moreover, 2-AAA could alleviate the diabetic symptoms of db/db mice. Our data showed that 2-AAA played an important role in regulating glycolipid metabolism independent of diet and exercise, implying that improving the level of 2-AAA in vivo could be developed as a strategy in the treatment of obesity or diabetes.

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Sisi Luan, Wenkai Bi, Shulong Shi, Li Peng, Zhanbin Li, Jie Jiang, Ling Gao, Yifeng Du, Xu Hou, Zhao He and Jiajun Zhao

Subclinical hyperthyroidism, a condition characterized by decreased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and normal concentration of thyroid hormone, is associated with an elevated risk for cognitive impairment. TSH is the major endogenous ligand of the TSH receptor (TSHR) and its role is dependent on signal transduction of TSHR. It has not, however, been established whether TSHR signaling is involved in the regulation of cognition. Here, we utilized Tshr knockout mice and found that Tshr deletion led to significantly compromised performance in learning and memory tests. Reduced dendritic spine density and excitatory synaptic density as well as altered synaptic structure in CA1 subfield of the hippocampus were also noted. Furthermore, the synapse-related gene expression was altered in the hippocampus of Tshr -/- mice. These findings suggest that TSHR signaling deficiency impairs spatial learning and memory, which discloses a novel role of TSHR signaling in brain function.