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Free access

Chaoyi Zhang, Qianli Zhang, Zhihong Huang, and Quan Jiang

Adropin plays a role in the maintenance of energy homeostasis, insulin resistance prevention, and impaired glucose tolerance. However, the molecular mechanisms by which adropin affects hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in vitro are not entirely understood. This study intended to examine the roles and underlying mechanisms of adropin in glucose and lipid metabolism in Nile tilapia. In primary cultured tilapia hepatocytes, adropin significantly attenuated oleic acid (OA)-induced glucose output and reduced the activities and mRNA expression of cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), which are involved in gluconeogenesis. In contrast, adropin facilitated glucose uptake activity via glucose transporter 1 (Glut1) upregulation in OA-treated hepatocytes. One-week of adropin treatment reduced the hepatic total lipid accumulation in OA-fed tilapia without changes in body weight. Subsequent studies revealed that adropin suppressed OA-induced intracellular triglyceride accumulation and decreased the expression of genes and proteins involved in lipid metabolisms such as sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), acetyl-CoA carboxylase α (ACCα) and CD36, but upregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) levels. In parallel studies, however, adropin had no detectable effects on fatty acid-binding protein 4 (Fabp4) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1α (Cpt1α) mRNA expression. Furthermore, adropin treatment dose-dependently increased the phosphorylation level of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Suppression of AMPK by compound C or AMPKα1 siRNA blocked adropin-induced decreases in the mature form of SREBP-1c expression, glucose output, and intracellular triglyceride content in OA-treated hepatocytes. These findings suggest that teleost adropin could suppress hepatic gluconeogenesis and triglyceride accumulation via a mechanism dependent on AMPK signalling.

Open access

Rui Gao, Samuel Acreman, Jinfang Ma, Fernando Abdulkader, Anna Wendt, and Quan Zhang

Glucagon is the principal glucose-elevating hormone that forms the first-line defence against hypoglycaemia. Along with insulin, glucagon also plays a key role in maintaining systemic glucose homeostasis. The cells that secrete glucagon, pancreatic α-cells, are electrically excitable cells and use electrical activity to couple its hormone secretion to changes in ambient glucose levels. Exactly how glucose regulates α-cells has been a topic of debate for decades but it is clear that electrical signals generated by the cells play an important role in glucagon secretory response. Decades of studies have already revealed the key players involved in the generation of these electrical signals and possible mechanisms controlling them to tune glucagon release. This has offered the opportunity to fully understand the enigmatic α-cell physiology. In this review, we describe the current knowledge on cellular electrophysiology and factors regulating excitability, glucose sensing, and glucagon secretion. We also discuss α-cell pathophysiology and the perspective of addressing glucagon secretory defects in diabetes for developing better diabetes treatment, which bears the hope of eliminating hypoglycaemia as a clinical problem in diabetes care.

Free access

Quan Wu, Ying Zhou, Linfeng Chen, Jiandang Shi, Chun-Yu Wang, Lin Miao, Helmut Klocker, Irwin Park, Chung Lee, and Ju Zhang

Estradiol (E2) level in stroma of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) increases with age, and this increase was associated with an elevated expression of aromatase in prostatic stromal cells (PrSCs). Here, we showed that conditioned medium (CM) of BPH-1 (a benign hyperplastic prostatic epithelial cell line), but not of prostate cancer cell lines (LNCaP, DU-145, and PC-3), stimulates aromatase expression in PrSCs. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA level in BPH-1, as well as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentration in BPH-1 CM, was significantly higher than that of prostate cancer cell lines. CM of BPH-1 treated with NS-398 (a specific inhibitor of COX-2) failed to stimulate aromatase expression in PrSCs. And PGE2 can stimulate aromatase expression in PrSCs. Our data suggested that BPH-1 induced aromatase expression in PrSCs through the production of PGE2 in a paracrine mechanism.

Free access

Dan Wang, Chu-Dan Liu, Meng-Li Tian, Cheng-Quan Tan, Gang Shu, Qing-Yan Jiang, Lin Zhang, and Yu-Long Yin

Dietary fibers and their microbial fermentation products short-chain fatty acids promote metabolic benefits, but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Recent studies indicate that intestinal lipid handling is under regulatory control and has broad influence on whole body energy homeostasis. Here we reported that dietary inulin and propionate significantly decreased whole body fat mass without affecting food intake in mice fed with chow diet. Meanwhile, triglyceride (TG) content was decreased and lipolysis gene expression, such as adipose triglyceride lipase (A tgl), hormone-sensitive lipase (H sl) and lysosomal acid lipase (L al) was elevated in the jejunum and ileum of inulin- and propionate-treated mice. In vitro studies on Caco-2 cells showed propionate directly induced enterocyte Atgl, Hsl and Lal gene expression and decreased TG content, via activation of phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (p-AMPK) and lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). Moreover, inulin and propionate could increase intestinal lipolysis under high-fat diet (HFD)-fed condition which contributed to the prevention of HFD-induced obesity. Our study suggests that dietary fiber inulin and its microbial fermentation product propionate can regulate metabolic homeostasis through regulating intestinal lipid handling, which may provide a novel therapeutic target for both prevention and treatment of obesity.

Free access

You-Hua Xu, Chen-Lin Gao, Heng-Li Guo, Wen-Qian Zhang, Wei Huang, Shan-Shan Tang, Wen-Jun Gan, Yong Xu, Hua Zhou, and Quan Zhu

Endotoxemia has been recognized to be closely accompanied with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and is responsible for many diabetic complications. Recent study suggests the potential role of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) from microbiota metabolite, on T2DM. Gut-leak is a key event in diabetic-endotoxemia. To investigate if butyrate could ameliorate diabetic-endotoxemia, both in vivo and in vitro experiments were carried out in the present study. The effect of butyrate supplementation on blood HbA1c and inflammatory cytokines were determined in db/db mice; gut barrier integrity and expression of tight junction proteins were investigated both in vivo and in vitro. Oral butyrate administration significantly decreased blood HbA1c, inflammatory cytokines and LPS in db/db mice; inflammatory cell infiltration was reduced, and gut integrity and intercellular adhesion molecules were increased as detected by HE staining, immunohistochemistry and Western blot. By gut microbiota assay, ratio of Firmicutes:Bacteroidetes for gut microbiota was reduced by butyrate. In Caco-2 cells, butyrate significantly promoted cell proliferation, decreased inflammatory cytokines’ secretion, enhanced cell anti-oxidative stress ability and preserved the epithelial monocellular integrity, which was damaged by LPS. The present findings demonstrated that butyrate supplementation could ameliorate diabetic-endotoxemia in db/db mice via restoring composition of gut microbiota and preserving gut epithelial barrier integrity.