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Rosiane A Miranda, Rosana Torrezan, Júlio C de Oliveira, Luiz F Barella, Claudinéia C da Silva Franco, Patrícia C Lisboa, Egberto G Moura, and Paulo C F Mathias

Neuroendocrine dysfunctions such as the hyperactivity of the vagus nerve and hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis greatly contribute to obesity and hyperinsulinemia; however, little is known about these dysfunctions in the pancreatic β-cells of obese individuals. We used a hypothalamic-obesity model obtained by neonatal treatment with monosodium l-glutamate (MSG) to induce obesity. To assess the role of the HPA axis and vagal tonus in the genesis of hypercorticosteronemia and hyperinsulinemia in an adult MSG-obese rat model, bilateral adrenalectomy (ADX) and subdiaphragmatic vagotomy (VAG) alone or combined surgeries (ADX–VAG) were performed. To study glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIIS) and the cholinergic insulinotropic process, pancreatic islets were incubated with different glucose concentrations with or without oxotremorine-M, a selective agonist of the M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M3AChR) subtype. Protein expression of M3AChR in pancreatic islets, corticosteronemia, and vagus nerve activity was also evaluated. Surgeries reduced 80% of the body weight gain. Fasting glucose and insulin were reduced both by ADX and ADX–VAG, whereas VAG was only associated with hyperglycemia. The serum insulin post-glucose stimulation was lower in all animals that underwent an operation. Vagal activity was decreased by 50% in ADX rats. In the highest glucose concentration, both surgeries reduced GIIS by 50%, whereas ADX-VAG decreased by 70%. Additionally, M3AChR activity was recovered by the individual surgeries. M3AChR protein expression was reduced by ADX. Both the adrenal gland and vagus nerve contribute to the hyperinsulinemia in the MSG model, although adrenal is more crucial as it appears to modulate parasympathetic activity and M3AChR expression in obesity.

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Júlio Cezar de Oliveira, Patrícia Cristina Lisboa, Egberto Gaspar de Moura, Luiz Felipe Barella, Rosiane Aparecida Miranda, Ananda Malta, Claudinéia Conationi da Silva Franco, Tatiane Aparecida da Silva Ribeiro, Rosana Torrezan, Clarice Gravena, and Paulo Cezar de Freitas Mathias

Similar to gestation/lactation, puberty is also a critical phase in which neuronal connections are still being produced and during which metabolic changes may occur if nutrition is disturbed. In the present study we aimed to determine whether peripubertal protein restriction induces metabolic programming. Thirty-day-old male rats were fed either a low protein (LP group) diet (4% w/w protein) or a normal protein (NP group) diet (23%) until 60 days of age, when they received the NP diet until they were 120 days old. Body weight (BW), food intake, fat tissue accumulation, glucose tolerance, and insulin secretion were evaluated. The nerve electrical activity was recorded to evaluate autonomous nervous system (ANS) function. Adolescent LP rats presented hypophagia and lower BW gain during the LP diet treatment (P<0.001). However, the food intake and BW gain by the LP rats were increased (P<0.001) after the NP diet was resumed. The LP rats presented mild hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, severe hyperleptinemia upon fasting, peripheral insulin resistance and increased fat tissue accumulation and vagus nerve activity (P<0.05). Glucose-induced insulin secretion was greater in the LP islets than in the NP islets; however, the cholinergic response was decreased (P<0.05). Compared with the islets from the NP rats, the LP islets showed changes in the activity of muscarinic receptors (P<0.05); in addition, the inhibition of glucose-induced insulin secretion by epinephrine was attenuated (P<0.001). Protein restriction during adolescence caused high-fat tissue accumulation in adult rats. Islet dysfunction could be related to an ANS imbalance.

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Tatiane Aparecida Ribeiro, Audrei Pavanello, Laize Peron Tófolo, Júlio Cezar de Oliveira, Ana Maria Praxedes de Moraes, Claudinéia Conationi da Silva Franco, Kelly Valério Prates, Isabela Peixoto Martins, Kesia Palma-Rigo, Rosana Torrezan, Erica Yeo, Rodrigo Mello Gomes, Flávio Andrade Francisco, Paulo Cezar de Freitas Mathias, and Ananda Malta

We tested whether chronic supplementation with soy isoflavones could modulate insulin secretion levels and subsequent recovery of pancreatic islet function as well as prevent metabolic dysfunction induced by early overfeeding in adult male rats. Wistar rats raised in small litters (SL, 3 pups/dam) and normal litters (NL, 9 pups/dam) were used as models of early overfeeding and normal feeding, respectively. At 30 to 90 days old, animals in the SL and NL groups received either soy isoflavones extract (ISO) or water (W) gavage serving as controls. At 90 days old, body weight, visceral fat deposits, glycemia, insulinemia were evaluated. Glucose-insulin homeostasis and pancreatic-islet insulinotropic response were also determined.

The early life overnutrition induced by small litter displayed metabolic dysfunction, glucose and insulin homeostasis disruption in adult rats. However, adult SL rats treated with soy isoflavones showed improvement in glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, insulinemia, fat tissue accretion and body weight gain, compared with SL-W group. Pancreatic-islet response to cholinergic, adrenergic and glucose stimuli was improved in both isoflavone-treated groups. In addition, different isoflavone concentrations increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in islets of all groups with higher magnitude in both NL and SL isoflavone treated groups. These results indicate that long-term treatment with soy isoflavones inhibits early overfeeding-induced metabolic dysfunction in adult rats and modulated the process of insulin secretion in pancreatic islets.