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Shi-Yan Li, Cindy X Fang, Nicholas S Aberle II, Bonnie H Ren, Asli F Ceylan-Isik, and Jun Ren

Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) ameliorates cardiac dysfunction in diabetes although the mechanism of action remains poorly understood. This study examined the role of PI-3 kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and calcineurin pathways in cardiac effects of IGF-1 against glucose toxicity. Adult rat ventricular myocytes were cultured for 8 h with either normal (NG, 5.5 mM) or high (HG, 25.5 mM) glucose, in the presence or absence of IGF-1 (10–500 nM), the PI-3 kinase/Akt inhibitor LY294002 (10 μM), the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (20 μM) or the calcineurin inhibitors cyclosporin A (5 μM) or FK506 (10 mg/l). Mechanical properties were evaluated using an IonOptix MyoCam system. HG depressed peak shortening (PS), reduced maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening (± dl/dt) and prolongs time-to-90% relengthening (TR90), which were abolished by IGF-1 (100 and 500 nM). Interestingly, the IGF-1-elicited protective effect against HG was nullified by either LY294002 or rapamycin, but not by cyclosporine A or FK506. None of the inhibitors affected cell mechanics. Western blot analysis indicated that HG and IGF-1 stimulated phosphorylation of Akt and mTOR. HG also activated p70s6k and suppressed GSK-3β phosphorylation. However, the HG-induced alterations in phosphorylation of Akt, mTOR, p70s6k and GSK-3β were significantly reversed by IGF-1. Protein expression of Akt, mTOR, p70s6k, GSK-3β, SERCA2a and phospholamban was unaffected by HG, IGF-1 or rapamycin. Rapamycin significantly enhanced Akt phosphorylation whereas it inhibited mTOR phosphorylation. Collectively, our data suggest that IGF-1 may provide cardiac protection against glucose in part through a PI-3 kinase/Akt/mTOR/ p70s6k-dependent and calcineurin-independent pathway.

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Shu-Fang Xia, Xiao-Mei Duan, Xiang-Rong Cheng, Li-Mei Chen, Yan-Jun Kang, Peng Wang, Xue Tang, Yong-Hui Shi, and Guo-Wei Le

The study was designed to investigate the possible mechanisms of hepatic microRNAs (miRs) in regulating local thyroid hormone (TH) action and ultimately different propensities to high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. When obesity-prone (OP) and obesity-resistant (OR) mice were fed HFD for 7 weeks, OP mice showed apparent hepatic steatosis, with significantly higher body weight and lower hepatic TH receptor b (TRb) expression and type 1 deiodinase (DIO1) activity than OR mice. Next-generation sequencing technology revealed that 13 miRs in liver were dysregulated between the two phenotypes, of which 8 miRs were predicted to target on Dio1 or TRb. When mice were fed for 17 weeks, OR mice had mild hepatic steatosis and increased Dio1 and TRb expression than OP mice, with downregulation of T3 target genes (including Srebp1c, Acc1, Scd1 and Fasn) and upregulation of Cpt1α, Atp5c1, Cox7c and Cyp7a1. A stem-loop qRT-PCR analysis confirmed that the levels of miR-383, miR-34a and miR-146b were inversely correlated with those of DIO1 or TRb. Down-regulated expression of miR-383 or miR-146b by miR-383 inhibitor (anti-miR-383) or miR-146b inhibitor (anti-miR-146b) in free fatty acid-treated primary mouse hepatocytes led to increased DIO1 and TRb expressions, respectively, and subsequently decreased cellular lipid accumulation, while miR-34a inhibitor (anti-miR-34a) transfection had on effects on TRb expression. Luciferase reporter assay illustrated that miR-146b could directly target TRb 3′untranslated region (3′UTR). These findings suggested that miR-383 and miR-146b might play critical roles in different propensities to diet-induced obesity via targeting on Dio1 and TRb, respectively.