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S Yang, X Xu, P Björntorp and S Edén

Abstract

The effects of growth hormone (GH) and testosterone, alone or in combination, on the regulation of lipolysis in isolated adipocytes from hypophysectomized rats were investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were hypophysectomized at 50 days of age. One week after operation, hormonal replacement therapy with l-thyroxine and hydrocortisone acetate was given to hypophysectomized rats. Groups of rats were treated with GH (1·33 mg/kg, daily), testosterone (10 mg/kg, once) alone or in combination. After one week of hormonal treatment, adipocytes were isolated from the pooled epididymal and perirenal fat pads and glycerol release after isoproterenol stimulation and 125I-cyanopindolol binding was measured. Hypophysectomy caused a marked decrease in basal and isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis. There was no effect of testosterone treatment alone on lipolysis, but GH treatment resulted in an increase in isoproterenol-induced lipolysis but not to the levels observed in cells from control rats. Testosterone and GH in combination restored the lipolytic response to isoproterenol. Also 125I-cyanopindolol binding was decreased after hypophysectomy. Testosterone treatment alone and GH treatment alone increased the binding, while in combination the treatment had an additive effect. Affinity was not changed, but the effects seemed to be on receptor number, as determined by Scatchard analysis.

Forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation in adipocytes was markedly reduced after hypophysectomy. Testosterone treatment alone had no effect. GH treatment alone increased forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation, although the level was lower than that found in control rats. The combined treatment resulted in a further increase to levels observed in adipocytes from control rats.

These results demonstrate that GH and testosterone have additive effects in the regulation of lipolysis. Both hormones increase the β-adrenergic receptor density, partly explaining this additive effect. Moreover, GH may contribute to the lipolytic response by affecting steps distal to the receptor in the lipolytic cascade.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 147, 147–152

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WH Shen, X Yang, DW Boyle, WH Lee and EA Liechty

The insulin-like growth factors (IGF) are important anabolic hormones in the mammalian fetus; their anabolic actions are potentially modulated by alterations in the IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP). We have previously shown that the nutritional state of the fetus affects both IGF-I and the IGFBP concentrations. The present study was designed to determine the effect of alterations in insulin and IGF-I circulating concentrations on the IGFBPs. Because both insulin and IGF-I elicit decreases in glucose and amino acid concentrations, the concentrations of these substrates were clamped during the hormone infusions. Sixteen ovine fetuses were chronically catheterized at approximately 115 days of gestation, and experimental procedures performed at approximately 130 days of gestation. Insulin, IGF-I or both were infused for an 8-h period. Baseline concentrations of hormones and binding proteins were obtained, and concentrations were also obtained at the end of the infusion. Hepatic IGFBP-1 mRNA expression was also determined. Intravenous infusion of IGF-I significantly increased IGF-I concentrations in plasma in the ovine fetus. Intravenous infusion of insulin inhibited hepatic IGFBP-1 gene expression when amino acids and glucose were clamped. In contrast, intravenous infusion of recombinant human IGF-I (rhIGF-I) enhanced hepatic IGFBP-1 gene expression. Neither insulin nor rhIGF-I treatment had an effect on hepatic IGFBP-3 gene expression. Insulin did not alter plasma IGFBP-1 significantly, but it increased IGFBP-3 in plasma. rhIGF-I increased both IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 protein levels in plasma. The responses of IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 to increased plasma IGF-I and insulin may serve to protect the fetus from exaggerated anabolic effects and to blunt the hypoglycemic potential of circulating IGFs and insulin.

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F Dong, X Zhang, X Yang, L B Esberg, H Yang, Z Zhang, B Culver and J Ren

The level of the obese gene product leptin is often positively correlated with body weight, supporting the notion that hyperleptinemia contributes to obesity-associated cardiac dysfunction. However, a link between leptin levels and cardiac function has not been elucidated. This study was designed to examine the role of leptin deficiency (resulting from a point mutation of the leptin gene) in cardiomyocyte contractile function. Mechanical properties and intracellular Ca2 + transients were evaluated in ventricular myocytes from lean control and leptin-deficient ob/ob obese mice at 12 weeks of age. Cardiac ultrastructure was evaluated using transmission electron microscopy. ob/ob mice were overtly obese, hyperinsulinemic, hypertriglycemic, hypoleptinemic and euglycemic. Ultrastructural examination revealed swelling and disorganization of cristae in mitochondria from ob/ob mouse ventricular tissues. Cardiomyocytes from ob/ob mice displayed reduced expression of the leptin receptor Ob-R, larger cross-sectional area, decreased peak shortening and maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening, and prolonged relengthening but not shortening duration compared with lean counterparts. Consistent with mechanical characteristics, myocytes from ob/ob mice displayed reduced intracellular Ca2 + release upon electrical stimulus associated with a slowed intracellular Ca2 + decay rate. Interestingly, the contractile aberrations seen in ob/ob myocytes were significantly improved by in vitro leptin incubation. Contractile dysfunction was not seen in age- and gender-matched high fat-induced obese mice. These results suggested that leptin deficiency contributes to cardiac contractile dysfunction characterized by both systolic and diastolic dysfunction, impaired intracellular Ca2 + hemostasis and ultrastructural derangement in ventricular myocytes.

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RJ Cerio, F Xing, RJ Fatula, DE Keith, X Yang, F Talamantes, JN Southard and JN Southard

It has previously been shown that the large increase in GH-binding capacity of mouse liver microsomes during pregnancy is due largely to an increase in the amount of GH-binding protein (GHBP), with a more modest increase in GH receptor (GHR). Here we show that mouse liver GHBP is predominantly present as a membrane-associated protein structurally distinct from the soluble form of GHBP present in serum. Liver GHBP is associated with both intracellular membranes and the plasma membrane. Membrane-associated GHBP and soluble GHBP appear to be identical polypeptides distinguished by the addition of different N-glycans to asparagine residues. The pattern of release of GHBP from membranes by various treatments indicates that GHBP associates with membranes through noncovalent interactions with one or more membrane protein, but not with GHR. Covalent crosslinking provides evidence for several GHBP-associated membrane polypeptides, with molecular masses ranging from 58 kDa to over 200 kDa. These studies in the mouse and similar studies in the rat suggest that GHBP is an important cell-surface receptor for GH in the liver of these species. We postulate that an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid sequence found on rat and mouse GHBP but absent in other species is responsible for the association of GHBP with the plasma membrane by binding to one or more integrins on the surface of liver cells.

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Xiwen Xiong, Cuicui Zhang, Yang Zhang, Rui Fan, Xinlai Qian and X Charlie Dong

SIRT6 is a member of sirtuin family of deacetylases involved in diverse processes including genome stability, metabolic homeostasis and anti-inflammation. However, its function in the adipose tissue is not well understood. To examine the metabolic function of SIRT6 in the adipose tissue, we generated two mouse models that are deficient in Sirt6 using the Cre-lox approach. Two commonly used Cre lines that are driven by either the mouse Fabp4 or Adipoq gene promoter were chosen for this study. The Sirt6-knockout mice generated by the Fabp4-Cre line (Sirt6 f/f :Fabp4-Cre) had a significant increase in both body weight and fat mass and exhibited glucose intolerance and insulin resistance as compared with the control wild-type mice. At the molecular levels, the Sirt6 f/f:Fabp4-Cre-knockout mice had increased expression of inflammatory genes including F4/80, TNFα, IL-6 and MCP-1 in both white and brown adipose tissues. Moreover, the knockout mice showed decreased expression of the adiponectin gene in the white adipose tissue and UCP1 in the brown adipose tissue, respectively. In contrast, the Sirt6 knockout mice generated by the Adipoq-Cre line (Sirt6 f/f:Adipoq-Cre) only had modest insulin resistance. In conclusion, our data suggest that the function of SIRT6 in the Fabp4-Cre-expressing cells in addition to mature adipocytes plays a critical role in body weight maintenance and metabolic homeostasis.

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Xiwen Xiong, Xupeng Sun, Qingzhi Wang, Xinlai Qian, Yang Zhang, Xiaoyan Pan and X Charlie Dong

Chronic exposure of pancreatic β-cells to abnormally elevated levels of free fatty acids can lead to β-cell dysfunction and even apoptosis, contributing to type 2 diabetes pathogenesis. In pancreatic β-cells, sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) has been shown to regulate insulin secretion in response to glucose stimulation. However, the roles played by SIRT6 in β-cells in response to lipotoxicity remain poorly understood. Our data indicated that SIRT6 protein and mRNA levels were reduced in islets from diabetic and aged mice. High concentrations of palmitate (PA) also led to a decrease in SIRT6 expression in MIN6 β-cells and resulted in cell dysfunction and apoptosis. Knockdown of Sirt6 caused an increase in cell apoptosis and impairment in insulin secretion in response to glucose in MIN6 cells even in the absence of PA exposure. Furthermore, overexpression of SIRT6 alleviated the palmitate-induced lipotoxicity with improved cell viability and increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. In summary, our data suggest that SIRT6 can protect against palmitate-induced β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis.

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L Yang, CB Kuo, Y Liu, D Coss, X Xu, C Chen, ML Oster-Granite and AM Walker

During rat pregnancy initial high concentrations of prolactin (PRL) decline by about day 9, concomitant with an increase in the ratio of unmodified to phosphorylated PRL. The physiological significance of both the decline in total PRL and the change in ratio of the two PRLs is unknown. To test the importance of each, either unmodified PRL (U-PRL) or a molecular mimic of phosphorylated PRL (PP-PRL) were continuously administered to rats throughout pregnancy. A dose of 6 microg/24 h resulted in circulating concentrations of 50 ng/ml of each administered PRL and had little effect on the pregnancy itself. After birth, pups were killed and various tissues examined. In the pup lungs, exposure to additional PP-PRL caused a reduction in epithelial integrity and an increase in apoptosis, whereas exposure to additional U-PRL had beneficial, anti-apoptotic effects. In the heart, PP-PRL caused an apparent developmental delay, whereas U-PRL promoted tissue compaction. In the blood, U-PRL increased the number of mature red blood cells at the expense of white blood cell production. Within the white blood cell population, myelopoiesis was favored at the expense of lymphopoiesis. PP-PRL, in contrast, had a less dramatic influence on the hematopoietic compartment by promoting red blood cell maturation and granulocyte production. In the thymus, exposure to PP-PRL caused accumulation of apoptotic thymocytes in enlarged glands, whereas exposure to U-PRL resulted in smaller thymi. In the spleen, exposure to U-PRL increased cellularity, with the majority of cells belonging to the erythroid series - a finding consistent with increased red blood cells in the circulation. Exposure to PP-PRL was without discernible effect. In all of these tissues, the contrasting effects of the two PRLs indicate that the absolute concentration of PRL is not crucial, but that the ratio of U-PRL to PP-PRL has a profound effect on tissue development. In brown fat, both PRL preparations decreased the number of lipid droplets. This result is therefore probably a consequence of the increase in total PRL. The results of this study attest to the importance of the U-PRL:PP-PRL ratio normally present during pregnancy and have provided clues as to the possible pathogenesis of a variety of neonatal problems.

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W Yin, D Liao, M Kusunoki, S Xi, K Tsutsumi, Z Wang, X Lian, T Koike, J Fan, Y Yang and C Tang

The synthetic compound NO-1886 (ibrolipim) is a lipoprotein lipase activator that has been proven to be highly effective in lowering plasma triglycerides. Recently, we found that NO-1886 also reduced plasma free fatty acids and glucose in high-fat/high-sucrose diet-induced diabetic rabbits. In the current study, we investigated the effects of NO-1886 treatment on ectopic lipid deposition and the islet pathology in miniature swine fed a high-fat/high-sucrose diet. Our results showed that feeding this diet to miniature swine caused insulin resistance, increased lipid deposition in non-adipose tissue, such as in the heart, skeletal muscle, liver and pancreas, and also caused pancreatic beta cell damage. However, supplementing 1% NO-1886 (200 mg/kg per day) into the high-fat/high-sucrose diet decreased ectopic lipid deposition, improved insulin resistance, and alleviated the beta cell damage. These results suggest that improvement of lipid disorder, non-adipose tissue steatosis and insulin resistance may be very important for the protection of beta cell damage. Therefore, NO-1886 is potentially beneficial for the treatment of insulin-resistance syndrome.

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C Y Shan, J H Yang, Y Kong, X Y Wang, M Y Zheng, Y G Xu, Y Wang, H Z Ren, B C Chang and L M Chen

For centuries, Berberine has been used in the treatment of enteritis in China, and it is also known to have anti-hyperglycemic effects in type 2 diabetic patients. However, as Berberine is insoluble and rarely absorbed in gastrointestinal tract, the mechanism by which it works is unclear. We hypothesized that it may act locally by ameliorating intestinal barrier abnormalities and endotoxemia. A high-fat diet combined with low-dose streptozotocin was used to induce type 2 diabetes in male Sprague Dawley rats. Berberine (100 mg/kg) was administered by lavage to diabetic rats for 2 weeks and saline was given to controls. Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance improved in the Berberine group, although there was no significant decrease in blood glucose. Berberine treatment also led to a notable restoration of intestinal villi/mucosa structure and less infiltration of inflammatory cells, along with a decrease in plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) level. Tight junction protein zonula occludens 1 (ZO1) was also decreased in diabetic rats but was restored by Berberine treatment. Glutamine-induced glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP2) secretion from ileal tissue decreased dramatically in the diabetic group but was restored by Berberine treatment. Fasting insulin, insulin resistance index, plasma LPS level, and ZO1 expression were significantly correlated with GLP2 level. In type 2 diabetic rats, Berberine treatment not only augments GLP2 secretion and improves diabetes but is also effective in repairing the damaged intestinal mucosa, restoring intestinal permeability, and improving endotoxemia. Whether these effects are mechanistically related will require further studies, but they certainly support the hypothesis that Berberine acts via modulation of intestinal function.