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Anthony Raffo, Kolbe Hancock, Teresa Polito, Yuli Xie, Gordon Andan, Piotr Witkowski, Mark Hardy, Pasquale Barba, Caterina Ferrara, Antonella Maffei, Matthew Freeby, Robin Goland, Rudolph L Leibel, Ian R Sweet and Paul E Harris

tissue and β-cells, in glucose metabolism has not yet been explored. As indicated, endogenously synthesized and/or stored monoamine neurotransmitters appear to participate in the paracrine regulation of insulin secretion and entrainment of the activity of

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Haijiang Wu, Xinna Deng, Yonghong Shi, Ye Su, Jinying Wei and Huijun Duan

therapy. In this review, we summarize the major findings on the function of PGC-1α in glucose metabolism and discuss its potential therapeutic applications for T2DM. The close correlation between PGC-1α polymorphisms and T2DM is also discussed in this

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M.-Th Sutter-Dub, A. Sfaxi and P. Strozza

Pregnancy and progesterone treatment of ovariectomized rats decrease glucose metabolism through the pentose-phosphate pathway in isolated female rat adipocytes. As demonstrated in previous studies, progesterone directly decreases [1-14C]glucose oxidation through the pentose-phosphate pathway and lipogenesis from [6-14C]glucose; the present study therefore compared glucose-induced lipid synthesis during pregnancy (10, 16 and 20 days of pregnancy) with the effect of progesterone treatment (5 mg/rat per day for 14 days) to shed more light on the role of this steroid in glucose metabolism during pregnancy. The inhibition of [6-14C]glucose incorporation into triacylglycerols in the progesterone-treated rats was comparable to that which occurs during late (20 days) and mid-pregnancy (16 days) but not during early pregnancy (10 days). The inhibition of fatty acid synthesis was more important as pregnancy advanced and was different from the decrease in fatty acid synthesis induced by progesterone treatment. The sensitivity to insulin was comparable in virgin, ovariectomized and progesterone-treated ovariectomized rats but not in pregnant rats. This implies that progesterone and insulin affect glucose-induced lipid synthesis by distinct processes and that the impaired glucose metabolism is characterized by a reduction in basal glucose utilization rather than by an impaired insulin response.

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MA Luque, N Gonzalez, L Marquez, A Acitores, A Redondo, M Morales, I Valverde and ML Villanueva-Penacarrillo

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) has been shown to have insulin-like effects upon the metabolism of glucose in rat liver, muscle and fat, and on that of lipids in rat and human adipocytes. These actions seem to be exerted through specific receptors which, unlike that of the pancreas, are not - at least in liver and muscle - cAMP-associated. Here we have investigated the effect, its characteristics, and possible second messengers of GLP-1 on the glucose metabolism of human skeletal muscle, in tissue strips and primary cultured myocytes. In muscle strips, GLP-1, like insulin, stimulated glycogen synthesis, glycogen synthase a activity, and glucose oxidation and utilization, and inhibited glycogen phosphorylase a activity, all of this at physiological concentrations of the peptide. In cultured myotubes, GLP-1 exerted, from 10(-13) mol/l, a dose-related increase of the D-[U-(14)C]glucose incorporation into glycogen, with the same potency as insulin, together with an activation of glycogen synthase a; the effect of 10(-11) mol/l GLP-1 on both parameters was additive to that induced by the equimolar amount of insulin. Synthase a was still activated in cells after 2 days of exposure to GLP-1, as compared with myotubes maintained in the absence of peptide. In human muscle cells, exendin-4 and its truncated form 9-39 amide (Ex-9) are both agonists of the GLP-1 effect on glycogen synthesis and synthase a activity; but while neither GLP-1 nor exendin-4 affected the cellular cAMP content after 5-min incubation in the absence of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxantine (IBMX), an increase was detected with Ex-9. GLP-1, exendin-4, Ex-9 and insulin all induced the prompt hydrolysis of glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs). This work shows a potent stimulatory effect of GLP-1 on the glucose metabolism of human skeletal muscle, and supports the long-term therapeutic value of the peptide. Further evidence for a GLP-1 receptor in this tissue, different from that of the pancreas, is also illustrated, suggesting a role for an inositolphosphoglycan (IPG) as at least one of the possible second messengers of the GLP-1 action in human muscle.

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ML Massa, MI Borelli, H Del Zotto and JJ Gagliardino

We correlated the changes in glucose-induced insulin secretion with those observed in glucose metabolism and hexokinase/glucokinase activity in islets from normal sucrose-fed hamsters. Blood glucose and insulin levels were measured in normal male hamsters fed with (S5) or without (C5) 10% sucrose in the drinking water for 5 weeks. Isolated islets (collagenase digestion) from both groups of animals were used to study insulin secretion, (14)CO(2) and (3)H(2)O production from D-[U-(14)C]-glucose and D-[5-(3)H]-glucose respectively, with 3.3 or 16.7 mM glucose in the medium, and hexokinase/glucokinase activity (fluorometric assay) in islet homogenates. Whereas S5 and C5 animals had comparable normal blood glucose levels, S5 showed higher insulin levels than C5 hamsters (2.3+/-0.1 vs 0.6+/-0.03 ng/ml, P<0.001). Islets from S5 hamsters released significantly more insulin than C5 islets in the presence of low and high glucose (3.3 mM glucose: 0.77+/-0.04 vs 0.20+/-0.06 pg/ng DNA/min, P<0.001; 16.7 mM glucose: 2.77+/-0.12 vs 0.85+/-0.06 pg/ng DNA/min, P<0.001) and produced significantly higher amounts of (14)CO(2) and (3)H(2)O at both glucose concentrations ((14)CO(2): 3.3 mM glucose: 0.27+/-0.01 vs 0.18+/-0.01, P<0.001; 16.7 mM glucose: 1.44+/-0.15 vs 0.96+/-0.08, P<0.02; (3)H(2)O: 3.3 mM glucose: 0.31+/-0.02 vs 0.15+/-0.01, P<0.001; 16.7 mM glucose: 1.46+/-0.20 vs 0.76+/-0.05 pmol glucose/ng DNA/min, P<0.005). The hexokinase K(m) and V(max) values from S5 animals were significantly higher than those from C5 ones (K(m): 100.14+/-7.01 vs 59.90+/- 3.95 microM, P<0.001; V(max): 0.010+/-0.0005 vs 0.008+/- 0.0006 pmol glucose/ng DNA/min, P<0.02). Conversely, the glucokinase K(m) value from S5 animals was significantly lower than in C5 animals (K(m): 15.31+/-2.64 vs 35.01+/-1.65 mM, P<0.001), whereas V(max) figures were within a comparable range in both groups (V(max): 0.048+/-0.009 vs 0.094+/-0.035 pmol glucose/ng DNA/min, not significant). The glucose phosphorylation ratio measured at 1 and 100 mM (hexokinase/glucokinase ratio) was significantly higher in S5 (0.26+/-0.02) than in C5 animals (0.11+/-0.01, P<0.005), and it was attributable to an increase in the hexokinase activity in S5 animals. In conclusion, sucrose administration increased the hexokinase/glucokinase activity ratio in the islets, which would condition the increase in glucose metabolism by beta-cells, and in beta-cell sensitivity and responsiveness to glucose. These results support the concept that increased hexokinase rather than glucokinase activity causes the beta-cell hypersensitivity to glucose, hexokinase being metabolically more active than glucokinase to up-regulate beta-cell function.

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ER Busby, GA Cooper and TP Mommsen

Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) potently activated glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in isolated rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) hepatocytes. The average degree of activation for glycogenolysis was 6.4+/-0.67-fold (mean+/-S.E.M.; n=37), and could be as much as 19-fold. Analysis of dose-concentration relationships between glycogenolytic actions and PGE(2) concentrations yielded an EC(50) around 120 nM in hepatocyte suspensions and 2 nM for hepatocytes immobilized on perifusion columns. For the activation of gluconeogenesis (1.74+/-0.14-fold; n=10), the EC(50) for suspensions was 60 nM. Intracellular targets for PGE(2) actions are adenylyl cyclase, protein kinase A and glycogen phosphorylase. Concentrations of cAMP increased with increasing concentrations of PGE(2), and peaked within 2 min of hormone application. In the presence of the phosphodiesterase inhibitor, isobutyl-3-methylxanthine, peak height was increased and peak duration extended. The protein kinase A inhibitor, Rp-cAMPS, counteracted the activation of glycogenolysis by PGE(2), implying that the adenylyl cyclase/protein kinase A pathway is the most important, if not exclusive, route of message transduction. PGE(2) activated plasma membrane adenylyl cyclase and hepatocyte glycogen phosphorylase in a dose-dependent manner. The effects were specific for PGE(2); smaller degrees of activation of glycogenolysis were noted for PGE(1), 11-deoxy PGE(1), 19-R-hydroxy-PGE(2), and prostaglandins of the A, B and Falpha-series. The selective EP(2)-receptor agonist, butaprost, was as effective as PGE(2), suggesting that rockfish liver contains prostaglandin receptors pharmacologically related to the EP(2) receptors of non-hepatic tissues of mammals. Rockfish hepatocytes quickly degraded added PGE(2) (t((1/2))=17-26 min). A similar ability to degrade PGE(2) has been noted in catfish (Ameiurus nebulosus) hepatocytes, but no glycogenolytic or gluconeogenic actions of the hormone are noted for this species. We conclude that PGE(2) is an important metabolic hormone in fish liver, with cAMP-mediated actions on glycogen and glucose metabolism, and probably other pathways regulated by cAMP and protein kinase A. The constant presence of EP(2)-like receptors is a unique feature of the fish liver, with interesting implications for function and evolution of prostaglandin receptors in vertebrates.

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J. C. Escolar, R. Hoo-Paris, Ch. Castex and B. Ch. J. Sutter


The direct effect of hypothermia on the inhibition of insulin secretion may result from inhibition of the availability of energetic substrates and/or the lack of metabolic signals. In order to verify this hypothesis, the insulin secretion and the main metabolic glucose pathways were measured during the incubation of rat islets. In the presence of 16·7 mmol glucose/l and at 37 °C, insulin secretion was 925 ± 119 μU/2 h per ten islets. With the same experimental conditions, glucose utilization, determined as the formation of 3H2O from [5-3H]glucose was 2225 ±184 pmol/2 h per ten islets, glucose oxidation measured as the formation of 14CO2 from [U-14C]glucose was 673 ± 51 pmol/2 h per ten islets, pentose cycle determined as the formation of 14CO2 from either [1-14C]glucose or [6-14C]glucose was 37 ± 5 pmol/2 h per ten islets; glucose oxidation by the tricarboxilic acid cycle, calculated to be the difference between glucose oxidation and pentose cycle values, was 636 pmol/2 h per ten islets.

Hypothermia highly inhibited glucose-induced insulin secretion and glucose utilization. Inhibition of insulin secretion was partial at 27 °C since it was 2·5 times lower than that at 37 °C, and it was complete at 17 °C. Glucose oxidation in the tricarboxilic acid cycle was markedly inhibited by hypothermia since the inhibition coefficient (Q10) between 37 and 27 °C was 5. In contrast, glucose oxidation in the pentose phosphate shunt was enhanced at 27 °C, reaching 92 ± 17 pmol/2 h per ten islets, and it was inhibited relatively little at 17 °C.

These results suggest that hypothermia markedly inhibits glucose metabolism with the exception of the pentose pathway which could play an important role by inducing the insulin secretion at 27 °C.

Journal of Endocrinology (1990) 125, 45–51

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Maristela Mitiko Okamoto, Gabriel Forato Anhê, Robinson Sabino-Silva, Milano Felipe dos Santos Ferreira Marques, Helayne Soares Freitas, Rosana Cristina Tieko Mori, Karla Fabiana S Melo and Ubiratan Fabres Machado

lipid metabolism ( Taniguchi et al . 2005 ), recent studies using Irs2 knockout mice have shown hepatic insulin resistance and increased gluconeogenesis, showing the importance of IRS2 in hepatic glucose metabolism. In addition, an important

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The effects of hypophysectomy and short-term GH replacement on insulin release and on some aspects of glucose metabolism in isolated rat islets of Langerhans were investigated. The effects on body, pancreas and adrenal gland weights, and on the levels of blood plasma constituents were also measured. Three to four weeks after hypophysectomy the early and late phases of insulin release from islets incubated with high concentrations of glucose, but not with low concentrations of glucose or with xylitol, leucine, arginine, tolbutamide, citrate or butyrate, were significantly lowered. Short-term GH replacement partially reversed the depression in glucose-stimulated insulin release. This reversal effect was not dependent on the increase in body weight of rats after GH replacement when the fall in adrenal gland but not in pancreas weight was also reversed. Nine out of the 12 plasma constituents measured, including glucose, were maintained in the control range of levels, but albumin, inorganic phosphate and urea nitrogen levels were altered after hypophysectomy or GH replacement.

Three to four weeks after hypophysectomy, total glucose oxidation and glucose utilization by the islets were slightly depressed. Hypophysectomy appeared to slow down glucose 6-phosphate utilization in the islets. However, the functional capacity of the glucose phosphorylating, glucose-6-phosphate and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase activities were not changed. Short-term GH replacement caused improvements in these islet functions.

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N Welsh, B Margulis, K Bendtzen and S Sandler


The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the putative involvement of oxygen free radicals in interleukin-1β (IL-1β)-induced suppression of islet glucose oxidation. Isolated adult rat pancreatic islets were exposed for 1 h to liposomally encapsulated superoxide dismutase (SOD; 10 mg/ml), catalase (CAT; 10 mg/ml) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX; 5 mg/ml), after which IL-1β (25 U/ml) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; 0·1 mm) was added, and the incubation was continued overnight. The following day, samples were taken from the incubation media for nitrite determinations, and islet glucose oxidation rates were measured. The CAT activity increased fourfold after addition of CAT-containing liposomes. It was found that IL-1β induced a marked increase in islet nitrite production, as an index of nitric oxide formation, and that this was paralleled by a decrease in islet glucose oxidation rates. H2O2-treated islets exhibited a modest decrease in glucose oxidation rates and a minor increase in the release of nitrite to the media. Treatment of islets with liposomes containing the antioxidant enzymes SOD, CAT and GPX, either alone or in combination, did not decrease the effect of IL-1β. However, the H2O2-induced decrease in glucose oxidation rates was counteracted by the combination of the antioxidants. It was concluded that, provided the intracellular delivery of the antioxidant enzymes to the islet cells was effective, oxygen free radicals probably do not play a decisive role in IL-1β suppression of islet glucose metabolism.

Journal of Endocrinology (1994) 143, 151–156