Mechanisms related to the adverse effects of corticosteroids on glucose homeostasis were studied. Five groups of adrenalectomized (ADX) rats were given methylprednisolone (MPL) intravenously at 10 and 50 mg/kg, or a continuous 7 day infusion at rates of 0, 0.1, 0.3 mg/kg/h via subcutaneously implanted Alzet mini-pumps. Plasma concentrations of MPL, glucose and insulin were determined at various time points up to 72 h after injection or 336 h after infusion. The pharmacokinetics of MPL was captured with a two-compartment model. The Adapt II software was used in modeling. Injection of MPL caused a temporary glucose increase over 6 h by stimulating gluconeogenesis. The glucose changes stimulated pancreatic β-cell secretion yielding a later insulin peak at around 10 h. In turn, insulin can stimulate glucose disposition. However, long-term MPL treatment caused continuous hyperglycemia during and after infusion. Insulin was increased during infusion, and immediately returned to baseline after the infusion was terminated, despite the almost doubled glucose concentration. A disease progression model incorporating the reduced endogenous glucose disposition was included to capture glucose homeostasis under different treatments. The results exemplify the importance of the steroid dosing regimen in mediating pharmacological and adverse metabolic effects. This mechanistic pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) model quantitatively describes the induction of hyperglycemia and provides additional insights into metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
corticosteroids; methylprednisolone; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; glucose; insulin
Corticosteroids (CS) regulate many enzymes at both mRNA and protein levels. This study used microarrays to broadly assess regulation of various genes related to the greater urea cycle and employs pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling to quantitatively analyze and compare the temporal profiles of these genes during acute and chronic exposure to methylprednisolone (MPL). One group of adrenalectomized male Wistar rats received an intravenous bolus dose (50 mg/kg) of MPL, whereas a second group received MPL by a subcutaneous infusion (Alzet osmotic pumps) at a rate of 0.3 mg/kg/hr for seven days. The rats were sacrificed at various time points over 72 hours (acute) or 168 hours (chronic) and livers were harvested. Total RNA was extracted and Affymetrix® gene chips (RG_U34A for acute and RAE 230A for chronic) were used to identify genes regulated by CS. Besides five primary urea cycle enzymes, many other genes related to the urea cycle showed substantial changes in mRNA expression. Some genes that were simply up- or down-regulated after acute MPL showed complex biphasic patterns upon chronic infusion indicating involvement of secondary regulation. For the simplest patterns, indirect response models were used to describe the nuclear steroid-bound receptor mediated increase or decrease in gene transcription (e.g. tyrosine aminotransferase, glucocorticoid receptor). For the biphasic profiles, involvement of a secondary biosignal was assumed (e.g. ornithine decarboxylase, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein) and more complex models were derived. Microarrays were used successfully to explore CS effects on various urea cycle enzyme genes. PD models presented in this report describe testable hypotheses regarding molecular mechanisms and quantitatively characterize the direct or indirect regulation of various genes by CS.
urea cycle; corticosteroids; methylprednisolone; pharmacodynamics; genomics
A retrospective meta-modeling analysis was performed to integrate previously reported data of glucocorticoid (GC) effects on glucose regulation following a single intramuscular dose (50 mg/kg), single intravenous doses (10, 50 mg/kg), and intravenous infusions (0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 mg/kg/h) of methylprednisolone (MPL) in normal and adrenalectomized (ADX) male Wistar rats. A mechanistic pharmacodynamic (PD) model was developed based on the receptor/gene/protein-mediated GC effects on glucose regulation. Three major target organs (liver, white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle) together with some selected intermediate controlling factors were designated as important regulators involved in the pathogenesis of GC-induced glucose dysregulation. Assessed were dynamic changes of food intake and systemic factors (plasma glucose, insulin, free fatty acids (FFA) and leptin) and tissue-specific biomarkers (cAMP, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) mRNA and enzyme activity, leptin mRNA, interleukin 6 receptor type 1 (IL6R1) mRNA and Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) mRNA) after acute and chronic dosing with MPL along with the GC receptor (GR) dynamics in each target organ. Upon binding to GR in liver, MPL dosing caused increased glucose production by stimulating hepatic cAMP and PEPCK activity. In adipose tissue, the rise in leptin mRNA and plasma leptin caused reduction of food intake, the exogenous source of glucose input. Down-regulation of IRS-1 mRNA expression in skeletal muscle inhibited the stimulatory effect of insulin on glucose utilization further contributing to hyperglycemia. The nuclear drug-receptor complex served as the driving force for stimulation or inhibition of downstream target gene expression within different tissues. Incorporating information such as receptor dynamics, as well as the gene and protein induction, allowed us to describe the receptor-mediated effects of MPL on glucose regulation in each important tissue. This advanced mechanistic model provides unique insights into the contributions of major tissues and quantitative hypotheses for the multi-factor control of a complex metabolic system.
Influences of methylprednisolone (MPL) and food consumption on body weight (BW), and the effects of MPL on glycemic control including food consumption and the dynamic interactions among glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids (FFA) were evaluated in normal male Wistar rats. Six groups of animals received either saline or MPL via subcutaneous infusions at the rate of 0.03, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 mg/kg/h for different treatment periods. BW and food consumption were measured twice a week. Plasma concentrations of MPL and corticosterone (CST) were determined at animal sacrifice. Plasma glucose, insulin, and FFA were measured at various times after infusion. Plasma MPL concentrations were simulated by a two-compartment model and used as the driving force in the pharmacodynamic (PD) analysis. All data were modeled using ADAPT 5. The MPL treatments caused reduction of food consumption and body weights in all dosing groups. The steroid also caused changes in plasma glucose, insulin, and FFA concentrations. Hyper-insulinemia was achieved rapidly at the first sampling time of 6 h; significant elevations of FFA were observed in all drug treatment groups; whereas only modest increases in plasma glucose were observed in the low dosing groups (0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg/h). Body weight changes were modeled by dual actions of MPL: inhibition of food consumption and stimulation of weight loss, with food consumption accounting for the input of energy for body weight. Dynamic models of glucose and insulin feedback interactions were extended to capture the major metabolic effects of FFA: stimulation of insulin secretion and inhibition of insulin-stimulated glucose utilization. These models of body weight and glucose regulation adequately captured the experimental data and reflect significant physiological interactions among glucose, insulin, and FFA. These mechanism-based PD models provide further insights into the multi-factor control of this essential metabolic system.
Glucocorticoids; Methylprednisolone; Pharmacodynamics; Food intake; Body weight; Glucose; Insulin; Free fatty acids
A physiologic pharmacodynamic model was developed to jointly describe the effects of methylprednisolone (MPL) on adrenal suppression and glycemic control in normal rats. Six groups of animals were given MPL intravenously at 0, 10 and 50 mg/kg, or by subcutaneous 7 day infusion at rates of 0, 0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg/h. Plasma concentrations of MPL, corticosterone (CST), glucose and insulin were determined at various times up to 72 h after injection and 336 h after infusion. The pharmacokinetics of MPL was described by a two-compartment model. A circadian rhythm for CST was found in untreated rats with a stress-altered baseline caused by handling, which was captured by a circadian harmonic secretion rate with an increasing mesor. All drug treatments caused CST suppression. Injection of MPL caused temporary increases in glucose over 4 h. Insulin secretion was thereby stimulated yielding a later peak around 6 h. In turn, insulin can normalize glucose. However, long-term dosing caused continuous hyperglycemia during and after infusion. Hyperinsulinemia was achieved during infusion, but diminished immediately after dosing despite the high glucose concentration. The effects of CST and MPL on glucose production were described with a competitive stimulation function. A disease progression model incorporating reduced endogenous glucose uptake/utilization was used to describe glucose metabolism under different treatments. The results exemplify the roles of endogenous and exogenous hormones in mediating glucose dynamics. The pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model is valuable for quantitating diabetogenic effects of corticosteroid treatments and provides mechanistic insights into the hormonal control of the metabolic system.
corticosterone; methylprednisolone; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; glucose; insulin
Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) is a lipid status responsive gene involved in muscle fuel selection. Evidence is mounting in support of the therapeutic potential of PDK4 inhibitors to treat diabetes. Factors that regulate PDK4 mRNA expression include plasma corticosterone, insulin and free fatty acids. Our objective was to determine the impact of those plasma factors on PDK4 mRNA and to develop and validate a population mathematical model to differentiate aging, diet and disease effects on muscle PDK4 expression. The Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rat, a polygenic non-obese model of type 2 diabetes, was used as the diabetic animal model. We examined muscle PDK4 mRNA expression by real-time QRTPCR. Groups of GK rats along with controls fed with either a normal or high fat diet were sacrificed at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks of age. Plasma corticosterone, insulin and free fatty acid were measured. The proposed mechanism-based model successfully described the age, disease and diet effects and the relative contribution of these plasma regulators on PDK4 mRNA expression. Muscle growth reduced the PDK4 mRNA production rate by 14% per gram increase. High fat diet increased the initial production rate constant in GK rats by 2.19-fold. The model indicated that corticosterone had a moderate effect and PDK4 was more sensitive to free fatty acid than insulin fluxes, which was in good agreement with the literature data.
population model; type 2 diabetes; disease progression; PDK4; Goto-Kakizaki rats
The effect of insulin administration upon D-xylose-1-C14 penetration into the diaphragm and gastrocnemius muscles of functionally nephrectomized normal, hypophysectomized, and adrenalectomized rats has been examined. It was found in all groups that after the administration of tracer amounts of D-xylose, this sugar enters the cell water of diaphragm to a greater extent than in gastrocnemius muscle, both in the presence and absence of exogenous insulin. Insulin increases the apparent intracellular distribution of D-xylose in both muscles in all three types of rats. After insulin administration, the intracellular concentration of D-xylose in diaphragm muscle was estimated to be about two times greater than D-xylose concentration in plasma; D-xylose accumulation was not observed in gastrocnemius muscle of insulin-treated rats. Intracellular accumulation of D-xylose occurs in diaphragm of insulin-treated rats at plasma concentrations of D-xylose ranging from 4 to 2200 µg/ml; however, a "saturation" phenomenon appears to be operative, since intracellular distribution declines as plasma D-xylose concentration is increased within this range. A decline in intracellular D-xylose distribution also occurs in gastrocnemius as plasma D-xylose is increased, suggesting that entry into this muscle as well does not exhibit the characteristics of a simple diffusion process. The significance of these in vivo observations is briefly discussed in relation to widely accepted assumptions concerning sugar permeability in muscle.
Previous studies in adrenalectomized (Adx) rats suggest that aldosterone may regulate ion transport in the ascending portion of Helen's loop. In order to examine directly the effect of adrenalectomy on transport, medullary thick ascending limb (Mtal) segments were isolated from Adx, Adx replaced with aldosterone (Adx + Ald, 0.5 micrograms X 100 g X body wt X d), and control Sprague-Dawley rats. Both net sodium and net chloride fluxes were significantly less in the Mtal segments from Adx rats compared with those in the control or Adx + Ald group. Physiologic levels of exogenous aldosterone increased net sodium chloride flux toward control values in the Adx + Ald group. Net potassium flux was not different among the three groups. We conclude that adrenalectomy impairs reabsorptive NaCl but not K transport in the Mtal, and that aldosterone restores this process. This reabsorptive defect may contribute to the urinary concentrating and diluting abnormality associated with adrenal insufficiency.
Elevated systemic levels of glucocorticoids are causally related to peripheral insulin resistance. The pharmacological use of synthetic glucocorticoids (corticosteroids) often results in insulin resistance/type II diabetes. Skeletal muscle is responsible for close to 80% of the insulin-induced systemic disposal of glucose and is a major target for glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance. We used Affymetrix gene chips to profile the dynamic changes in mRNA expression in rat skeletal muscle in response to a single bolus dose of the synthetic glucocorticoid methyl-prednisolone. Temporal expression profiles (analyzed on individual chips) were obtained from tissues of 48 drug-treated animals encompassing 16 time points over 72 h following drug administration along with four vehicle-treated controls. Data mining identified 653 regulated probe sets out of 8799 present on the chip. Of these 653 probe sets we identified 29, which represented 22 gene transcripts, that were associated with the development of insulin resistance. These 29 probe sets were regulated in three fundamental temporal patterns. 16 probe sets coding for 12 different genes had a profile of enhanced expression. 10 probe sets coding for eight different genes showed decreased expression and three probe sets coding for two genes showed biphasic temporal signatures. These transcripts were grouped into four general functional categories: signal transduction, transcription regulation, carbohydrate/fat metabolism, and regulation of blood flow to the muscle. The results demonstrate the polygenic nature of transcriptional changes associated with insulin resistance that can provide a temporal scaffolding for translational and post-translational data as they become available.
Increased expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) resulting in nitric oxide elevation represents an important component of inflammatory responses. We assess the effects of methylprednisolone (MPL) on these processes during endotoxin-induced acute inflammation and provide a mechanism-based model to quantitatively describe them.
Male Lewis rats were dosed with lipopolysaccharide (50 μg/kg LPS) alone or with methylprednisolone (10 and 50 mg/kg) and sacrificed at different time points. Plasma MPL, lung iNOS mRNA expression, plasma nitric oxide (NO) and other physiological factors were measured. Sodium nitrate (750 μmole/kg) was given to a separate cohort of rats to assess NO disposition kinetics. PK-PD modeling was performed with ADAPT 5.
Disposition kinetics of plasma MPL and NO showed bi-exponential decline and were described by two-compartment models. LPS increased expression of iNOS mRNA in lung and increased plasma NO, while MPL dosing palliated this increase in a dose-dependent manner. These effects were well captured using tandem indirect response and precursor-pool models.
The model provides a quantitative assessment of the suppression of NO production by MPL and shows that the major effects are at the transcriptional level by reducing expression of iNOS mRNA.
corticosteroids; inflammation; iNOS; nitric oxide; PK-PD modeling
Insulin resistance is a major factor in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and is strongly associated with obesity. Increased concentrations of intracellular fatty acid metabolites have been postulated to interfere with insulin signaling by activation of a serine kinase cascade involving PKCθ in skeletal muscle. Uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) has been postulated to dissipate the mitochondrial proton gradient and cause metabolic inefficiency. We therefore hypothesized that overexpression of UCP3 in skeletal muscle might protect against fat-induced insulin resistance in muscle by conversion of intramyocellular fat into thermal energy. Wild-type mice fed a high-fat diet were markedly insulin resistant, a result of defects in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and hepatic insulin resistance. Insulin resistance in these tissues was associated with reduced insulin-stimulated insulin receptor substrate 1– (IRS-1–) and IRS-2–associated PI3K activity in muscle and liver, respectively. In contrast, UCP3-overexpressing mice were completely protected against fat-induced defects in insulin signaling and action in these tissues. Furthermore, these changes were associated with a lower membrane-to-cytosolic ratio of diacylglycerol and reduced PKCθ activity in whole-body fat–matched UCP3 transgenic mice. These results suggest that increasing mitochondrial uncoupling in skeletal muscle may be an excellent therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Sympathomimetic drugs (MDMA; Ecstasy) induce a potentially catastrophic hyperthermia that involves free fatty acid (FFA) activation of mitochondrial uncoupling proteins (UCP). Insulin is an important regulator of plasma FFA levels, although its role in thermogenesis is unclear. The aims of the present study were 1) to characterize the pharmacodynamic effects of MDMA on plasma insulin and glucose, 2) to examine the effects of insulin on MDMA-induced thermogenesis and 3) to examine MDMA-induced thermogenesis in an animal model of insulin resistance, the obese Zucker rat. Insulin levels peaked 15 min. after MDMA (40 mg/kg, sc), which preceded the peak temperature change at 60 min. Plasma glucose levels also peaked 15 min. after MDMA and remained elevated throughout the 90-min. monitoring period. Insulin pretreatment (10 units/kg, sc) 30 min. before a low dose of MDMA (5 mg/kg, sc) potentiated the thermogenic response. Insulin resistant, fa/fa (obese) Zucker rats demonstrated an attenuated thermogenic response to MDMA (40 mg/kg, sc). Consistent with the role for FFA in UCP3 expression, immunoblot analysis showed significantly increased levels of UCP3 protein in obese compared to lean Zucker skeletal muscle. In conclusion, the results of the present study suggest a potential role of insulin signaling in sympathomimetic-induced thermogenesis.
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; thermogenesis; insulin; glucose; Zucker
Rats restrained for 3 hours/day for 3 days (RR) lose weight and do not return to the weight of non-restrained controls once restraint has ended. This study tested the importance of restraint-induced corticosterone release in mediating the change in body weight by injecting ADX rats with 2.0 mg corticosterone/kg before each restraint to replicate the restraint-induced surge in circulating corticosterone. Restrained adrenalectomized (ADX) rats injected with corticosterone had the same initial weight loss as intact restrained rats, whereas corticosterone injection in non-restrained ADX rats and restraint of ADX rats injected with saline each produced only half as much initial weight loss. Sustained weight loss, measured for 14 days after the end of RR, was the same for restrained intact rats and restrained ADX rats injected with corticosterone whereas restrained ADX rats injected with saline achieved the same weight gain as their controls. Corticosterone injections had no effect on weight gain of non-restrained intact rats. In situ hybridization showed that corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) was increased by the same degree in ADX rats and restrained intact rats and was not modified by corticosterone injections. There was no significant effect of restraint, ADX or corticosterone injection on PVN arginine vasopressin (AVP) mRNA expression. These data indicate that a surge in corticosterone causes sustained weight loss in ADX rats through a mechanism that can be compensated for in intact rats and is independent of changes in PVN CRF or AVP mRNA expression.
Adrenalectomy; in situ hybridization; corticotrophin releasing factor; arginine vasopressin; paraventricular nucleus
Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases (PDK1-4) play a critical role in the inhibition of the mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex especially when blood glucose levels are low and pyruvate can be conserved for gluconeogenesis. Under diabetic conditions, the Pdk genes, particularly Pdk4, are often induced, and the elevation of the Pdk4 gene expression has been implicated in the increased gluconeogenesis in the liver and the decreased glucose utilization in the peripheral tissues. However, there is no direct evidence yet to show to what extent that the dysregulation of hepatic Pdk genes attributes to hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in vivo. To address this question, we crossed Pdk2 or Pdk4 null mice with a diabetic model that is deficient in hepatic insulin receptor substrates 1 and 2 (Irs1/2). Metabolic analyses reveal that deletion of the Pdk4 gene had better improvement in hyperglycemia and glucose tolerance than knockout of the Pdk2 gene whereas the Pdk2 gene deletion showed better insulin tolerance as compared to the Pdk4 gene inactivation on the Irs1/2 knockout genetic background. To examine the specific hepatic effects of Pdks on diabetes, we also knocked down the Pdk2 or Pdk4 gene using specific shRNAs. The data also indicate that the Pdk4 gene knockdown led to better glucose tolerance than the Pdk2 gene knockdown. In conclusion, our data suggest that hepatic Pdk4 may be critically involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes.
The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) activity is crucial to maintains blood glucose and ATP levels, which largely depends on the phosphorylation status by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) isoenzymes. Although it has been reported that PDC is phosphorylated and inactivated by PDK2 and PDK4 in metabolically active tissues including liver, skeletal muscle, heart, and kidney during starvation and diabetes, the precise mechanisms by which expression of PDK2 and PDK4 are transcriptionally regulated still remains unclear. Insulin represses the expression of PDK2 and PDK4 via phosphorylation of FOXO through PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Several nuclear hormone receptors activated due to fasting or increased fat supply, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, glucocorticoid receptors, estrogen-related receptors, and thyroid hormone receptors, also participate in the up-regulation of PDK2 and PDK4; however, the endogenous ligands that bind those nuclear receptors have not been identified. It has been recently suggested that growth hormone, adiponectin, epinephrine, and rosiglitazone also control the expression of PDK4 in tissue-specific manners. In this review, we discuss several factors involved in the expressional regulation of PDK2 and PDK4, and introduce current studies aimed at providing a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
Insulin resistance; Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase; Receptors, cytoplasmic and nuclear; Transcriptional regulation
Chronic central administration of neuropeptide Y (NPY) causes hyperphagia, hyperinsulinemia, and obesity, a response that is prevented by prior adrenalectomy (ADX) in rats. The basis of NPY’s effect and how the acute responses to this peptide are affected by ADX remain unknown. This study investigates the role of glucocorticoids in acute NPY-stimulated food intake, acute NPY-induced insulin release, and hypothalamic NPY-receptor mRNA expression levels. NPY-induced food intake was similar in ADX and control rats after acute intracerebroventricular injection of NPY. Injection of NPY caused a significant increase in plasma insulin in control rats, but this effect was completely absent in ADX rats in which basal plasma insulin levels were also lower than controls. In addition, ADX significantly reduced the number of neurons expressing NPY receptor Y1 and Y5 mRNAs in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), without affecting Y1- or Y5-mRNA expression in the paraventricular hypothalamus or the arcuate nucleus. These data indicate that glucocorticoids are necessary for acute NPY-mediated insulin release and suggest that the mechanisms involve glucocorticoid regulation of Y1 and Y5 receptors specifically within the VMH nucleus.
Uncoupling protein 3 (UPC3) is a candidate protein transporter that uncouples oxidative phosphorylation of mitochondrial respiration in skeletal muscle. A number of studies on UCP3 functions under various physiological conditions have suggested that the function of UCP3 is not limited only to regulation of whole-body energy metabolism but is also involved in regulation of substrate (lipids and glucose) metabolism. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the time course of UCP3 mRNA expression in rat skeletal muscle during a 1 h bout of treadmill exercise and to examine whether changes in fat/glucose metabolism modulates UCP3 mRNA expression. The pattern of UCP3 mRNA expression during the exercise was biphasic in both the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. UCP3 expression increased at 5 min of exercise (soleus: 232%, p < 0.05, gastrocnemius: 185%, p < 0.05, respectively), and at the end of the exercise (196%, p < 0.05 and 193%, p < 0.05, respectively). UCP3 mRNA expression was still increased at 3 h post-exercise in both muscles, 200% (p < 0.05) and 237% (p < 0.05), respectively. However, at 20 min of the exercise, UCP3 mRNA expression was similar to control levels in both muscles (104% and 97%, respectively). The time course of plasma free fatty acid (FFA) did not follow the same time course as UCP3 mRNA expression. Plasma FFA peaked at the end of the exercise, suggesting that FFA did not play a role in inducing UCP3 mRNA expression. Glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) mRNA expression did not change during or after exercise. These data indicated a rapid acceleration in UCP3’s transcription activity in response to exercise, and suggest that potential factor(s) other than changes in fat/glucose metabolism regulate UCP3 gene expression during moderate exercise.
Key PointsA single bout of 1 h moderate exercise induced rapid and bi-phasic alteration of UCP3 gene transcription activity in rat skeletal muscle.The exercise-induced up-regulation in UCP3 mRNA expression was sustained during 3 h of recovery period.
UCP3; FFA; GLUT4; exercise
The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) catalyzes the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA in mitochondria and is a key regulatory enzyme in the oxidation of glucose to acetyl-CoA. Phosphorylation of PDC by the pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases (PDK) inhibits its activity. The expression of the pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) gene is increased in fasting and other conditions associated with the switch from the utilization of glucose to fatty acids as an energy source. Transcription of the PDK4 gene is elevated by glucocorticoids and inhibited by insulin. In this study, we have investigated the factors involved in the regulation of the PDK4 gene by these hormones. Glucocorticoids stimulate PDK4 through two glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binding sites located more than 6,000 base pairs upstream of the transcriptional start site. Insulin inhibits the glucocorticoid induction in part by causing dissociation of the GR from the promoter. Previously, we found that the estrogen related receptor alpha (ERRα) stimulates the expression of PDK4. Here, we determined that one of the ERRα binding sites contributes to the insulin inhibition of PDK4. A binding site for the forkhead transcription factor (FoxO1) is adjacent to the ERRα binding sites. FoxO1 participates in the glucocorticoid induction of PDK4 and the regulation of this gene by insulin. Our data demonstrate that glucocorticoids and insulin each modulate PDK4 gene expression through complex hormone response units that contain multiple factors.
Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK4); glucocorticoids; insulin
This work investigates the effects of oxidative stress due to exhaustive training on uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) and Bcl-2/Bax in rat skeletal muscles. A total of 18 Sprague-Dawley female rats were randomly divided into three groups: the control group (CON), the trained control group (TC), and the exhaustive trained group (ET). Malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), xanthine oxidase (XOD), ATPase, UCP2, and Bcl-2/Bax ratio in red gastrocnemius muscles were measured. Exhaustive training induced ROS increase in red gastrocnemius muscles, which led to a decrease in the cell antiapoptotic ability (Bcl-2/Bax ratio). An increase in UCP2 expression can reduce ROS production and affect mitochondrial energy production. Thus, oxidative stress plays a significant role in overtraining.
Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) are modulators of mitochondrial metabolism that have been implicated in the development of both insulin resistance and insulin insufficiency, the two major pathophysiological events associated with type 2 diabetes. UCP2 mRNA is expressed in a wide range of tissues; however UCP2 protein expression is restricted to fewer tissues, including the endocrine pancreas, spleen, stomach, brain and the lung. To date, its role in the pathophysiology of diabetes has been most strongly associated with impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from the β-cell, particularly after its induction by free fatty acids. The physiological role of UCP2 remains controversial, but it may act as a downstream signal transducer of superoxide. UCP3 mRNA and protein are expressed in relatively few tissues, predominately skeletal muscle, brown adipose tissue and heart. Increased expression of UCP3 in skeletal muscle is associated with protection from diet-induced insulin resistance in mice. In patients with type 2 diabetes UCP3 protein in muscle is reduced by 50% compared to healthy controls. The primary physiological role of the novel UCPs does not appear to be protection against positive energy balance and obesity; this is based largely on findings from studies of UCP2 and UCP3 knockout mice and from observed increases in UCP3 expression with fasting. The mechanism(s) of action of UCP2 and UCP3 are poorly understood. However, findings support roles for UCP2 and UCP3 as modifiers of fatty acid metabolism and in mitigating damage from reactive oxygen species.
PMID: 18220632 CAMSID: cams820
Uncoupling proteins; insulin secretion; insulin resistance; reactive oxygen species; fatty acid metabolism
Fetal rat brown adipocytes at time zero of culture constitute a population of cells of broad spectrum, as estimated by cell size, endogenous fluorescence and lipid content, and show an intrinsic mitogenic competence. They express constitutively early growth-related genes such as c-myc, c-fos, and beta-actin, tissue specific-genes such as the uncoupling protein (UCP) and the lipogenic marker malic enzyme (ME). Fetal brown adipocytes bear a high expression of insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR), and show a high affinity IGF-I specific-binding to its receptor, and a high number of binding sites per cell. After cell quiescence, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) was as potent as 10% FCS in inducing DNA synthesis, cell number increase, and the entry of cells into the cell-cycle. In addition, IGF- I or 10% FCS for 48 h increased the percentage of [3H]thymidine-labeled nuclei as compared to quiescent cells. Single cell autoradiographic microphotographs show typical multilocular fat droplets brown adipocytes, resulting positive to [3H]thymidine-labeled nuclei in response to IGF-I. IGF-I increased mRNA expression of the early- response genes c-fos (30 min), c-myc (2 and 24 h), and H-ras (4 and 24 h). 10% FCS also increased c-fos and c-myc, but failed to increase H- ras as an early event. IGF-I or 10% FCS, however, similarly increased the mRNA late expression of c-myc, H-ras, c-raf, beta-actin, and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) at 72 h, as compared to quiescent cells. IGF-I or FCS maintained at 24 h or increased at 48 and 72 h UCP mRNA expression. The results demonstrate that IGF-I is a mitogen for fetal rat brown adipocytes, capable of inducing the expression of early and late growth-regulated genes, and of increasing the lipogenic marker ME and the tissue-specific gene UCP, suggesting the involvement of IGF-I in the differentiation as well as in the proliferation processes.
Voluntary wheel running (RUN) prevents declines in insulin-mediated vasodilation, an important component of insulin-mediated glucose disposal, in rats prone to obesity and insulin resistance.
Determine whether RUN: 1) improves insulin-stimulated vasodilation after insulin resistance has been established, and 2) differentially affects arterioles from red and white muscle.
Insulin signaling and vasoreactivity to insulin (1–1000 μIU/mL), were assessed in second order arterioles (2A) from the white (Gw) and red (Gr) gastrocnemius of sedentary OLETF rats at 12 and 20 weeks of age (SED12; SED20) and those undergoing RUN (RUN20) or caloric restriction (CR20; to match body weight of RUN) from 12–20 weeks.
Glucose and insulin responses to i.p. glucose were reduced in RUN20, elevated in SED20 (P<0.05 vs. SED12), and maintained in CR20. Insulin-stimulated vasodilation was greater in Gw, but not Gr, 2As of RUN20 (P<0.01 vs. all groups) and was improved by ET-1 receptor inhibition in Gw 2As from SED20 and CR20 (P<0.05). There were no differences in microvascular insulin signaling among groups or muscle beds.
RUN selectively improved insulin-mediated vasodilation in Gw 2As, in part through attenuated ET-1 sensitivity/production, an adaptation that was independent of changes in adiposity and may contribute to enhanced insulin-stimulated glucose disposal.
type 2 diabetes; exercise; insulin; microvascular; endothelin-1
Increased uncoupling protein-2 (UCP-2) expression has been associated with impaired insulin secretion, whereas UCP-3 protein levels are decreased in the skeleton muscle of type-2 diabetic subjects. In the present studies we hypothesize an opposing effect of glucose on the regulation of UCP-2 and UCP-3 in pancreatic islets.
Dominant negative UCP-2 and wild type UCP-3 adenoviruses were generated, and insulin release by transduced human islets was measured. UCP-2 and UCP-3 mRNA levels were determined using quantitative PCR. UCP-2 and UCP-3 protein expression was investigated in human islets cultured in the presence of different glucose concentrations. Human pancreatic sections were analyzed for subcellular localization of UCP-3 using immunohistochemistry.
Dominant negative UCP-2 expression in human islets increased insulin secretion compared to control islets (p<0.05). UCP-3 mRNA is expressed in human islets, but the relative abundance of UCP-2 mRNA was 8.1-fold higher (p<0.05). Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed co-localization of UCP-3 protein with mitochondria in human beta-cells. UCP-2 protein expression in human islets was increased ∼2-fold after high glucose exposure, whereas UCP-3 protein expression was decreased by ∼40% (p<0.05). UCP-3 overexpression improved glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.
UCP-2 and UCP-3 may have distinct roles in regulating beta-cell function. Increased expression of UCP-2 and decreased expression of UCP-3 in humans with chronic hyperglycemia may contribute to impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. These data imply that mechanisms that suppress UCP-2 or mechanisms that increase UCP-3 expression and/or function are potential therapeutic targets to offset defects of insulin secretion in humans with type-2 diabetes.
This study investigated the metabolic changes with age in the Fischer 344 × Brown Norway rat and its suitability as an animal model of postmaturational insulin resistance. Specifically, we determined whether an age-associated decrease in glucose disposal is associated with diminished whole body insulin responsiveness and/or a decrease in glucose transporter (GLUT-4) protein and mRNA content in medial gastrocnemius muscle of male Fischer 344 × Brown Norway rats of ages 8, 18, and 28 months. Fasting plasma glucose was unchanged with age. There was a significant age effect on visceral adiposity, fasting plasma insulin levels, insulin responsiveness, and GLUT-4 protein content. Insulin responsiveness and GLUT-4 protein were lower in the 18-month-old rats than in the 8-month-old rats. The findings of age-associated increases in visceral adiposity and insulin resistance, and decreases in GLUT-4 in the Fisher 344 × Brown Norway rat, suggest that this rat strain may be an appropriate model for studying the effects of aging on glucose homeostasis.
Obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation that negatively impacts insulin sensitivity. Here we show that high fat diet can increase NFκB activation in mice, which leads to a sustained elevation in level of IκB kinase ε (IKKε) in liver, adipocytes and adipose tissue macrophages. IKKε knockout mice are protected from high fat diet-induced obesity, chronic inflammation in liver and fat, hepatic steatosis and whole-body insulin resistance. These mice show increased energy expenditure and thermogenesis via enhanced expression of the uncoupling protein UCP-1. They maintain insulin sensitivity in liver and fat, without activation of the proinflammatory JNK pathway. Gene expression analyses indicate that IKKε knockout reduces expression of inflammatory cytokines, and changes expression of certain regulatory proteins and enzymes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. Thus, IKKε may represent an attractive new therapeutic target for obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and other complications associated with these disorders.