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1.  Pharmacodynamic/Pharmacogenomic Modeling of Insulin Resistance Genes in Rat Muscle After Methylprednisolone Treatment: Exploring Regulatory Signaling Cascades 
Corticosteroids (CS) effects on insulin resistance related genes in rat skeletal muscle were studied. In our acute study, adrenalectomized (ADX) rats were given single doses of 50 mg/kg methylprednisolone (MPL) intravenously. In our chronic study, ADX rats were implanted with Alzet mini-pumps giving zero-order release rates of 0.3 mg/kg/h MPL and sacrificed at various times up to 7 days. Total RNA was extracted from gastrocnemius muscles and hybridized to Affymetrix GeneChips. Data mining and literature searches identified 6 insulin resistance related genes which exhibited complex regulatory pathways. Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3), pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoenzyme 4 (PDK4), fatty acid translocase (FAT) and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) dynamic profiles were modeled with mutual effects by calculated nuclear drug-receptor complex (DR(N)) and transcription factors. The oscillatory feature of endothelin-1 (ET-1) expression was depicted by a negative feedback loop. These integrated models provide testable quantitative hypotheses for these regulatory cascades.
PMCID: PMC2733097  PMID: 19787081
corticosteroid; glucocorticoid; microarrays; mathematical modeling; insulin resistance
2.  Glucocorticoid regulation of insulin receptor and substrate IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation in rat skeletal muscle in vivo. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1993;91(5):2020-2030.
To test the hypothesis that glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance might originate from abnormalities in insulin receptor signaling, we investigated the effects of glucocorticoids on in vivo tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor and the insulin receptor substrate IRS-1 in rat skeletal muscle. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with cortisone (100 mg/kg for 5 d) and compared to pair-fed controls. Cortisone treatment of rats resulted in both hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Anesthetized animals were injected with 10 U/kg insulin via cardiac puncture and, after 2 min, hindlimb muscles were removed, snap-frozen, and homogenized in SDS. Protein tyrosine phosphorylation was studied by immunoblotting with phosphotyrosine antibody. Insulin receptors and substrate IRS-1 were identified and quantified with specific antibodies. Cortisone treatment increased the amount of insulin receptor protein by 36%, but decreased the total level of receptor tyrosine phosphorylation (69 +/- 4% of control, P < 0.05). The decreased level of receptor phosphorylation was explained by a reduced number of receptors containing phosphorylated tyrosine residues (64.6 +/- 5% of control, P < 0.05). Glucocorticoid excess decreased skeletal muscle IRS-1 content by 50%, but did not significantly alter the total level of IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation. The apparent M(r) of IRS-1 was reduced by approximately 10 kD. Treatment with protein phosphatase-2A reduced IRS-1 M(r) in control but not in glucocorticoid-treated muscle indicating that the lower M(r) likely results from lower phosphoserine and/or phosphothreonine content. To investigate the role of hyperinsulinemia in the glucocorticoid response, rats were made insulin-deficient with streptozotocin (100 mg/kg, i.p.). Subsequent treatment with cortisone for 5 d had no effects on insulin levels, tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptors or IRS-1, or the M(r) of IRS-1. In conclusion, glucocorticoid-treated skeletal muscle is characterized by: (a) decreased total tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptors as a result of a reduction in the pool of receptors undergoing tyrosine phosphorylation; (b) decreased IRS-1 content and reduced serine and/or threonine phosphorylation of IRS-1. Glucocorticoid-induced hyperinsulinemia appears to be essential for the development of these alterations.
PMCID: PMC288200  PMID: 7683695
3.  Prednisolone induces the Wnt signalling pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes 
Synthetic glucocorticoids are potent anti-inflammatory drugs but show dose-dependent metabolic side effects such as the development of insulin resistance and obesity. The precise mechanisms involved in these glucocorticoid-induced side effects, and especially the participation of adipose tissue in this are not completely understood. We used a combination of transcriptomics, antibody arrays and bioinformatics approaches to characterize prednisolone-induced alterations in gene expression and adipokine secretion, which could underlie metabolic dysfunction in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Several pathways, including cytokine signalling, Akt signalling, and Wnt signalling were found to be regulated at multiple levels, showing that these processes are targeted by prednisolone. These results suggest that mechanisms by which prednisolone induce insulin resistance include dysregulation of wnt signalling and immune response processes. These pathways may provide interesting targets for the development of improved glucocorticoids.
PMCID: PMC3665230  PMID: 23506355
Gene profiling; glucocorticoids; metabolic dysfunction
4.  Pharmacogenomic responses of rat liver to methylprednisolone: An approach to mining a rich microarray time series 
The AAPS Journal  2005;7(1):E156-E194.
A data set was generated to examine global changes in gene expression in rat liver over time in response to a single bolus dose of methylprednisolone. Four control animals and 43 drug-treated animals were humanely killed at 16 different time points following drug administration. Total RNA preparation from the livers of these animals were hybridized to 47 individual Affymetrix RU34A gene chips, generating data for 8799 different probe sets for each chip. Data mining techniques that are applicable to gene array time series data sets in order to identify drug-regulated changes in gene expression were applied to this data set. A series of 4 sequentially applied filters were developed that were designed to eliminate probe sets that were not expressed in the tissue, were not regulated by the drug treatment, or did not meet defined quality control standards. These filters eliminated 7287 probe sets of the 8799 total (82%) from further consideration. Application of judiciously chosen filters is an effective tool for data mining of time series data sets. The remaining data can then be further analyzed by clustering and mathematical modeling techniques.
PMCID: PMC2607485  PMID: 16146338
Data mining; gene arrays; glucocorticoids; mathematical modeling; pharmacogenomics
5.  Pharmacogenomic Responses of Rat Liver to Methylprednisolone: An Approach to Mining a Rich Microarray Time Series 
The AAPS journal  2005;7(1):E156-E194.
A data set was generated to examine global changes in gene expression in rat liver over time in response to a single bolus dose of methylprednisolone. Four control animals and 43 drug-treated animals were humanely killed at 16 different time points following drug administration. Total RNA preparations from the livers of these animals were hybridized to 47 individual Affymetrix RU34A gene chips, generating data for 8799 different probe sets for each chip. Data mining techniques that are applicable to gene array time series data sets in order to identify drug-regulated changes in gene expression were applied to this data set. A series of 4 sequentially applied filters were developed that were designed to eliminate probe sets that were not expressed in the tissue, were not regulated by the drug treatment, or did not meet defined quality control standards. These filters eliminated 7287 probe sets of the 8799 total (82%) from further consideration. Application of judiciously chosen filters is an effective tool for data mining of time series data sets. The remaining data can then be further analyzed by clustering and mathematical modeling techniques.
PMCID: PMC2607485  PMID: 16146338
Data mining; gene arrays; glucocorticoids; mathematical modeling; pharmacogenomics
6.  Glucocorticoid induction of epinephrine synthesizing enzyme in rat skeletal muscle and insulin resistance. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1993;92(1):303-307.
Rat skeletal muscle contains two enzymes which can make epinephrine: phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT) and nonspecific N-methyltransferase. We studied the time-course and mechanism by which the glucocorticoid dexamethasone increases muscle PNMT activity. We also examined the hypothesis that increased muscle E synthesis may contribute to glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance. Dexamethasone (1 mg/kg s.c. for 12 d) increased muscle PNMT activity seven-fold but did not change NMT activity. Immunotitration with an anti-PNMT antibody indicated that the PNMT elevation was due to increased numbers of PNMT molecules. Dexamethasone rapidly increased PNMT activity and this elevation was largely maintained 6 d after glucocorticoid treatment stopped. Muscle epinephrine levels were transiently elevated by dexamethasone. Dexamethasone-treated rats had elevated insulin levels after a glucose load, and chronic administration of the PNMT inhibitor SKF 64139 reversed this increase. Chronic SKF 64139 improved glucose tolerance in normal rats. Dexamethasone induced muscle synthesis of the epinephrine-forming enzyme PNMT. A PNMT inhibitor lowered insulin levels in glucocorticoid-treated rats and glucose levels in untreated rats. These findings are compatible with antagonism of insulin-mediated glucose uptake by epinephrine synthesized in skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC293595  PMID: 8325998
7.  Age and Tissue Specific Differences in the Development of Acute Insulin Resistance Following Injury 
The Journal of endocrinology  2009;203(3):365-374.
Injuries, hemorrhage, sepsis, burn, and critical illnesses all induce insulin resistance, and insulin resistance is strongly associated with advancing age. However, the effect of age on injury-induced insulin resistance is not well studied. We performed surgical trauma in male rats of three different ages (3-, 6- and 10-weeks old). Rats were either hemorrhaged to a mean arterial pressure of 35–40 mmHg and subsequently maintained at that pressure for up to 90 minutes, or maintained without hemorrhage as controls. Results indicate that insulin-induced intracellular signaling was diminished in liver and skeletal muscle of 6- and 10-week old rats following trauma and hemorrhage. In even younger rats, immediately post-weaning (approximately 3 weeks of age), insulin signaling was lost in liver, but not in skeletal muscle. Glucocorticoids can play a role in the chronic development of insulin resistance. Our results demonstrate that corticosterone levels were increased in 6- and 10-week old animals following hemorrhage, but little change was measured in 3-week old animals. Blockade of glucocorticoid synthesis prevented the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, but not in liver of 6-and 10-week old rats. Moreover, skeletal muscle glucocorticoid receptor levels increased dramatically between 3 and 6 weeks of age. These results indicate that trauma and hemorrhage-induced hepatic insulin resistance occurs at all ages tested. However, there is no development of insulin resistance following trauma and hemorrhage in skeletal muscle of post-weaning rats. In skeletal muscle of 6- and 10-week old rats, inhibition of glucocorticoid levels prevents the development of insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC2929648  PMID: 19752148
insulin resistance; hemorrhage; glucocorticoid receptor; liver; skeletal muscle
8.  11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Regulates Glucocorticoid-Induced Insulin Resistance in Skeletal Muscle 
Diabetes  2009;58(11):2506-2515.
Glucocorticoid excess is characterized by increased adiposity, skeletal myopathy, and insulin resistance, but the precise molecular mechanisms are unknown. Within skeletal muscle, 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) converts cortisone (11-dehydrocorticosterone in rodents) to active cortisol (corticosterone in rodents). We aimed to determine the mechanisms underpinning glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and indentify how 11β-HSD1 inhibitors improve insulin sensitivity.
Rodent and human cell cultures, whole-tissue explants, and animal models were used to determine the impact of glucocorticoids and selective 11β-HSD1 inhibition upon insulin signaling and action.
Dexamethasone decreased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, decreased IRS1 mRNA and protein expression, and increased inactivating pSer307 insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1. 11β-HSD1 activity and expression were observed in human and rodent myotubes and muscle explants. Activity was predominantly oxo-reductase, generating active glucocorticoid. A1 (selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor) abolished enzyme activity and blocked the increase in pSer307 IRS1 and reduction in total IRS1 protein after treatment with 11DHC but not corticosterone. In C57Bl6/J mice, the selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor, A2, decreased fasting blood glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity. In KK mice treated with A2, skeletal muscle pSer307 IRS1 decreased and pThr308 Akt/PKB increased. In addition, A2 decreased both lipogenic and lipolytic gene expression.
Prereceptor facilitation of glucocorticoid action via 11β-HSD1 increases pSer307 IRS1 and may be crucial in mediating insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Selective 11β-HSD1 inhibition decreases pSer307 IRS1, increases pThr308 Akt/PKB, and decreases lipogenic and lipolytic gene expression that may represent an important mechanism underpinning their insulin-sensitizing action.
PMCID: PMC2768185  PMID: 19675138
9.  Effects of Cortisol and Dexamethasone on Insulin Signalling Pathways in Skeletal Muscle of the Ovine Fetus during Late Gestation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52363.
Before birth, glucocorticoids retard growth, although the extent to which this is mediated by changes in insulin signalling pathways in the skeletal muscle of the fetus is unknown. The current study determined the effects of endogenous and synthetic glucocorticoid exposure on insulin signalling proteins in skeletal muscle of fetal sheep during late gestation. Experimental manipulation of fetal plasma glucocorticoid concentration was achieved by fetal cortisol infusion and maternal dexamethasone treatment. Cortisol infusion significantly increased muscle protein levels of Akt2 and phosphorylated Akt at Ser473, and decreased protein levels of phosphorylated forms of mTOR at Ser2448 and S6K at Thr389. Muscle GLUT4 protein expression was significantly higher in fetuses whose mothers were treated with dexamethasone compared to those treated with saline. There were no significant effects of glucocorticoid exposure on muscle protein abundance of IR-β, IGF-1R, PKCζ, Akt1, calpastatin or muscle glycogen content. The present study demonstrated that components of the insulin signalling pathway in skeletal muscle of the ovine fetus are influenced differentially by naturally occurring and synthetic glucocorticoids. These findings may provide a mechanism by which elevated concentrations of endogenous glucocorticoids retard fetal growth.
PMCID: PMC3530600  PMID: 23300651
10.  Duodenal-jejunal bypass surgery does not increase skeletal muscle insulin signal transduction or glucose disposal in Goto-Kakazaki type 2 diabetic rats 
Obesity surgery  2011;21(2):10.1007/s11695-010-0304-y.
Duodenal-jejunal bypass (DJB) has been shown to reverse type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in Goto-Kakazaki (GK) rats, a rodent model of non-obese T2DM. Skeletal muscle insulin resistance is a hallmark decrement in T2DM. The aim of the current work was to investigate the effects of DJB on skeletal muscle insulin signal transduction and glucose disposal. It was hypothesized that DJB would increase skeletal muscle insulin signal transduction and glucose disposal in GK rats.
DJB was performed in GK rats. Sham operations were performed in GK and non-diabetic Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. At two weeks post-DJB, oral glucose tolerance (OGTT) was measured. At three weeks post-DJB, insulin-induced signal transduction and glucose disposal were measured in skeletal muscle.
In GK rats and compared to Sham operation, DJB did not: 1) improve fasting glucose or insulin; 2) improve OGTT; or 3) increase skeletal muscle insulin signal transduction or glucose disposal. Interestingly, skeletal muscle glucose disposal was similar between WKY-Sham, GK-Sham, and GK-DJB.
Bypassing of the proximal small intestine does not increase skeletal muscle glucose disposal. The lack of skeletal muscle insulin resistance in GK rats questions whether this animal model is adequate to investigate the etiology and treatments for T2DM. Additionally, bypassing of the foregut may lead to different findings in other animal models of T2DM as well as in T2DM patients.
PMCID: PMC3832996  PMID: 21086062
Type 2 diabetes; duodenal-jejunal bypass; skeletal muscle glucose disposal
11.  Ameliorative effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids against palmitic acid-induced insulin resistance in L6 skeletal muscle cells 
Fatty acid-induced insulin resistance and impaired glucose uptake activity in muscle cells are fundamental events in the development of type 2 diabetes and hyperglycemia. There is an increasing demand for compounds including drugs and functional foods that can prevent myocellular insulin resistance.
In this study, we established a high-throughput assay to screen for compounds that can improve myocellular insulin resistance, which was based on a previously reported non-radioisotope 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) uptake assay. Insulin-resistant muscle cells were prepared by treating rat L6 skeletal muscle cells with 750 μM palmitic acid for 14 h. Using the established assay, the impacts of several fatty acids on myocellular insulin resistance were determined.
In normal L6 cells, treatment with saturated palmitic or stearic acid alone decreased 2DG uptake, whereas unsaturated fatty acids did not. Moreover, co-treatment with oleic acid canceled the palmitic acid-induced decrease in 2DG uptake activity. Using the developed assay with palmitic acid-induced insulin-resistant L6 cells, we determined the effects of other unsaturated fatty acids. We found that arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids improved palmitic acid-decreased 2DG uptake at lower concentrations than the other unsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid, as 10 μM arachidonic acid showed similar effects to 750 μM oleic acid.
We have found that polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular arachidonic and eicosapentaenoic acids prevent palmitic acid-induced myocellular insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3342115  PMID: 22409911
Insulin resistance; Glucose uptake; L6 skeletal muscle cells; Palmitic acid; Arachidonic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid
12.  Acute exercise increases triglyceride synthesis in skeletal muscle and prevents fatty acid–induced insulin resistance 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(6):1690-1698.
Fatty acid oversupply is a key mediator of skeletal muscle insulin resistance in obesity, primarily via accumulation of fatty acid metabolites and activation of proinflammatory pathways. Herein, we demonstrate that fatty acid–induced insulin resistance in humans is completely prevented the day after 1 session of endurance exercise. Because skeletal muscle is the primary site for systemic glucose disposal and is highly susceptible to impaired insulin action by elevated fatty acid availability, we obtained skeletal muscle samples to investigate possible mechanisms mediating this protective effect of exercise. Prevention of fatty acid–induced insulin resistance after exercise accompanied enhanced skeletal muscle protein expression of key lipogenic enzymes and an increase in muscle triglyceride synthesis. Partitioning more fatty acids toward triglyceride synthesis within muscle reduced the accumulation of fatty acid metabolites and suppressed the proinflammatory response in skeletal muscle, as evidenced by decreased phosphorylation and activation of JNK and increased abundance of inhibitor of NF-κB α (IκB-α) and IκB-β. We believe this is the first study to demonstrate that 1 session of exercise completely reverses fatty acid–induced insulin resistance in humans. Reversal of insulin resistance accompanied enhanced lipogenic capacity within skeletal muscle, reduced accumulation of highly bioactive fatty acid metabolites, and suppressed activation of proinflammatory pathways known to impair insulin action.
PMCID: PMC1866251  PMID: 17510709
13.  Roles of insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction in dexamethasone-induced diabetes. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1992;90(2):497-504.
The roles of insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction in glucocorticoid-induced diabetes were determined in Wistar and Zucker (fa/fa) rats. All Wistar rats treated with 5 mg/kg per d of dexamethasone for 24 d exhibited increased beta-cell mass and basal and arginine-stimulated insulin secretion, indicating insulin resistance, but only 16% became diabetic. The insulin response to 20 mM glucose was normal in the perfused pancreas of all normoglycemic dexamethasone-treated rats but absent in every diabetic rat. Immunostainable high Km beta-cell transporter, GLUT-2, was present in approximately 100% of beta-cells of normoglycemic rats, but in only 25% of beta cells of diabetic rats. GLUT-2 mRNA was not reduced. All Zucker (fa/fa) rats treated with 0.2-0.4 mg/kg per d of dexamethasone for 24 d became diabetic and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was absent in all. High Km glucose transport in islets was 50% below nondiabetic controls. Only 25% of beta cells of diabetic rats were GLUT-2-positive compared with approximately 100% in controls. Total pancreatic GLUT-2 mRNA was increased twofold suggesting a posttranscriptional abnormality. We conclude that dexamethasone induces insulin resistance, whether or not it induces hyperglycemia. Whenever hyperglycemia is present, GLUT-2-positive beta cells are reduced, high Km glucose transport into beta cells is attenuated and the insulin response to glucose is absent.
PMCID: PMC443126  PMID: 1644920
14.  Long-Chain Fatty Acid Combustion Rate Is Associated with Unique Metabolite Profiles in Skeletal Muscle Mitochondria 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(3):e9834.
Incomplete or limited long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) combustion in skeletal muscle has been associated with insulin resistance. Signals that are responsive to shifts in LCFA β-oxidation rate or degree of intramitochondrial catabolism are hypothesized to regulate second messenger systems downstream of the insulin receptor. Recent evidence supports a causal link between mitochondrial LCFA combustion in skeletal muscle and insulin resistance. We have used unbiased metabolite profiling of mouse muscle mitochondria with the aim of identifying candidate metabolites within or effluxed from mitochondria and that are shifted with LCFA combustion rate.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Large-scale unbiased metabolomics analysis was performed using GC/TOF-MS on buffer and mitochondrial matrix fractions obtained prior to and after 20 min of palmitate catabolism (n = 7 mice/condition). Three palmitate concentrations (2, 9 and 19 µM; corresponding to low, intermediate and high oxidation rates) and 9 µM palmitate plus tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and electron transport chain inhibitors were each tested and compared to zero palmitate control incubations. Paired comparisons of the 0 and 20 min samples were made by Student's t-test. False discovery rate were estimated and Type I error rates assigned. Major metabolite groups were organic acids, amines and amino acids, free fatty acids and sugar phosphates. Palmitate oxidation was associated with unique profiles of metabolites, a subset of which correlated to palmitate oxidation rate. In particular, palmitate oxidation rate was associated with distinct changes in the levels of TCA cycle intermediates within and effluxed from mitochondria.
This proof-of-principle study establishes that large-scale metabolomics methods can be applied to organelle-level models to discover metabolite patterns reflective of LCFA combustion, which may lead to identification of molecules linking muscle fat metabolism and insulin signaling. Our results suggest that future studies should focus on the fate of effluxed TCA cycle intermediates and on mechanisms ensuring their replenishment during LCFA metabolism in skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC2844415  PMID: 20352092
Purpose of review
The purpose of this review is to discuss novel insight into mechanisms of glucocorticoid-regulated muscle wasting, in particular the role of transcription factors and nuclear cofactors. In addition, novel strategies that may become useful in the treatment or prevention of glucocorticoid-induced muscle wasting are reviewed.
Recent findings
Studies suggest that glucocorticoid-induced upregulation of the transcription factors FOXO1 and C/EBPβ and downregulation of MyoD and myogenin are involved in glucocorticoid-induced muscle wasting. In addition, glucocorticoid-induced hyperacetylation caused by increased expression of the nuclear cofactor p300 and its histone acetyl transferase activity and decreased expression and activity of histone deacetylases (HDACs) plays an important role in glucocorticoid-induced muscle proteolysis and wasting. Other mechanisms may also be involved in glucocorticoid-induced muscle wasting, including insulin resistance and store-operated calcium entry. Novel potential strategies to prevent or treat glucocorticoid-induced muscle wasting include the use of small molecule HDAC activators, dissociated glucocorticoid receptor agonists, and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 inhibitors.
An increased understanding of molecular mechanisms regulating glucocorticoid-induced muscle wasting will help develop new strategies to prevent and treat this debilitating condition.
PMCID: PMC2911625  PMID: 20473154
Muscle wasting; glucocorticoids; FOXO1; C/EBPβ; MyoD; myogenin; p300; histone deacetylases
16.  Dose and Latency Effects of Leucine Supplementation in Modulating Glucose Homeostasis: Opposite Effects in Healthy and Glucocorticoid-Induced Insulin-Resistance States 
Nutrients  2012;4(12):1851-1867.
Dexamethasone (DEXA) is a potent immunosupressant and anti-inflammatory agent whose main side effects are muscle atrophy and insulin resistance in skeletal muscles. In this context, leucine supplementation may represent a way to limit the DEXA side effects. In this study, we have investigated the effects of a low and a high dose of leucine supplementation (via a bolus) on glucose homeostasis, muscle mass and muscle strength in energy-restricted and DEXA-treated rats. Since the leucine response may also be linked to the administration of this amino acid, we performed a second set of experiments with leucine given in bolus (via gavage) versus leucine given via drinking water. Leucine supplementation was found to produce positive effects (e.g., reduced insulin levels) only when administrated in low dosage, both via the bolus or via drinking water. However, under DEXA treatment, leucine administration was found to significantly influence this response, since leucine supplementation via drinking water clearly induced a diabetic state, whereas the same effect was not observed when supplied via the gavage.
PMCID: PMC3546611  PMID: 23363994
leucine supplementation; glucose homeostasis; skeletal muscle mass
17.  Fas (CD95) expression in myeloid cells promotes obesity-induced muscle insulin resistance 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2013;6(1):43-56.
Low-grade inflammation in adipose tissue and liver has been implicated in obesity-associated insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Yet, the contribution of inflammatory cells to the pathogenesis of skeletal muscle insulin resistance remains elusive. In a large cohort of obese human individuals, blood monocyte Fas (CD95) expression correlated with systemic and skeletal muscle insulin resistance. To test a causal role for myeloid cell Fas expression in the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance, we generated myeloid/haematopoietic cell-specific Fas-depleted mice. Myeloid/haematopoietic Fas deficiency prevented the development of glucose intolerance in high fat-fed mice, in ob/ob mice, and in mice acutely challenged by LPS. In vivo, ex vivo and in vitro studies demonstrated preservation of muscle insulin responsiveness with no effect on adipose tissue or liver. Studies using neutralizing antibodies demonstrated a role for TNFα as mediator between myeloid Fas and skeletal muscle insulin resistance, supported by significant correlations between monocyte Fas expression and circulating TNFα in humans. In conclusion, our results demonstrate an unanticipated crosstalk between myeloid cells and skeletal muscle in the development of obesity-associated insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3936487  PMID: 24203314
diabetes mellitus; insulin resistance; obesity
18.  An afferent vagal nerve pathway links hepatic PPARα activation to glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance and hypertension 
Cell metabolism  2007;5(2):91-102.
Glucocorticoid excess causes insulin resistance and hypertension. Hepatic expression of PPARα (Ppara) is required for glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance. Here we demonstrate that afferent fibers of the vagus nerve interface with hepatic Ppara expression to disrupt blood pressure and glucose homeostasis in response to glucocorticoids. Selective hepatic vagotomy decreased hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hepatic insulin resistance, Ppara expression and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) enzyme activity in dexamethasone-treated Ppara+/+ mice. Selective vagotomy also decreased blood pressure, adrenergic tone, renin activity, and urinary sodium retention in these mice. Hepatic reconstitution of Ppara in nondiabetic, normotensive dexamethasone-treated Ppara null mice increased glucose, insulin, hepatic PEPCK enzyme activity, blood pressure and renin activity in sham-operated but not hepatic-vagotomized animals. Disruption of vagal afferent fibers by chemical or surgical means prevented glucocorticoid-induced metabolic derangements. We conclude that a dynamic interaction between hepatic Ppara expression and a vagal afferent pathway is essential for glucocorticoid induction of diabetes and hypertension.
PMCID: PMC1899170  PMID: 17276352
19.  Calcineurin Inhibition and New-Onset Diabetes Mellitus After Transplantation 
Transplantation  2013;95(5):10.1097/TP.0b013e31826e592e.
New-onset diabetes after transplantation independently increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, infections, and graft loss and decreases patient survival. The required balance between insulin sensitivity/resistance and insulin secretion is necessary to maintain normal glucose metabolism. Calcineurin inhibitors are standard immunosuppression drugs used after transplantation and have been implicated in the development of new-onset diabetes after transplantation partially by pancreatic β-cell apoptosis and resultant decrease in insulin secretion. The ability of muscle to take up glucose is critical to blood glucose homeostasis. Skeletal muscle is quantitatively the most important tissue in the body for insulin-stimulated glucose disposal and is composed of diverse myofibers that vary in their properties between healthy and insulin-resistant muscle. Various signaling pathways are responsible for remodeling of skeletal muscle, and among these is the calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cell pathway. The mechanism of action of the calcineurin inhibitors is to bind in a complex with a binding protein to calcineurin and inhibit its dephosphorylation and activation of nuclear factor of activated T cells. In this review, we will provide a detailed discussion of the hypothesis that inhibition of calcineurin in tissues involved in insulin sensitivity/resistance could be at least partially responsible for the diabetogenicity seen with the use of calcineurin inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3884894  PMID: 23076551
Insulin resistance; Insulin secretion; Glucose intolerance
20.  Severe Injury Is Associated With Insulin Resistance, Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response, and Unfolded Protein Response 
Annals of Surgery  2012;255(2):370-378.
We determined whether postburn hyperglycemia and insulin resistance are associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress/unfolded protein response (UPR) activation leading to impaired insulin receptor signaling.
Inflammation and cellular stress, hallmarks of severely burned and critically ill patients, have been causally linked to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes via induction of ER stress and the UPR.
Twenty severely burned pediatric patients were compared with 36 nonburned children. Clinical markers, protein, and GeneChip analysis were used to identify transcriptional changes in ER stress and UPR and insulin resistance–related signaling cascades in peripheral blood leukocytes, fat, and muscle at admission and up to 466 days postburn.
Burn-induced inflammatory and stress responses are accompanied by profound insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. Genomic and protein analysis revealed that burn injury was associated with alterations in the signaling pathways that affect insulin resistance, ER/sarcoplasmic reticulum stress, inflammation, and cell growth/apoptosis up to 466 days postburn.
Burn-induced insulin resistance is associated with persistent ER/sarcoplasmic reticulum stress/UPR and subsequent suppressed insulin receptor signaling over a prolonged period of time.
PMCID: PMC3395076  PMID: 22241293
21.  β3-adrenoceptor agonist prevents alterations of muscle diacylglycerol and adipose tissue phospholipids induced by a cafeteria diet 
Insulin resistance induced by a high fat diet has been associated with alterations in lipid content and composition in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Administration of β3-adrenoceptor (β3-AR) agonists was recently reported to prevent insulin resistance induced by a high fat diet, such as the cafeteria diet. The objective of the present study was to determine whether a selective β3-AR agonist (ZD7114) could prevent alterations of the lipid profile of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue lipids induced by a cafeteria diet.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats fed a cafeteria diet were treated orally with either the β3-AR agonist ZD7114 (1 mg/kg per day) or the vehicle for 60 days. Rats fed a chow diet were used as a reference group. In addition to the determination of body weight and insulin plasma level, lipid content and fatty acid composition in gastronemius and in epididymal adipose tissue were measured by gas-liquid chromatography, at the end of the study.
In addition to higher body weights and plasma insulin concentrations, rats fed a cafeteria diet had greater triacylglycerol (TAG) and diacylglycerol (DAG) accumulation in skeletal muscle, contrary to animals fed a chow diet. As expected, ZD7114 treatment prevented the excessive weight gain and hyperinsulinemia induced by the cafeteria diet. Furthermore, in ZD7114 treated rats, intramyocellular DAG levels were lower and the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly arachidonic acid, in adipose tissue phospholipids was higher than in animals fed a cafeteria diet.
These results show that activation of the β3-AR was able to prevent lipid alterations in muscle and adipose tissue associated with insulin resistance induced by the cafeteria diet. These changes in intramyocellular DAG levels and adipose tissue PL composition may contribute to the improved insulin sensitivity associated with β3-AR activation.
PMCID: PMC524029  PMID: 15507149
22.  Direct Comparison of the Acute In Vivo Effects of HIV Protease Inhibitors on Peripheral Glucose Disposal 
The clinical use of HIV protease inhibitors (PIs) is associated with the development of peripheral insulin resistance. The incidence and degree of impaired glucose tolerance observed in treated patients vary considerably between drugs, however. To compare the ability of HIV PIs to alter peripheral glucose disposal acutely in a genetically identical model system at therapeutically relevant drug levels, healthy lean male rats previously naive to PI exposure were given ritonavir, amprenavir, lopinavir/ritonavir (4:1), or atazanavir by continuous intravenous infusion to achieve steady state drug levels of 10 or 25 mM rapidly. Under euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp conditions, a dose-dependent reduction in the peripheral glucose disposal rate (Rd) was observed with all the PIs except atazanavir. The rank order of sensitivity was ritonavir, lopinavir, and then amprenavir. Changes in skeletal muscle and heart 2-deoxyglucose (2-DOG) uptake correlated with reductions in Rd. All 3 of these PIs also produced significant reductions in 2-DOG uptake into primary rat adipocytes in vitro. Atazanavir had no effect on glucose uptake in vitro or in vivo. The in vivo potency of PIs to impair peripheral glucose disposal acutely correlates with the degree of insulin resistance observed in HIV-infected patients receiving these drugs. Preclinical testing of novel candidate PIs in a rodent model system may be useful in identifying the future risk of altering glucose homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC1360159  PMID: 16280693
glucose clamp; adipokines; HIV protease inhibitors; glucose uptake; glucose transporter; insulin resistance; rodents
23.  The expression of TNF alpha by human muscle. Relationship to insulin resistance. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;97(4):1111-1116.
TNFalpha is orverexpressed in the adipose tissue of obese rodents and humans, and is associated with insulin resistance. To more closely link TNF expression with whole body insulin action, we examined the expression of TNF by muscle, which is responsible for the majority of glucose uptake in vivo. Using RT-PCR, TNF was detected in human heart, in skeletal muscle from humans and rats, and in cultured human myocytes. Using competitive RT-PCR, TNF was quantitated in the muscle biopsy specimens from 15 subjects whose insulin sensitivity had been characterized using the glucose clamp. technique. TNF expression in the insulin resistant subjects and the diabetic patients was fourfold higher than in the insulin sensitive subjects, and there was a significant inverse linear relationship between maximal glucose disposal rate and muscle TNF (r = -0.60, P < 0.02). In nine subjects, muscle cells from vastus lateralis muscle biopsies were placed into tissue culture for 4 wk, and induced to differentiate into myotubes. TNF was secreted into the medium from these cells, and cells from diabetic patients expressed threefold more TNF than cells from nondiabetic subjects. Thus, TNF is expressed in human muscle, and is expressed at a higher level in the muscle tissue and in the cultured muscle cells from insulin resistant and diabetic subjects. These data suggest another mechanism by which TNF may play an important role in human insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC507159  PMID: 8613535
24.  Insulin entry into muscle involves a saturable process in the vascular endothelium 
Diabetologia  2011;55(2):450-456.
Insulin's rate of entry into skeletal muscle appears to be the rate limiting step for muscle insulin action and is slowed by insulin resistance. Despite its obvious importance, uncertainty remains as to whether the transport of insulin from plasma to muscle interstitium is a passive diffusional process or a saturable transport process regulated by the insulin receptor.
To address this, here we directly measure the rate of 125I-insulin uptake by rat hindlimb muscle and examine how that is affected by adding unlabeled insulin at high concentrations. We used mono-iodinated ([125I]TyrA14)insulin and short (5 min) exposure times, combined with trichloroacetic acid precipitation, to trace intact bioactive insulin.
Compared to saline, high concentrations of unlabeled insulin delivered either continuously (insulin clamp) or as a single bolus significantly raised plasma 125I-insulin, slowed the movement of 125I-insulin from plasma into liver, spleen, and heart (p<0.05, for each) but increased kidney 125I-insulin uptake. High concentrations of unlabeled insulin delivered either continuously (insulin clamp), or as a single bolus significantly decreased skeletal muscle 125I-insulin clearance (p<0.01 for each). Increasing muscle perfusion by electrical stimulation did not prevent the inhibitory effect of unlabeled insulin on muscle 125I-insulin clearance.
This indicates that insulin's trans-endothelial movement within muscle is a saturable process likely involving the insulin receptor. Current findings, together with other recent reports, suggest that trans-endothelial insulin transport may be an important site at which muscle insulin action is modulated in clinical and pathologic settings.
PMCID: PMC3270327  PMID: 22002008
Insulin transport; muscle; insulin; trans-endothelial transport
25.  Inflammation and Insulin Resistance 
FEBS letters  2007;582(1):97-105.
Obesity-induced chronic inflammation is a key component in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and the Metabolic syndrome. In this review, we focus on the interconnection between obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance. Pro-inflammatory cytokines can cause insulin resistance in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and liver by inhibiting insulin signal transduction. The sources of cytokines in insulin resistant states are the insulin target tissue themselves, primarily fat and liver, but to a larger extent the activated tissue resident macrophages. While the initiating factors of this inflammatory response remain to be fully determined, chronic inflammation in these tissues could cause localized insulin resistance via autocrine/paracrine cytokine signaling and systemic insulin resistance via endocrine cytokine signaling all of which contribute to the abnormal metabolic state.
PMCID: PMC2246086  PMID: 18053812
Insulin resistance; inflammation; cytokines; macrophage

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