Impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) has been proposed as an etiological mechanism underlying insulin resistance. However, the initiating organ of OXPHOS dysfunction during the development of systemic insulin resistance has yet to be identified. To determine whether adipose OXPHOS deficiency plays an etiological role in systemic insulin resistance, the metabolic phenotype of mice with OXPHOS–deficient adipose tissue was examined. Crif1 is a protein required for the intramitochondrial production of mtDNA–encoded OXPHOS subunits; therefore, Crif1 haploinsufficient deficiency in mice results in a mild, but specific, failure of OXPHOS capacity in vivo. Although adipose-specific Crif1-haploinsufficient mice showed normal growth and development, they became insulin-resistant. Crif1-silenced adipocytes showed higher expression of chemokines, the expression of which is dependent upon stress kinases and antioxidant. Accordingly, examination of adipose tissue from Crif1-haploinsufficient mice revealed increased secretion of MCP1 and TNFα, as well as marked infiltration by macrophages. These findings indicate that the OXPHOS status of adipose tissue determines its metabolic and inflammatory responses, and may cause systemic inflammation and insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most challenging health problems in the 21st century. Although insulin resistance is regarded as a fundamental defect that precedes the development of type 2 diabetes, the nature and cause of insulin resistance remain unknown. Adipose tissue is an important organ that determines whole-body energy metabolism, and its dysfunction is a critical element in the development of systemic insulin resistance. Adipose mitochondrial function is suppressed in the insulin-resistant state, and increased adipose mitochondrial biogenesis is associated with the reversal of insulin resistance by a PPARγ agonist. However, despite these important observations, little is known about how mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction in white adipose tissue (WAT) causes insulin resistance. To determine whether adipose deficiency of mitochondrial respiratory capacity plays an etiological role in systemic insulin resistance, the metabolic phenotype of mice with mitochondrial OXPHOS (oxidative phosphorylation)–deficient adipose tissue was examined. Crif1 is a protein required for the translation of mtDNA–encoded OXPHOS subunits. Interestingly, mice haploinsufficient for Crif1 in adipose tissue showed reduced OXPHOS capacity and developed marked insulin resistance.
Sirtuins are NAD-dependent deacetylases that regulate important biological processes. Mammals have seven sirtuins, Sirt1-7. Four of them (Sirt4-7) have no detectable or very weak deacetylase activity. Here we found that Sirt5 is an efficient protein lysine desuccinylase and demalonylase in vitro. The preference for succinyl and malonyl groups was explained by the presence of an arginine residue (Arg105) and tyrosine residue (Tyr102) in the acyl pocket of Sirt5. Several mammalian proteins were identified to have succinyl or malonyl lysine modifications by mass spectrometry. Deletion of Sirt5 in mice appeared to increases the level of succinylation on carbamoyl phosphate synthase 1, a known target of Sirt5. Thus protein lysine succinylation may represent a posttranslational modification that can be reversed by Sirt5 in vivo.
Transcriptional coregulators control the activity of many transcription factors and are thought to have wide ranging effects on gene expression patterns. We show here that muscle-specific nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCoR1) knockout mice have rather selective phenotypic changes, characterized by enhanced exercise endurance due to an increase of both muscle mass and of mitochondrial number and activity. The activation of selected transcription factors that control muscle function, such as MEF2, PPARβ/δ and ERRs, underpinned these phenotypic alterations. NCoR1 levels are decreased in conditions that require fat oxidation resetting transcriptional programs to boost oxidative metabolism. The capacity of NCoR1 to modulate oxidative metabolism may be conserved as the knockdown of gei-8, the sole C.elegans NCoR homolog, also robustly increased muscle mitochondria and respiration. Collectively, our data suggest that NCoR1 plays an adaptive role in muscle physiology and that interference with NCoR1 action could be used to improve muscle function.
NCoR; ERR; MEF2; Muscle; Mitochondria; PPARβ/δ
The circadian clock acts at the genomic level to coordinate internal behavioral and physiologic rhythms via the CLOCK-BMAL transcriptional heterodimer. Although the nuclear receptors REV-ERBα and β have been proposed to form an accessory feedback loop that contributes to clock function1,2, their precise roles and importance remain unresolved. To establish their regulatory potential we generated comparative cistromes of both REV-ERB isoforms, which revealed shared recognition at over 50% of their total sites and extensive overlap with the master circadian regulator BMAL1. While Rev-erbα has been shown to directly regulate Bmal1 expression1,2, the cistromic analysis reveals a direct connection between Bmal1 and Rev-erbα and β regulatory circuits than previously suspected. Genes within the intersection of the BMAL1, REV-ERBα and REV-ERBβ cistromes are highly enriched for both clock and metabolic functions. As predicted by the cistromic analysis, dual depletion of Rev-erbα/β function by creating double-knockout mice (DKOs) profoundly disrupted circadian expression of core circadian clock and lipid homeostatic gene networks. As a result, DKOs show strikingly altered circadian wheel-running behavior and deregulated lipid metabolism. These data now ally Rev-erbα/β with Per, Cry and other components of the principal feedback loop that drives circadian expression and suggest a more integral mechanism for the coordination of circadian rhythm and metabolism.
Besides well-established roles of bile acids (BA) in dietary lipid absorption and cholesterol homeostasis, it has recently become clear that BA is also a biological signaling molecule. We have shown that strategies aimed at activating TGR5 by increasing the BA pool size with BA administration may constitute a significant therapeutic advance to combat the metabolic syndrome and suggest that such strategies are worth testing in a clinical setting. Bile acid binding resin (BABR) is known not only to reduce serum cholesterol levels but also to improve glucose tolerance and insulin resistance in animal models and humans. However, the mechanisms by which BABR affects glucose homeostasis have not been established. We investigated how BABR affects glycemic control in diet-induced obesity models.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated the metabolic effect of BABR by administrating colestimide to animal models for the metabolic syndrome. Administration of BABR increased energy expenditure, translating into significant weight reduction and insulin sensitization. The metabolic effects of BABR coincide with activation of cholesterol and BA synthesis in liver and thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue. Interestingly, these effects of BABR occur despite normal food intake and triglyceride absorption. Administration of BABR and BA had similar effects on BA composition and thermogenesis, suggesting that they both are mediated via TGR5 activation.
Our data hence suggest that BABR could be useful for the management of the impaired glucose tolerance of the metabolic syndrome, since they not only lower cholesterol levels, but also reduce obesity and improve insulin resistance.
Obesity-associated metabolic complications are generally considered to emerge from abnormalities in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, whereas the status of protein metabolism is not well studied. Here, we performed comparative polysome and associated transcriptional profiling analyses to study the dynamics and functional implications of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)–associated protein synthesis in the mouse liver under conditions of obesity and nutrient deprivation. We discovered that ER from livers of obese mice exhibits a general reduction in protein synthesis, and comprehensive analysis of polysome-bound transcripts revealed extensive down-regulation of protein synthesis machinery, mitochondrial components, and bile acid metabolism in the obese translatome. Nutrient availability also plays an important but distinct role in remodeling the hepatic ER translatome in lean and obese mice. Fasting in obese mice partially reversed the overall translatomic differences between lean and obese nonfasted controls, whereas fasting of the lean mice mimicked many of the translatomic changes induced by the development of obesity. The strongest examples of such regulations were the reduction in Cyp7b1 and Slco1a1, molecules involved in bile acid metabolism. Exogenous expression of either gene significantly lowered plasma glucose levels, improved hepatic steatosis, but also caused cholestasis, indicating the fine balance bile acids play in regulating metabolism and health. Together, our work defines dynamic regulation of the liver translatome by obesity and nutrient availability, and it identifies a novel role for bile acid metabolism in the pathogenesis of metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity.
Chronic diseases including obesity and associated metabolic abnormalities have become the greatest threat to human health worldwide. How metabolic organs and organelles adapt to nutritional fluctuations, or fail to do so, remains incompletely understood. To explore these issues, we developed a new platform to explore translational responses in the liver, a critical organ for metabolic homeostasis. In this translatomic platform, we integrated polysome profiling and global analysis of polysome-associated mRNAs to systematically quantify protein synthesis on each transcript in obesity and during fasting. Our analysis demonstrated for the first time that protein synthesis is progressively suppressed in the obese liver and that the overall translatome profile of obese liver markedly resembles that of fasting lean mice, particularly in mitochondrial function and bile metabolism. We also examined the physiological impact of some of these alterations and concluded that aberrant bile acid metabolism in the obese liver represents a novel mechanism contributing to hyperglycemia and continuous weight gain. Together, our work reveals abnormal translational regulation as a novel aspect of obesity that could impact future directions in metabolic disease treatment, and we believe translatome profiling represents a new approach to unravel complex mechanisms regulating cellular function and disease pathology.
Liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1), an established regulator of cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis, has recently emerged as a potential drug target for liver disease. Although LRH-1 activation may protect the liver against diet-induced steatosis and insulin resistance, little is known about how LRH-1 controls hepatic glucose and fatty acid metabolism under physiological conditions. We therefore assessed the role of LRH-1 in hepatic intermediary metabolism. In mice with conditional deletion of Lrh1 in liver, analysis of hepatic glucose fluxes revealed reduced glucokinase (GCK) and glycogen synthase fluxes as compared with those of wild-type littermates. These changes were attributed to direct transcriptional regulation of Gck by LRH-1. Impaired glucokinase-mediated glucose phosphorylation in LRH-1–deficient livers was also associated with reduced glycogen synthesis, glycolysis, and de novo lipogenesis in response to acute and prolonged glucose exposure. Accordingly, hepatic carbohydrate response element-binding protein activity was reduced in these animals. Cumulatively, these data identify LRH-1 as a key regulatory component of the hepatic glucose-sensing system required for proper integration of postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism.
The gastrointestinal tract harbors a complex and diverse microbiota that has an important role in host metabolism. Microbial diversity is influenced by a combination of environmental and host genetic factors and is associated with several polygenic diseases. In this study we combined next-generation sequencing, genetic mapping, and a set of physiological traits of the BXD mouse population to explore genetic factors that explain differences in gut microbiota and its impact on metabolic traits. Molecular profiling of the gut microbiota revealed important quantitative differences in microbial composition among BXD strains. These differences in gut microbial composition are influenced by host-genetics, which is complex and involves many loci. Linkage analysis defined Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) restricted to a particular taxon, branch or that influenced the variation of taxa across phyla. Gene expression within the gastrointestinal tract and sequence analysis of the parental genomes in the QTL regions uncovered candidate genes with potential to alter gut immunological profiles and impact the balance between gut microbial communities. A QTL region on Chr 4 that overlaps several interferon genes modulates the population of Bacteroides, and potentially Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes–the predominant BXD gut phyla. Irak4, a signaling molecule in the Toll-like receptor pathways is a candidate for the QTL on Chr15 that modulates Rikenellaceae, whereas Tgfb3, a cytokine modulating the barrier function of the intestine and tolerance to commensal bacteria, overlaps a QTL on Chr 12 that influence Prevotellaceae. Relationships between gut microflora, morphological and metabolic traits were uncovered, some potentially a result of common genetic sources of variation.
Bile acids (BAs) are amphipathic molecules that facilitate the uptake of lipids, and their levels fluctuate in the intestines as well as in the circulation depending on food intake. Besides their role in dietary lipid absorption, BAs function as signaling molecules that activate specific BA receptors and trigger downstream signaling cascades. The BA receptors and the signaling pathways they control are not only important in the regulation of BA synthesis and their metabolism, but they also regulate glucose homeostasis, lipid metabolism and energy expenditure – processes relevant in the context of the metabolic syndrome. In addition to the function of the nuclear receptor FXRα in regulating local effects of BAs in the organs of the enterohepatic axis, increasing evidence points to a crucial role of the G-protein-coupled receptor TGR5 in mediating systemic actions of BAs. Here we review the current knowledge on BA receptors, with a strong focus on the cell membrane receptor TGR5, which has emerged as a promising target for intervention in metabolic diseases.
Metabolism; Bile acids; Nuclear receptors; TGR5; G-protein-coupled receptor
Anionic exchange resins are bona fide cholesterol-lowering agents with glycemia lowering actions in diabetic patients. Potentiation of intestinal GLP-1 secretion has been proposed to contribute to the glycemia lowering effect of these non-systemic drugs. Here, we show that resin exposure enhances GLP-1 secretion and improves glycemic control in diet-induced animal models of “diabesity”, effects which are critically dependent on TGR5, a G protein-coupled receptor that is activated by bile acids. We identified the colon as a major source of GLP-1 secretion after resin treatment. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the boost in GLP-1 release by resins is due to both enhanced TGR5-dependent production of the precursor transcript of GLP-1 as well as to the local enrichment of TGR5 agonists in the colon. Thus, TGR5 represents an essential component in the pathway mediating the enhanced GLP-1 release in response to anionic exchange resins.
Sirt3 is a mitochondrial sirtuin, predominantly expressed in highly metabolic tissues. Germline ablation of Sirt3 has major metabolic consequences, including increased susceptibility to metabolic damage and oxidative stress after high fat feeding. In order to determine the contribution of liver and skeletal muscle to these phenotypes, we generated muscle-specific Sirt3 (Sirt3skm−/−) and liver-specific Sirt3 (Sirt3hep−/−) knock-out mice. Despite a marked global hyperacetylation of mitochondrial proteins, Sirt3skm−/− and Sirt3hep−/− mice did not manifest any overt metabolic phenotype under either chow or high fat diet conditions. Similarly, there was no evidence for increased oxidative stress in muscle or liver when Sirt3 was ablated in a tissue-specific manner. These observations suggest that the mitochondrial hyperacetylation induced by Sirt3-deletion in a tissue specific manner is not necessarily linked to mitochondrial dysfunction and does not recapitulate the metabolic abnormalities observed in the germline Sirt3 knock-out mice.
SIRT1 regulates energy homeostasis by controlling the acetylation status and activity of a number of enzymes and transcriptional regulators. The fact that NAD+ levels control SIRT1 activity confers a hypothetical basis for the design of new strategies to activate SIRT1 by increasing NAD+ availability. Here we show that the deletion of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) gene, encoding a major NAD+-consuming enzyme, increases NAD+ content and SIRT1 activity in brown adipose tissue and muscle. PARP-1−/− mice phenocopied many aspects of SIRT1 activation, such as a higher mitochondrial content, increased energy expenditure, and protection against metabolic disease. Also, the pharmacologic inhibition of PARP in vitro and in vivo increased NAD+ content, SIRT1 activity and enhanced oxidative metabolism. These data show how PARP-1 inhibition has strong metabolic implications through the modulation of SIRT1 activity, a property that not only could be useful in the management of metabolic diseases but also of cancer.
caloric restriction; longevity; mitochondria; NAD+; oxidative phosphorylation; peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α; poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase; SIRT1
SIRT1 is a NAD+-dependent enzyme that affects metabolism by deacetylating key transcriptional regulators of energy expenditure. Here we tested whether deletion of PARP-2, an alternative NAD+ consuming enzyme, impacts on NAD+ bioavailability and SIRT1 activity. Our results indicate that PARP-2 deficiency increases SIRT1 activity in cultured myotubes. However, this increase was not due to changes in NAD+ levels, but to an increase in SIRT1 expression, as PARP-2 acts as a direct negative regulator of the SIRT1 promoter. PARP-2 deletion in mice increases SIRT1 levels, promotes energy expenditure, and increases mitochondrial content. Furthermore, PARP-2−/− mice were protected against diet-induced obesity. Despite being insulin sensitized, PARP-2−/− mice were glucose intolerant due to a defective pancreatic function. Hence, while inhibition of PARP activity promotes oxidative metabolism through SIRT1 activation, the use of PARP inhibitors for metabolic purposes will require further understanding of the specific functions of different PARP family members.
SIRT1; poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-2 (PARP-2); peroxisome proliferator activated receptor coactivator 1α (PGC-1α); NAD+
The natural polyphenolic compound resveratrol was first discovered in the 1940s. In the recent years, this compound received renewed interest as several findings implicated resveratrol as a potent SIRT1 activator capable of mimicking the effects of calorie restriction, and regulating longevity in lower organisms. Given the worldwide increase in age-related metabolic diseases the beneficial effects of resveratrol on metabolism and healthy aging in humans are currently a topic of intense investigation.
Resveratrol; SIRT1; sirtuins; calorie restriction; aging; metabolic diseases
Aging is characterized by a general decline in cellular function, which ultimately will affect whole body homeostasis. Although DNA damage and oxidative stress all contribute to aging, metabolic dysfunction is a common hallmark of aging at least in invertebrates. Since a comprehensive overview of metabolic changes in otherwise healthy aging mammals is lacking, we here compared metabolic parameters of young and 2 year old mice. We systemically integrated in vivo phenotyping with gene expression, biochemical analysis, and metabolomics, thereby identifying a distinguishing metabolic footprint of aging. Among the affected pathways in both liver and muscle we found glucose and fatty acid metabolism, and redox homeostasis. These alterations translated in decreased long chain acylcarnitines and increased free fatty acid levels and a marked reduction in various amino acids in the plasma of aged mice. As such, these metabolites serve as biomarkers for aging and healthspan.
Sirt1 is an NAD+-dependent deacetylase that extends lifespan in lower organisms and improves metabolism and delays the onset of age-related diseases in mammals. Here we show that SRT1720, a synthetic compound that was identified for its ability to activate Sirt1 in vitro, extends both mean and maximum lifespan of adult mice fed a high-fat diet. This lifespan extension is accompanied by health benefits including reduced liver steatosis, increased insulin sensitivity, enhanced locomotor activity and normalization of gene expression profiles and markers of inflammation and apoptosis, all in the absence of any observable toxicity. Using a conditional SIRT1 knockout mouse and specific gene knockdowns we show SRT1720 affects mitochondrial respiration in a Sirt1- and PGC-1α-dependent manner. These findings indicate that SRT1720 has long-term benefits and demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of designing novel molecules that are safe and effective in promoting longevity and preventing multiple age-related diseases in mammals.
Poly(ADP-ribosyl) polymerases (PARPs) have traditionally been linked to chromosome maintenance and DNA repair. Recent findings identify PARPs as key modulators of metabolism through their influence on SIRT1 activity, hinting to a possible role of PARPs as longevity regulators.
aging; metabolism; longevity; sirtuins; PARP
Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is implicated in the regulation of mitochondrial function, energy metabolism, and insulin sensitivity in rodents. No studies are available in humans to demonstrate that SIRT1 expression in insulin-sensitive tissues is associated with energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Energy expenditure (EE), insulin sensitivity, and SIRT1 mRNA adipose tissue expression (n = 81) were measured by indirect calorimetry, hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, and quantitative RT-PCR in 247 nondiabetic offspring of type 2 diabetic patients.
High EE during the clamp (r = 0.375, P = 2.8 × 10−9) and high ΔEE (EE during the clamp − EE in the fasting state) (r = 0.602, P = 2.5 × 10−24) were associated with high insulin sensitivity. Adipose tissue SIRT1 mRNA expression was significantly associated with EE (r = 0.289, P = 0.010) and with insulin sensitivity (r = 0.334, P = 0.002) during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Furthermore, SIRT1 mRNA expression correlated significantly with the expression of several genes regulating mitochondrial function and energy metabolism (e.g., peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ coactivator-1β, estrogen-related receptor α, nuclear respiratory factor-1, and mitochondrial transcription factor A), and with several genes of the respiratory chain (e.g., including NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] 1α subcomplex 2, cytochrome c, cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV, and ATP synthase).
Impaired stimulation of EE by insulin and low SIRT1 expression in insulin-sensitive tissues is likely to reflect impaired regulation of mitochondrial function associated with insulin resistance in humans.
Obesity is associated with a chronic low-grade inflammation that predisposes to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes. In this metabolic context, gastrointestinal (GI) candidiasis is common. We recently demonstrated that the PPARγ ligand rosiglitazone promotes the clearance of Candida albicans through the activation of alternative M2 macrophage polarization. Here, we evaluated the impact of high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and the effect of rosiglitazone (PPARγ ligand) or WY14643 (PPARα ligand) both on the phenotypic M1/M2 polarization of peritoneal and cecal tissue macrophages and on the outcome of GI candidiasis. We demonstrated that the peritoneal macrophages and the cell types present in the cecal tissue from HF fed mice present a M2b polarization (TNF-αhigh, IL-10high, MR, Dectin-1). Interestingly, rosiglitazone induces a phenotypic M2b-to-M2a (TNF-αlow, IL-10low, MRhigh, Dectin-1high) switch of peritoneal macrophages and of the cells present in the cecal tissue. The incapacity of WY14643 to switch this polarization toward M2a state, strongly suggests the specific involvement of PPARγ in this mechanism. We showed that in insulin resistant mice, M2b polarization of macrophages present on the site of infection is associated with an increased susceptibility to GI candidiasis, whereas M2a polarization after rosiglitazone treatment favours the GI fungal elimination independently of reduced blood glucose. In conclusion, our data demonstrate a dual benefit of PPARγ ligands because they promote mucosal defence mechanisms against GI candidiasis through M2a macrophage polarization while regulating blood glucose level.
TGR5 is a G-protein coupled receptor expressed in brown adipose tissue and muscle where its activation by bile acids triggers an increase in energy expenditure and attenuates diet-induced obesity. Using a combination of pharmacological and genetic gain- and loss-of function studies in vivo, we show here that TGR5 signaling induces intestinal glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) release, leading to improved liver and pancreatic function and enhanced glucose tolerance in obese mice. In addition, we show that the induction of GLP-1 release in enteroendocrine cells by 6α-ethyl-23(S)-methyl-cholic acid (EMCA, INT-777), a specific TGR5 agonist, is linked to an increase of the intracellular ATP/ADP ratio and a subsequent rise in intracellular calcium mobilization. Altogether, these data show that the TGR5 signaling pathway is critical in regulating intestinal GLP-1 secretion in vivo and suggest that pharmacological targeting of TGR5 may constitute a promising incretin-based strategy for the treatment of diabesity and associated metabolic disorders.
Bile acids; G-protein-coupled receptor; GPR131; TGR5; glucagon-like peptide 1; energy homeostasis; insulin sensitivity; diabesity; Type 2 Diabetes; metabolic disorders
The modulation of energetic homeostasis by pollutants has recently emerged as a potential contributor to the onset of metabolic disorders. Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is a widely used industrial plasticizer to which humans are widely exposed. Phthalates can activate the three peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR) isotypes on cellular models and induce peroxisome proliferation in rodents.
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the systemic and metabolic consequences of DEHP exposure that have remained so far unexplored and to characterize the underlying molecular mechanisms of action.
As a proof of concept and mechanism, genetically engineered mouse models of PPARs were exposed to high doses of DEHP, followed by metabolic and molecular analyses.
DEHP-treated mice were protected from diet-induced obesity via PPARα-dependent activation of hepatic fatty acid catabolism, whereas the activity of neither PPARβ nor PPARγ was affected. However, the lean phenotype observed in response to DEHP in wild-type mice was surprisingly abolished in PPARα-humanized mice. These species differences are associated with a different pattern of coregulator recruitment.
These results demonstrate that DEHP exerts species-specific metabolic actions that rely to a large extent on PPARα signaling and highlight the metabolic importance of the species-specific activation of PPARα by xenobiotic compounds.
DEHP; endocrine disruptor; metabolism; PPAR; species specificity
We recently showed that IL-13 or peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ) ligands attenuate Candida albicans colonization of the gastrointestinal tract. Here, using a macrophage-specific Dectin-1 deficient mice model, we demonstrate that Dectin-1 is essential to control fungal gastrointestinal infection by PPARγ ligands. We also show that the phagocytosis of yeast and the release of reactive oxygen intermediates in response to Candida albicans challenge are impaired in macrophages from Dectin-1 deficient mice treated with PPARγ ligands or IL-13. Although the Mannose Receptor is not sufficient to trigger antifungal functions during the alternative activation of macrophages, our data establish the involvement of the Mannose Receptor in the initial recognition of non-opsonized Candida albicans by macrophages. We also demonstrate for the first time that the modulation of Dectin-1 expression by IL-13 involves the PPARγ signaling pathway. These findings are consistent with a crucial role for PPARγ in the alternative activation of macrophages by Th2 cytokines. Altogether these data suggest that PPARγ ligands may be of therapeutic value in esophageal and gastrointestinal candidiasis in patients severely immunocompromised or with metabolic diseases in whom the prevalence of candidiasis is considerable.
Since the early 1980s, Candida albicans has emerged as major cause of human disease, especially among immunocompromised individuals and those with metabolic dysfunction. The main host defense mechanisms against this yeast are engulfment and the production of reactive oxygen molecules by macrophages through Dectin-1 and the Mannose Receptor, two macrophage receptors for Candida albicans cell wall sugars. However, the contribution of these two receptors remains unclear. In our animal experiments, the lack of Dectin-1 in macrophages renders the animals more susceptible to gastrointestinal infection with Candida albicans, demonstrating the essential role of Dectin-1 in antifungal defense. In addition, our experiments established that the interaction between Dectin-1 and Mannose Receptor is important to orchestrate the host antifungal defense. Thus, Candida albicans clearance would be improved by Dectin-1 and Mannose Receptor up-regulation. Interestingly, we had established that the expression of these two receptors was increased by IL-13 through the activation of the nuclear receptor PPARγ, suggesting that PPARγ could be a therapeutic target to eliminate fungal infection. This paper, which highlights a new area of application of PPARγ ligands in infectious diseases, hence heralds the emergence of a new therapeutic strategy against fungal infection in severely immunocompromised patients or those with metabolic diseases.
Aging involves a progressive physiological remodeling that is controlled by both genetic and environmental factors. Many of these factors impact also on white adipose tissue (WAT), which has been shown to be a determinant of lifespan. Interrogating a transcriptional network for predicted causal regulatory interactions in a collection of mouse WAT from F2 crosses with a seed set of 60 known longevity genes, we identified a novel transcriptional subnetwork of 742 genes which represent thus-far-unknown longevity genes. Within this subnetwork, one gene was Pparg (Nr1c3), an adipose-enriched nuclear receptor previously not associated with longevity. In silico, both the PPAR signaling pathway and the transcriptional signature of Pparγ agonist rosiglitazone overlapped with the longevity subnetwork, while in vivo, lowered expression of Pparg reduced lifespan in both the lipodystrophic Pparg1/2-hypomorphic and the Pparg2-deficient mice. These results establish Pparγ2 as one of the determinants of longevity and suggest that lifespan may be rather determined by a purposeful genetic program than a random process.
The progression of aging is controlled by both genetic and environmental factors. Many of these factors are present also in adipose tissue, which itself has been shown to determine lifespan. Applying advanced bioinformatics methods on a large mouse gene expression data set, we identified Pparg (Nr1c3), an important metabolic controller that regulates the expression of many other genes particularly in adipose tissue, to be associated with longevity. This association was verified in experimental mouse models where the lowered expression of Pparg reduced lifespan. In addition to Pparg, our analysis identified >700 potential novel aging genes in mouse adipose tissue. More generally, these findings suggest that lifespan may not be a random process but controlled by a purposeful genetic program.
Studies in rodents have shown that male sexual function can be disrupted by fetal or neonatal administration of compounds that alter endocrine homeostasis, such as the synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES). Although the molecular basis for this effect remains unknown, estrogen receptors likely play a critical role in mediating DES-induced infertility. Recently, we showed that the orphan nuclear receptor small heterodimer partner (Nr0b2), which is both a target gene and a transcriptional repressor of estrogen receptors, controls testicular function by regulating germ cell entry into meiosis and testosterone synthesis. We therefore hypothesized that some of the harmful effects of DES on testes could be mediated through Nr0b2. Here, we present data demonstrating that Nr0b2 deficiency protected mice against the negative effects of DES on testis development and function. During postnatal development, Nr0b2-null mice were resistant to DES-mediated inhibition of germ cell differentiation, which may be the result of interference by Nr0b2 with retinoid signals that control meiosis. Adult Nr0b2-null male mice were also protected against the effects of DES; however, we suggest that this phenomenon was due to the removal of the repressive effects of Nr0b2 on steroidogenesis. Together, these data demonstrate that Nr0b2 plays a critical role in the pathophysiological changes induced by DES in the mouse testis.