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1.  Severe diabetes, age-dependent loss of adipose tissue, and mild growth deficiency in mice lacking Akt2/PKBβ 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2003;112(2):197-208.
The serine/threonine kinase Akt/PKB plays key roles in the regulation of cell growth, survival, and metabolism. It remains unclear, however, whether the functions of individual Akt/PKB isoforms are distinct. To investigate the function of Akt2/PKBβ, mice lacking this isoform were generated. Both male and female Akt2/PKBβ-null mice exhibit mild growth deficiency and an age-dependent loss of adipose tissue or lipoatrophy, with all observed adipose depots dramatically reduced by 22 weeks of age. Akt2/PKBβ-deficient mice are insulin resistant with elevated plasma triglycerides. In addition, Akt2/PKBβ-deficient mice exhibit fed and fasting hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, and impaired muscle glucose uptake. In males, insulin resistance progresses to a severe form of diabetes accompanied by pancreatic β cell failure. In contrast, female Akt2/PKBβ-deficient mice remain mildly hyperglycemic and hyperinsulinemic until at least one year of age. Thus, Akt2/PKBβ-deficient mice exhibit growth deficiency similar to that reported previously for mice lacking Akt1/PKBα, indicating that both Akt2/PKBβ and Akt1/PKBα participate in the regulation of growth. The marked hyperglycemia and loss of pancreatic β cells and adipose tissue in Akt2/PKBβ-deficient mice suggest that Akt2/PKBβ plays critical roles in glucose metabolism and the development or maintenance of proper adipose tissue and islet mass for which other Akt/PKB isoforms are unable to fully compensate.
doi:10.1172/JCI200316885
PMCID: PMC164287  PMID: 12843127
2.  The role of prostaglandin E2 receptors in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis 
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder leading to bone and cartilage destruction. A substantial body of evidence suggests that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) contributes to the pathogenesis of RA, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, inhibitors of the synthesis of PGE2 and other prostanoids, continue to be used in the treatment of this disease. To begin to understand the mechanism by which prostaglandins modulate the pathophysiology of this disease, we examined mice lacking each of the four known PGE2 (EP) receptors after generation of collagen antibody–induced arthritis, an animal model of RA. Homozygous deletion of the EP1, EP2, or EP3 receptors did not affect the development of arthritis, whereas EP4 receptor–deficient mice showed decreased incidence and severity of disease. These animals also showed reduced inflammation as assessed by circulating IL-6 and serum amyloid A levels. Joint histopathology of EP4–/– animals revealed reduced bone destruction, proteoglycan loss, and type II collagen breakdown in cartilage compared with EP4+/+ mice. Furthermore, liver and macrophages isolated from EP4–/– animals produced significantly less IL-1β and IL-6 than control samples. Thus, PGE2 contributes to disease progression at least in part by binding to the EP4 receptor. Antagonists of this receptor might therefore provide novel agents for the treatment of RA.
doi:10.1172/JCI15528
PMCID: PMC151107  PMID: 12208866

Results 1-2 (2)