Leptin, an adipocyte-secreted hormone that centrally regulates weight control, may exert proinflammatory effects in the joint, depending on the immune response. Leptin is abundantly expressed in osteoarthritis (OA) cartilage and synovium. However, the relationship between leptin and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in OA synovial fibroblasts (OASFs) remains obscure.
Stimulation of OASFs with leptin induced IL-6 expression in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. OASFs expressed the long (OBRl) and short (OBRs) isoforms of the leptin receptor. However, OBRl, but not OBRs, antisense oligonucleotide (AS-ODN) abolished the leptin-mediated increase of IL-6 expression. Transfection with insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 siRNA decreased leptin-induced IL-6 production. In addition, pretreatment of cells with PI3K, Akt, or AP-1 inhibitor also inhibited the potentiating action of leptin. Leptin-induced AP-1 activation was inhibited by OBRl, IRS-1, PI3K, or Akt inhibitors and siRNAs.
Our results showed that leptin activates the OBRl receptor, which in turn activates IRS-1, PI3K, Akt, and AP-1 pathway, leading to up-regulation of IL-6 expression.
Hyaluronan (HA) and its receptor CD44 are expressed at the maternal-fetal interface, but its role in early pregnancy remains unclear. Here, we found that primary decidual stromal cells (DSCs) continuously secreted HA and expressed its receptor CD44. Pregnancy-associated hormones up-regulated HA synthetase (HAS) 2 transcription and HA release from DSCs. High molecular weight-HA (HMW-HA), but not medium molecular weight (MMW-HA) or low molecular weight (LMW-HA), promoted proliferation and inhibited apoptosis of DSCs in a CD44-dependent manner. The in-cell Western analysis revealed HMW-HA activated PI3K/AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK1/2 signaling pathways time-dependently. Blocking these pathways by specific inhibitor LY294002 or U0126 abrogated HMW-HA-regulated DSc proliferation and apoptosis. Finally, we have found that HA content, HA molecular weight, HAS2 mRNA level, and CD44 expression were significantly decreased in DSCs from unexplained miscarriage compared with the normal pregnancy. Collectively, our results indicate that higher level and greater molecular mass of HA at maternal-fetal interface contributes to DSc growth and maintenance of DSCs in human early pregnancy.
The present study aimed to examine the effects of thyroid hormone (TH), more precisely triiodothyronine (T3), on the modulation of leptin mRNA expression and the involvement of the phosphatidyl inositol 3 kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway in adipocytes, 3T3-L1, cell culture. We examined the involvement of this pathway in mediating TH effects by treating 3T3-L1 adipocytes with physiological (P=10nM) or supraphysiological (SI=100 nM) T3 dose during one hour (short time), in the absence or the presence of PI3K inhibitor (LY294002). The absence of any treatment was considered the control group (C). RT-qPCR was used for mRNA expression analyzes. For data analyzes ANOVA complemented with Tukey’s test was used at 5% significance. T3 increased leptin mRNA expression in P (2.26 ± 0.36, p< 0.001), SI (1.99 ±0.22, p< 0.01) compared to C group (1± 0.18). This increase was completely abrogated by LY294002 in P (1.31±0.05, p< 0.001) and SI (1.33±0.31, p< 0.05). Western blotting confirmed these results at protein level, indicating the PI3K pathway dependency. To examine whether leptin is directly induced by T3, we used the translation inhibitor cycloheximide (CHX). In P, the presence of CHX maintained the levels mRNA leptin, but was completely abrogated in SI (1.14±0.09, p> 0.001). These results demonstrate that the activation of the PI3K signaling pathway has a role in TH-mediated direct and indirect leptin gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
Adipose tissue expressed endogenous cystathionine gamma lyase (CSE)/hydrogen sulfide (H2S) system. H2S precursor inhibited catecholamine stimulated lipolysis. Thus, we hypothesized that CSE/H2S system regulates lipolysis which contributed to the pathogenesis of insulin resistance.
We treated rat adipocyte with DL-propargylglycine (PAG, a CSE inhibitor), L-cysteine (an H2S precursor) plus pyridoxial phosphate (co-enzyme) or the H2S chronic release donor GYY4137, then the glycerol level was assayed for assessing the lipolysis. Then, the effects of PAG and GYY4137 on insulin resistance in high fatty diet (HFD) induced obese mice were investigated.
Here, we found that PAG time-dependently increased basal or isoproterenol stimulated lipolysis. However, L-cysteine plus pyridoxial phosphate or GYY4137 significantly reduced it. PAG increased phosphorylated protein kinase A substrate, perilipin 1 and hormone sensitive lipase, but L-cysteine and GYY4137 decreased the parameters. In HFD induced obese mice, PAG increased adipose basal lipolysis, thus blunted fat mass increase, resulting in lowering insulin resistance evidenced by reduction of fasting glucose, insulin level, HOMA index, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) curve area and elevating the insulin tolerance test (ITT) response. GYY4137 inhibited lipolysis in vivo without increasing fat mass, but also ameliorated the insulin resistance in HFD mice.
These results implicated that inhibition endogenous CSE/H2S system in adipocytes increased lipolysis by a protein kinase A-perilipin/hormone-sensitive lipase pathway, thus blunted fat mass increase and reduced insulin resistance in obese mice; giving H2S donor decreased lipolysis, also reduced insulin resistance induced by HFD. Our data showed that increase or decrease H2S induced opposite lipolysis, but had the same effect on insulin resistance. The paradoxical regulation may be resulted from different action of H2S on metabolic and endocrine function in adipocyte.
The placental hormone leptin has important functions in fetal and neonatal growth, and prevents depressed respiration in leptin-deficient mice. The effect of leptin on respiratory distress suffered by low birth weight and premature infants has been studied. However, it is unclear how leptin enhances lung maturity in the fetus and ameliorates neonatal respiratory distress. In the present study, we found that antenatal treatment with leptin for 2 d significantly enhanced the relative alveolus area and improved the maturity of fetal lungs in a rat model of fetal growth restriction (FGR). Mean birth weight and lung wet weight were higher in the leptin-treated group than in the PBS-treated group, indicating promotion of fetal growth. Leptin upregulated the intracellular expression and extracellular secretion of surfactant protein (SP) A in type-II alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) in vivo and in vitro. Dual positive effects of leptin were found on protein expression and transcriptional activity of thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1), a nuclear transcription essential for branching morphogenesis of the lung and expression of SP-A in type-II AECs. Knockdown of TTF-1 by RNA interference indicated that TTF-1 may play a vital role in leptin-induced SP-A expression. These results suggest that leptin may have great therapeutic potential for the treatment of FGR, and leptin-mediated SP-A induction and lung maturity of the fetus are TTF-1 dependent.
To investigate the role of HLA-B27 expression in the regulation of RNA binding protein (RBP) Embryonic Lethal Abnormal Vision (ELAV) L1/Human antigen R (HuR) expression in Salmonella-infected or LPS-stimulated human monocytic cells, since HuR is a critical regulator of the post-transcriptional fate of many genes (e.g. TNFα) important in inflammatory response.
U937 monocytic cells were stably transfected with pSV2neo resistant vector (mock), wild type HLA–B27, or mutated HLA–B27 with amino acid substitutions in the B pocket. Cells were differentiated, infected with Salmonella enteritidis or stimulated with lipopolysaccharide. The expression levels of HuR protein and cleavage products (CP1 and CP2) were detected by Western blotting and flow cytometry. Specific inhibitors were used to study the role of PKR and p38 in HuR expression and generation of CPs. TNFα and IL-10 secretion after p38 and PKR inhibition were measured by ELISA.
Full length HuR is overexpressed and HuR cleavage is disturbed in U937 monocytic cells expressing HLA-B27 heavy chains (HC). Increased full length HuR expression, disturbed cleavage and reduced dependence on PKR after infection correlate with the expression of glutamic acid 45 in the B pocket that is linked to the misfolding of HLA-B27.
Results show that the expression of HLA-B27 HCs modulates the intracellular environment of U937 monocyte/macrophages by altering HuR regulation. This phenomenon is at least partly dependent on the misfolding feature of the B27 molecule. Since HuR is an important regulator of multiple genes involved in inflammatory response observations offer an explanation how HLA-B27 may modulate inflammatory response.
There are no data on the metabolic consequences of post-term birth (≥42 weeks gestation). We hypothesized that post-term birth would adversely affect insulin sensitivity, as well as other metabolic parameters and body composition in childhood.
77 healthy pre-pubertal children, born appropriate-for-gestational-age were studied in Auckland, New Zealand: 36 born post-term (18 boys) and 41 (27 boys) born at term (38–40 weeks gestation). Primary outcome was insulin sensitivity measured using intravenous glucose tolerance tests and Bergman’s minimal model. Other assessments included fasting hormone concentrations and lipid profiles, body composition from whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and inflammatory markers.
Insulin sensitivity was 34% lower in post-term than in term children (7.7 vs. 11.6 x10-4·min-1·(mU/l); p<0.0001). There was a compensatory increase in acute insulin response among post-term children (418 vs 304 mU/l; p=0.037), who also displayed lower glucose effectiveness than those born at term (2.25 vs 3.11 x10-2·min-1; p=0.047). Post-term children not only had more body fat (p=0.014) and less fat-free mass (p=0.014), but also had increased central adiposity with more truncal fat (p=0.017) and greater android to gynoid fat ratio (p=0.007) compared to term controls. Further, post-term children displayed other markers of the metabolic syndrome: lower normal nocturnal systolic blood pressure dipping (p=0.027), lower adiponectin concentrations (p=0.005), as well as higher leptin (p=0.008) and uric acid (p=0.033) concentrations. Post-term boys (but not girls) also displayed a less favourable lipid profile, with higher total cholesterol (p=0.018) and LDL-C (p=0.006) concentrations, and total cholesterol to HDL-C ratio (p=0.048).
Post-term children have reduced insulin sensitivity and display a number of early markers of the metabolic syndrome. These findings could have important implications for the management of prolonged pregnancies. Future studies need to examine potential impacts later in life, as well as possible underlying mechanisms.
Maternal and pediatric obesity has risen dramatically over recent years, and is a known predictor of adverse long-term metabolic outcomes in offspring. However, which particular aspects of obese pregnancy promote such outcomes is less clear. While maternal obesity increases both maternal and placental inflammation, it is still unknown whether this is a dominant mechanism in fetal metabolic programming. In this study, we utilized the Fat-1 transgenic mouse to test whether increasing the maternal n-3/n-6 tissue fatty acid ratio could reduce the consequences of maternal obesity-associated inflammation and thereby mitigate downstream developmental programming. Eight-week-old WT or hemizygous Fat-1 C57BL/6J female mice were placed on a high-fat diet (HFD) or control diet (CD) for 8 weeks prior to mating with WT chow-fed males. Only WT offspring from Fat-1 mothers were analyzed. WT-HFD mothers demonstrated increased markers of infiltrating adipose tissue macrophages (P<0.02), and a striking increase in 12 serum pro-inflammatory cytokines (P<0.05), while Fat1-HFD mothers remained similar to WT-CD mothers, despite equal weight gain. E18.5 Fetuses from WT-HFD mothers had larger placentas (P<0.02), as well as increased placenta and fetal liver TG deposition (P<0.01 and P<0.02, respectively) and increased placental LPL TG-hydrolase activity (P<0.02), which correlated with degree of maternal insulin resistance (r = 0.59, P<0.02). The placentas and fetal livers from Fat1-HFD mothers were protected from this excess placental growth and fetal-placental lipid deposition. Importantly, maternal protection from excess inflammation corresponded with improved metabolic outcomes in adult WT offspring. While the offspring from WT-HFD mothers weaned onto CD demonstrated increased weight gain (P<0.05), body and liver fat (P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively), and whole body insulin resistance (P<0.05), these were prevented in WT offspring from Fat1-HFD mothers. Our results suggest that reducing excess maternal inflammation may be a promising target for preventing adverse fetal metabolic outcomes in pregnancies complicated by maternal obesity.
Insulin is known to regulate multiple cellular functions and is used for the treatment of diabetes. MicroRNAs have been demonstrated to be involved in many human diseases, including Type 2 diabetes. In this study, we showed that insulin decreased miR-99a expression levels, but induced glucose consumption and lactate production, and increased the expression of mTOR, HIF-1α and PKM2 in HepG2 and HL7702 cells. Forced expression of miR-99a or rapamycin treatment blocked insulin-induced PKM2 and HIF-1α expression, and glucose consumption and lactate production. Meanwhile, knockdown of HIF-1α inhibited PKM2 expression and insulin-induced glucose consumption. Taken together, these findings will reveal the role and mechanism ofinsulin in regulating glycolytic activities via miR-99a/mTOR.
Circulating Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21) levels are increased in insulin resistant states such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). In addition, GDM is associated with serious maternal and fetal complications. We sought to study human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and corresponding circulating FGF21 levels in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and in age and BMI matched control subjects. We also assessed FGF21 secretion from GDM and control human placental explants.
CSF and corresponding plasma FGF21 levels of 24 women were measured by ELISA [12 GDM (age: 26–47 years, BMI: 24.3–36.3 kg/m2) and 12 controls (age: 22–40 years, BMI: 30.1–37.0 kg/m2)]. FGF21 levels in conditioned media were secretion from GDM and control human placental explants were also measured by ELISA.
Glucose, HOMA-IR and circulating NEFA levels were significantly higher in women with GDM compared to control subjects. Plasma FGF21 levels were significantly higher in women with GDM compared to control subjects [234.3 (150.2–352.7) vs. 115.5 (60.5–188.7) pg/ml; P<0.05]. However, there was no significant difference in CSF FGF21 levels in women with GDM compared to control subjects. Interestingly, CSF/Plasma FGF21 ratio was significantly lower in women with GDM compared to control subjects [0.4 (0.3–0.6) vs. 0.8 (0.5–1.6); P<0.05]. FGF21 secretion into conditioned media was significantly lower in human placental explants from women with GDM compared to control subjects (P<0.05).
The central actions of FGF21 in GDM subjects maybe pivotal in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in GDM subjects. The significance of FGF21 produced by the placenta remains uncharted and maybe crucial in our understanding of the patho-physiology of GDM and its associated maternal and fetal complications. Future research should seek to elucidate these points.
CD69 is a transmembrane lectin that can be expressed on most hematopoietic cells. In monocytes, it has been functionally linked to the 5-lipoxygenase pathway in which the leukotrienes, a class of highly potent inflammatory mediators, are produced. However, regarding CD69 gene expression and its regulatory mechanisms in monocytes, only scarce data are available. Here, we report that CD69 mRNA expression, analogous to that of 5-lipoxygenase, is induced by the physiologic stimuli transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3) in monocytic cells. Comparison with T- and B-cell lines showed that the effect was specific for monocytes. CD69 expression levels were increased in a concentration-dependent manner, and kinetic analysis revealed a rapid onset of mRNA expression, indicating that CD69 is a primary TGF-β/1α,25(OH)2D3 target gene. PCR analysis of different regions of the CD69 mRNA revealed that de novo transcription was initiated and proximal and distal parts were induced concomitantly. In common with 5-lipoxygenase, no activation of 0.7 kb or ∼2.3 kb promoter fragments by TGF-β and 1α,25(OH)2D3 could be observed in transient reporter assays for CD69. Analysis of mRNA stability using a transcription inhibitor and a 3′UTR reporter construct showed that TGF-β and 1α,25(OH)2D3 do not influence CD69 mRNA stability. Functional knockdown of Smad3 clearly demonstrated that upregulation of CD69 mRNA, in contrast to 5-LO, depends on Smad3. Comparative studies with different inhibitors for mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) revealed that MAPK signalling is involved in CD69 gene regulation, whereas 5-lipoxygenase gene expression was only partly affected. Mechanistically, we found evidence that CD69 gene upregulation depends on TAK1-mediated p38 activation. In summary, our data indicate that CD69 gene expression, conforming with 5-lipoxygenase, is regulated monocyte-specifically by the physiologic stimuli TGF-β and 1α,25(OH)2D3 on mRNA level, although different mechanisms account for the upregulation of each gene.
Genes involved in invasion of trophoblast cells and angiogenesis are crucial in determining pregnancy outcome. We therefore studied expression profiles of these genes in both fetal and maternal tissues to enhance our understanding of feto-maternal dialogue. We investigated the expression of genes involved in trophoblast invasion, namely Kiss1, Kiss1 Receptor (Kiss1R) and MMP9 as well as the expression of angiogenic ligands Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) and Prokineticin-1 (PROK1) and their respective receptors (VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and PROK1R) across the feto-maternal interface of healthy human pregnancies. The placenta, placental bed and decidua parietalis were sampled at elective caesarean delivery. Real-time RT-PCR was used to investigate transcription, while immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses were utilized to study protein expression. We found that the expression of Kiss1 (p<0.001), Kiss1R (p<0.05) and MMP9 (p<0.01) were higher in the placenta compared to the placental bed and decidua parietalis. In contrast, the expression of VEGF-A was highest in the placental bed (p<0.001). While VEGFR1 expression was highest in the placenta (p<0.01), the expression of VEGFR2 was highest in the placental bed (p<0.001). Lastly, both PROK1 (p<0.001) and its receptor PROK1R (p<0.001) had highest expression in the placenta. Genes associated with trophoblast invasion were highly expressed in the placenta which could suggest that the influence on invasion capacity may largely be exercised at the fetal level. Furthermore, our findings on angiogenic gene expression profiles suggest that angiogenesis may be regulated by two distinct pathways with the PROK1/PROK1R system specifically mediating angiogenesis in the fetus and VEGFA/VEGFR2 ligand-receptor pair predominantly mediating maternal angiogenesis.
We have recently described the presence of the erythropoietin receptor (EPO-R) on CD4+ lymphocytes and demonstrated that its expression increases during their activation, reaching a level reported to be typical for erythroid progenitors. This observation suggests that EPO-R expression is modulated during lymphocyte activation, which may be important for the cells’ function. Here we investigated whether the expression of GATA1, GATA3 and Sp1 transcription factors is correlated with the expression of EPO-R in human CD4+ lymphocytes stimulated with monoclonal anti-CD3 antibody. The expression of GATA1, GATA3 and Sp1 transcription factors in CD4+ cells was estimated before and after stimulation with anti-CD3 antibody by Western Blot and flow cytometry. The expression of EPO-R was measured using real-time PCR and flow cytometry. There was no change in the expression of GATA1 and GATA3 in CD4+ lymphocytes after stimulation with anti-CD3 antibody. However, stimulation resulted in the significantly increased expression of the Sp1 factor. CD4+ lymphocytes stimulated with anti-CD3 antibody exhibited an increase in both the expression level of EPOR gene and the number of EPO-R molecules on the cells’ surface, the latter being significantly correlated with the increased expression of Sp1. Sp1 is noted to be the single transcription factor among the ones studied whose level changes as a result of CD4+ lymphocyte stimulation. It seems that Sp1 may significantly affect the number of EPO-R molecules present on the surface of activated CD4+ lymphocytes.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) on fetal insulin resistance or β-cell function in Chinese pregnant women with GDM.
Maternal fasting blood and venous cord blood samples (reflecting fetal condition) were collected in 65 well-controlled Chinese GDM mothers (only given dietary intervention) and 83 control subjects. The insulin, glucose and proinsulin concentrations of both maternal and cord blood samples were measured, and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and the proinsulin-to-insulin ratios (an indicator of fetal β-cell function) were calculated in maternal and cord blood respectively.
Both maternal and fetal levels of insulin, proinsulin and HOMA-IR but not proinsulin-to-insulin ratios were significantly higher in the GDM group than in the control group (maternal insulin, 24.8 vs. 15.4 µU/mL, P = 0.004, proinsulin, 23.3 vs. 16.2 pmol/L, P = 0.005, and HOMA-IR, 5.5 vs. 3.5, P = 0.041, respectively; fetal: insulin, 15.1 vs. 7.9 µU/mL, P<0.001, proinsulin, 25.8 vs. 15.1 pmol/L, P = 0.015, and HOMA-IR, 2.8 vs. 1.4, P = 0.017, respectively). Fetal HOMA-IR but not proinsulin-to-insulin ratios was significantly correlated to maternal HOMA-IR (r = 0.307, P = 0.019), in the pregnant women with GDM.
Fetal insulin resistance was higher in Chinese pregnant women with GDM than control subjects, and correlated with maternal insulin resistance.
A2A adenosine receptors (ARs) play a key role in the inhibition of the inflammatory process. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the modulation of A2AARs in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients after different pharmacological treatments and to investigate the effect of A2AAR stimulation in a rat model of arthritis. We investigated A2AAR density and functionality in RA progression by using a longitudinal study in RA patients before and after methotrexate (MTX), anti-TNFα agents or rituximab treatments. A2AARs were analyzed by saturation binding assays in lymphocytes from RA patients throughout the 24-month study timeframe. In an adjuvant-induced arthritis model in rats we showed the efficacy of the A2AAR agonist, CGS 21680 in comparison with standard therapies by means of paw volume assessment, radiographic and ultrasonographic imaging. Arthritic-associated pain was investigated in mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia tests. IL-10 release following A2AAR stimulation in lymphocytes from RA patients and in serum from arthritic rats was measured. In lymphocytes obtained from RA patients, the A2AAR up-regulation was gradually reduced in function of the treatment time and the stimulation of these receptors mediated a significant increase of IL-10 production. In the same cells, CGS 21680 did not affected cell viability and did not produced cytotoxic effects. The A2AAR agonist CGS 21680 was highly effective, as suggested by the marked reduction of clinical signs, in rat adjuvant-induced arthritis and associated pain. This study highlighted that A2AAR agonists represent a physiological-like therapeutic alternative for RA treatment as suggested by the anti-inflammatory role of A2AARs in lymphocytes from RA patients. The effectiveness of A2AAR stimulation in a rat model of arthritis supported the role of A2AAR agonists as potential pharmacological treatment for RA.
Hydrogen (H2) acts as a therapeutic antioxidant. However, there are few reports on H2 function in other capacities in diabetes mellitus (DM). Therefore, in this study, we investigated the role of H2 in glucose transport by studying cultured mouse C2C12 cells and human hepatoma Hep-G2 cells in vitro, in addition to three types of diabetic mice [Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetic mice, high-fat diet-induced type 2 diabetic mice, and genetically diabetic db/db mice] in vivo. The results show that H2 promoted 2-[14C]-deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG) uptake into C2C12 cells via the translocation of glucose transporter Glut4 through activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K), protein kinase C (PKC), and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), although it did not stimulate the translocation of Glut2 in Hep G2 cells. H2 significantly increased skeletal muscle membrane Glut4 expression and markedly improved glycemic control in STZ-induced type 1 diabetic mice after chronic intraperitoneal (i.p.) and oral (p.o.) administration. However, long-term p.o. administration of H2 had least effect on the obese and non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes mouse models. Our study demonstrates that H2 exerts metabolic effects similar to those of insulin and may be a novel therapeutic alternative to insulin in type 1 diabetes mellitus that can be administered orally.
As the linker between the A chain and B chain of proinsulin, C-peptide displays high variability in length and amino acid composition, and has been considered as an inert byproduct of insulin synthesis and processing for many years. Recent studies have suggested that C-peptide can act as a bioactive hormone, exerting various biological effects on the pathophysiology and treatment of diabetes. In this study, we analyzed the coevolution of insulin molecules among vertebrates, aiming at exploring the evolutionary characteristics of insulin molecule, especially the C-peptide. We also calculated the correlations of evolutionary rates between the insulin and the insulin receptor (IR) sequences as well as the domain-domain pairs of the ligand and receptor by the mirrortree method. The results revealed distinctive features of C-peptide in insulin intramolecular coevolution and correlated residue substitutions, which partly supported the idea that C-peptide can act as a bioactive hormone, with significant sequence features, as well as a linker assisting the formation of mature insulin during synthesis. Interestingly, the evolution of C-peptide exerted the highest correlation with that of the insulin receptor and its ligand binding domain (LBD), implying a potential relationship with the insulin signaling pathway.
Exercise can increase skeletal muscle sensitivity to insulin, improve insulin resistance and regulate glucose homeostasis in rat models of type 2 diabetes. However, the potential mechanism remains poorly understood. In this study, we established a male Sprague–Dawley rat model of type 2 diabetes, with insulin resistance and β cell dysfunction, which was induced by a high-fat diet and low-dose streptozotocin to replicate the pathogenesis and metabolic characteristics of type 2 diabetes in humans. We also investigated the possible mechanism by which chronic and acute exercise improves metabolism, and the phosphorylation and expression of components of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and downstream components of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways in the soleus. As a result, blood glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and free fatty acid were significantly increased, whereas insulin level progressively declined in diabetic rats. Interestingly, chronic and acute exercise reduced blood glucose, increased phosphorylation and expression of AMPKα1/2 and the isoforms AMPKα1 and AMPKα2, and decreased phosphorylation and expression of AMPK substrate, acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC). Chronic exercise upregulated phosphorylation and expression of AMPK upstream kinase, LKB1. But acute exercise only increased LKB1 expression. In particular, exercise reversed the changes in protein kinase C (PKC)ζ/λ phosphorylation, and PKCζ phosphorylation and expression. Additionally, exercise also increased protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt1, Akt2 and GLUT4 expression, but AS160 protein expression was unchanged. Chronic exercise elevated Akt (Thr308) and (Ser473) and AS160 phosphorylation. Finally, we found that exercise increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1 (PGC1) mRNA expression in the soleus of diabetic rats. These results indicate that both chronic and acute exercise influence the phosphorylation and expression of components of the AMPK and downstream to PIK3 (aPKC, Akt), and improve GLUT4 trafficking in skeletal muscle. These data help explain the mechanism how exercise regulates glucose homeostasis in diabetic rats.
We tested the concordance of the two diagnostic criteria for diabetes using fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) by the Japan Diabetes Society (JDS) and American Diabetes Association (ADA).
We used data from 7,328 subjects without known diabetes who participated in a voluntary health checkup program at least twice between 1998 and 2006, at intervals ≤2 years. For repeat participants who attended the screening over two times, data from the first and second checkups were used for this study. At the first visit, diabetes was diagnosed both at FPG ≥7.0 mmol/L and HbA1c ≥6.5% using the JDS criteria. In addition, diabetes was diagnosed using two ADA criteria; ADA-FPG diabetes for persistent fasting hyperglycemia (FPG ≥7.0 mmol/L) or ADA-HbA1c diabetes for hyper-glycated hemoglominemia (HbA1c ≥6.5%), both at the first and second checkups. Subsequently, the concordance of diagnosis between the JDS and the ADA criteria was evaluated.
At the first checkup, 153 (2.1%) persons were diagnosed with diabetes by the JDS criteria. They had higher levels of risk factors for diabetes than non-diabetic subjects. Using the first and second checkups, 174 (2.4%) and 175 (2.4%) were diagnosed with diabetes by the ADA-FPG criteria, respectively. Among 153 subjects diagnosed with diabetes by the JDS criteria, 125 (81.7%) and 129 (84.3%) had ADA-FPG and ADA-HbA1c diabetes, respectively. The kappa coefficients of the JDS criteria with ADA-FPG and ADA-HbA1c criteria were 0.759 and 0.782 (P<0.001), respectively. In the subgroup analysis stratified by sex, the concordance was well preserved at the kappa coefficients around 0.8 (between 0.725 and 0.836).
The JDS diagnostic criteria for diabetes have a substantial and acceptable concordance with the ADA criteria. The JDS criteria may be a practical method for diagnosing diabetes that maintains compatibility with the ADA criteria.
Several studies have shown that adiponectin can lower blood glucose in diabetic mice. The aim of this study was to establish an effective adiponectin production process and to evaluate the anti-diabetic potential of the different adiponectin forms in diabetic mice and sand rats.
Human high molecular weight, mouse low molecular weight and mouse plus human globular adiponectin forms were expressed and purified from mammalian cells or yeast. The purified protein was administered at 10–30 mg/kg i.p. b.i.d. to diabetic db/db mice for 2 weeks. Furthermore, high molecular weight human and globular mouse adiponectin batches were administered at 5–15 mg/kg i.p. b.i.d. to diabetic sand rats for 12 days.
Surprisingly, none of our batches had any effect on blood glucose, HbA1c, plasma lipids or body weight in diabetic db/db mice or sand rats. In vitro biological, biochemical and biophysical data suggest that the protein was correctly folded and biologically active.
Recombinant adiponectin is ineffective at lowering blood glucose in diabetic db/db mice or sand rats.
StAR-related lipid transfer domain containing 7 (StarD7) is a member of the START-domain protein family whose function still remains unclear. Our data from an explorative microarray assay performed with mRNAs from StarD7 siRNA-transfected JEG-3 cells indicated that ABCG2 (ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2) was one of the most abundantly downregulated mRNAs.
Here, we have confirmed that knocking down StarD7 mRNA lead to a decrease in the xenobiotic/lipid transporter ABCG2 at both the mRNA and protein levels (−26.4% and −41%, p<0.05, at 48 h of culture, respectively). Also a concomitant reduction in phospholipid synthesis, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) uptake and 3H-thymidine incorporation was detected. Wound healing and transwell assays revealed that JEG-3 cell migration was significantly diminished (p<0.05). Conversely, biochemical differentiation markers such as human chorionic gonadotrophin β-subunit (βhCG) protein synthesis and secretion as well as βhCG and syncytin-1 mRNAs were increased approximately 2-fold. In addition, desmoplakin immunostaining suggested that there was a reduction of intercellular desmosomes between adjacent JEG-3 cells after knocking down StarD7.
Altogether these findings provide evidence for a role of StarD7 in cell physiology indicating that StarD7 modulates ABCG2 multidrug transporter level, cell migration, proliferation, and biochemical and morphological differentiation marker expression in a human trophoblast cell model.
Phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-2 on tyrosine residues is a key event in IGF-1/insulin signaling and leads to activation of the PI 3-kinase and the Ras/MAPK pathway. Furthermore, phosphorylated serine/threonine residues on IRS-2 can induce 14-3-3 binding. In this study we searched IRS-2 for novel phosphorylation sites and investigated the interaction between IRS-2 and 14-3-3. Mass spectrometry identified a total of 24 serine/threonine residues on IRS-2 with 12 sites unique for IRS-2 while the other residues are conserved in IRS-1 and IRS-2. IGF-1 stimulation led to increased binding of 14-3-3 to IRS-2 in transfected HEK293 cells and this binding was prevented by inhibition of the PI 3-kinase pathway and an Akt/PKB inhibitor. Insulin-stimulated interaction between endogenous IRS-2 and 14-3-3 was observed in rat hepatoma cells and in mice liver after an acute insulin stimulus and refeeding. Using different IRS-2 fragments enabled localization of the IGF-1-dependent 14-3-3 binding region spanning amino acids 300–600. The 24 identified residues on IRS-2 included several 14-3-3 binding candidates in the region 300–600. Single alanine mutants of these candidates led to the identification of serine 573 as 14-3-3 binding site. A phospho-site specific antibody was generated to further characterize serine 573. IGF-1-dependent phosphorylation of serine 573 was reduced by inhibition of PI 3-kinase and Akt/PKB. A negative role of this phosphorylation site was implicated by the alanine mutant of serine 573 which led to enhanced phosphorylation of Akt/PKB in an IGF-1 time course experiment. To conclude, our data suggest a physiologically relevant role for IGF-1/insulin-dependent 14-3-3 binding to IRS-2 involving serine 573.
Unexplained intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) may be a consequence of placental insufficiency; however, its etiology is not fully understood. We surmised that defective placentation in IUGR dysregulates cellular bioenergic homeostasis, leading to increased autophagy in the villous trophoblast. The aims of this work were (1) to compare the differences in autophagy, p53 expression, and apoptosis between placentas of women with normal or IUGR pregnancies; (2) to study the effects of hypoxia and the role of p53 in regulating trophoblast autophagy; and (3) to investigate the relationship between autophagy and apoptosis in hypoxic trophoblasts.
Compared with normal pregnant women, women with IUGR had higher placental levels of autophagy-related proteins LC3B-II, beclin-1, and damage-regulated autophagy modulator (DRAM), with increased p53 and caspase-cleaved cytokeratin 18 (M30). Furthermore, cytotrophoblasts cultured under hypoxia (2% oxygen) in the presence or absence of nutlin-3 (a p53 activity stimulator) had higher levels of LC3B-II, DRAM, and M30 proteins and increased Bax mRNA expression compared with controls cultured under standard conditions. In contrast, administration of pifithrin-α (a p53 activity inhibitor) during hypoxia resulted in protein levels that were similar to those of the control groups. Moreover, cytotrophoblasts transfected with LC3B, beclin-1, or DRAM siRNA had higher levels of M30 compared with the controls under hypoxia. However, transfection with Bcl-2 or Bax siRNA did not cause any significant change in the levels of LC3B-II in hypoxic cytotrophoblasts.
Together, these results suggest that there is a crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis in IUGR and that p53 plays a pivotal and complex role in regulating trophoblast cell turnover in response to hypoxic stress.
This study aimed to explore the association of MTNR1B genetic variants with gestational plasma glucose homeostasis in pregnant Chinese women.
A total of 1,985 pregnant Han Chinese women were recruited and evaluated for gestational glucose tolerance status with a two-step approach. The four MTNR1B variants rs10830963, rs1387153, rs1447352, and rs2166706 which had been reported to associate with glucose levels in general non-pregnant populations, were genotyped in these women. Using an additive model adjusted for age and body mass index (BMI), association of these variants with gestational fasting and postprandial plasma glucose (FPG and PPG) levels were analyzed by multiple linear regression; relative risk of developing gestational glucose intolerance was calculated by logistic regression. Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium was tested by Chi-square and linkage disequilibrium (LD) between these variants was estimated by measures of D′ and r2.
In the pregnant Chinese women, the MTNR1B variant rs10830963, rs1387153, rs2166706 and rs1447352 were shown to be associated with the increased 1 hour PPG level (p = 8.04×10−10, 5.49×10−6, 1.89×10−5 and 0.02, respectively). The alleles were also shown to be associated with gestational glucose intolerance with odds ratios (OR) of 1.64 (p = 8.03×10−11), 1.43 (p = 1.94×10−6), 1.38 (p = 1.63×10−5) and 1.24 (p = 0.007), respectively. MTNR1B rs1387153, rs2166706 were shown to be associated with gestational FPG levels (p = 0.04). Our data also suggested that, the LD pattern of these variants in the studied women conformed to that in the general populations: rs1387153 and rs2166706 were in high LD, they linked moderately with rs10830963, but might not linked with rs1447352;rs10830963 might not link with rs1447352, either. In addition, the MTNR1B variants were not found to be associated with any other traits tested.
The MTNR1B is likely to be involved in the regulation of glucose homeostasis during pregnancy.
HIV-1 viral protein Tat partially mediates the neural dysfunction and neuronal cell death associated with HIV-1 induced neurodegeneration and neurocognitive disorders. Soy isoflavones provide protection against various neurotoxic insults to maintain neuronal function and thus help preserve neurocognitive capacity.
We demonstrate in primary cortical cell cultures that 17β-estradiol or isoflavones (genistein or daidzein) attenuate Tat1–86-induced expression of apoptotic proteins and subsequent cell death. Exposure of cultured neurons to the estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182,780 abolished the anti-apoptotic actions of isoflavones. Use of ERα or ERβ specific antagonists determined the involvement of both ER isoforms in genistein and daidzein inhibition of caspase activity; ERβ selectively mediated downregulation of mitochondrial pro-apoptotic protein Bax. The findings suggest soy isoflavones effectively diminished HIV-1 Tat-induced apoptotic signaling.
Collectively, our results suggest that soy isoflavones represent an adjunctive therapeutic option with combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) to preserve neuronal functioning and sustain neurocognitive abilities of HIV-1 infected persons.