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1.  Elevated resistin levels induce central leptin resistance and increased atherosclerotic progression in mice 
Diabetologia  2014;57(6):1209-1218.
Resistin was originally identified as an adipocyte-derived factor upregulated during obesity and as a contributor to obesity-associated insulin resistance. Clinically, resistin has also been implicated in cardiovascular disease in a number of different patient populations. Our aim was to simultaneously address these phenomena.
We generated mice with modest adipocyte-specific resistin overexpression. These mice were crossed with mice deficient in the LDL receptor (Ldlr−/−) to probe the physiological role of resistin. Both metabolic and atherosclerotic assessments were performed.
Resistin overexpression led to increased atherosclerotic progression in Ldlr−/− mice. This was in part related to elevated serum triacylglycerol levels and a reduced ability to clear triacylglycerol upon a challenge. Additional phenotypic changes, such as increased body weight and reduced glucose clearance, independent of the Ldlr−/− background, confirmed increased adiposity associated with a more pronounced insulin resistance. A hallmark of elevated resistin was the disproportionate increase in circulating leptin levels. These mice thus recapitulated both the proposed negative cardiovascular correlation and the insulin resistance. A unifying mechanism for this complex phenotype was a resistin-mediated central leptin resistance, which we demonstrate directly both in vivo and in organotypic brain slices. In line with reduced sympathetic nervous system outflow, we found decreased brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity. The resulting elevated triacylglycerol levels provide a likely explanation for accelerated atherosclerosis.
Resistin overexpression leads to a complex metabolic phenotype driven by resistin-mediated central leptin resistance and reduced BAT activity. Hypothalamic leptin resistance thus provides a unifying mechanism for both resistin-mediated insulin resistance and enhanced atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4106234  PMID: 24623101
Adipose tissue; Atherosclerosis; Brown adipose tissue; Insulin resistance; Leptin; Leptin resistance; Obesity; Resistin; Triacylglycerol; Type 2 diabetes
2.  Time course of histomorphological changes in adipose tissue upon acute lipoatrophy 
Background and Aims
Crown-like structures (CLS) are characteristic histopathology features of inflamed adipose tissues in obese mice and humans. In previous work, we suggested that these cells derived from macrophages primarily involved in the reabsorption of dead adipocytes. Here, we used a well-characterized transgenic mouse model in which the death of adipocytes in adult mice is inducible and highly synchronized. In this “FAT-ATTAC” model, apoptosis is induced through forced dimerization of a caspase-8 fusion protein.
Methods and Results
0, 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 10 days post induction of adipocyte cell death, we analyzed mesenteric and epididymal adipose depots by histology, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Upon induction of caspase-8 dimerization, numerous adipocytes lost immunoreactivity for perilipin, a marker for live adipocytes. In the same areas, we found adipocytes with hypertrophic mitochondria and signs of organelle degeneration. Neutrophils and lymphocytes were the main inflammatory cells present in the tissue, and the macrophages were predominantly Mac-2 negative. Over the course of ablation, Mac-2 positive macrophages substituted for Mac-2 negative macrophages, followed by CLS formation. All perilipin-negative, dead adipocytes were surrounded by CLS structures. The time course of histopathology was similar in both fat pads studied, but occurred at earlier stages and was more gradual in mesenteric fat.
Our data demonstrate that CLS formation results as a direct consequence of adipocyte death, and that infiltrating macrophages actively uptake remnant lipids of dead adipocytes. Upon induction of adipocyte apoptosis, inflammatory cells infiltrate adipose tissue initially consisting of neutrophils followed by macrophages that are involved in CLS formation.
PMCID: PMC3465635  PMID: 22682975
CLS; inflammation; fat; apoptosis; FAT-ATTAC; adipocytes
3.  Direct Insulin and Leptin Action in Pro-opiomelanocortin Neurons is Required for Normal Glucose Homeostasis and Fertility 
Cell metabolism  2010;11(4):286-297.
Circulating leptin and insulin convey information regarding energy stores to the central nervous system, particularly the hypothalamus. Hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons regulate energy balance and glucose homeostasis and express leptin and insulin receptors. However, the physiological significance of concomitant leptin and insulin action on POMC neurons remains to be established. Here we show that mice lacking both insulin and LepRs in POMC neurons (Pomc-Cre, Leprflox/flox IRflox/flox mice) display systemic insulin resistance, which is distinct from the single deletion of either receptor. In addition, Pomc-Cre, Leprflox/flox IRflox/flox female mice display elevated serum testosterone levels and ovarian abnormalities resulting in reduced fertility. We conclude that direct action of insulin and leptin on POMC neurons is required to maintain normal glucose homeostasis and reproductive function.
PMCID: PMC2854520  PMID: 20374961
4.  Interleukin-10 Prevents Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance by Attenuating Macrophage and Cytokine Response in Skeletal Muscle 
Diabetes  2009;58(11):2525-2535.
Insulin resistance is a major characteristic of type 2 diabetes and is causally associated with obesity. Inflammation plays an important role in obesity-associated insulin resistance, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Interleukin (IL)-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine with lower circulating levels in obese subjects, and acute treatment with IL-10 prevents lipid-induced insulin resistance. We examined the role of IL-10 in glucose homeostasis using transgenic mice with muscle-specific overexpression of IL-10 (MCK-IL10).
MCK-IL10 and wild-type mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 3 weeks, and insulin sensitivity was determined using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps in conscious mice. Biochemical and molecular analyses were performed in muscle to assess glucose metabolism, insulin signaling, and inflammatory responses.
MCK-IL10 mice developed with no obvious anomaly and showed increased whole-body insulin sensitivity. After 3 weeks of HFD, MCK-IL10 mice developed comparable obesity to wild-type littermates but remained insulin sensitive in skeletal muscle. This was mostly due to significant increases in glucose metabolism, insulin receptor substrate-1, and Akt activity in muscle. HFD increased macrophage-specific CD68 and F4/80 levels in wild-type muscle that was associated with marked increases in tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-6, and C-C motif chemokine receptor-2 levels. In contrast, MCK-IL10 mice were protected from diet-induced inflammatory response in muscle.
These results demonstrate that IL-10 increases insulin sensitivity and protects skeletal muscle from obesity-associated macrophage infiltration, increases in inflammatory cytokines, and their deleterious effects on insulin signaling and glucose metabolism. Our findings provide novel insights into the role of anti-inflammatory cytokine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2768157  PMID: 19690064
5.  Liver-Specific Deletion of Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) Improves Metabolic Syndrome and Attenuates Diet-Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress 
Diabetes  2009;58(3):590-599.
OBJECTIVE—The protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B is a negative regulator of insulin signaling; consequently, mice deficient in PTP1B are hypersensitive to insulin. Because PTP1B−/− mice have diminished fat stores, the extent to which PTP1B directly regulates glucose homeostasis is unclear. Previously, we showed that brain-specific PTP1B−/− mice are protected against high-fat diet–induced obesity and glucose intolerance, whereas muscle-specific PTP1B−/− mice have increased insulin sensitivity independent of changes in adiposity. Here we studied the role of liver PTP1B in glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We analyzed body mass/adiposity, insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and lipid metabolism in liver-specific PTP1B−/− and PTP1Bfl/fl control mice, fed a chow or high-fat diet.
RESULTS—Compared with normal littermates, liver-specific PTP1B−/− mice exhibit improved glucose homeostasis and lipid profiles, independent of changes in adiposity. Liver-specific PTP1B−/− mice have increased hepatic insulin signaling, decreased expression of gluconeogenic genes PEPCK and G-6-Pase, enhanced insulin-induced suppression of hepatic glucose production, and improved glucose tolerance. Liver-specific PTP1B−/− mice exhibit decreased triglyceride and cholesterol levels and diminished expression of lipogenic genes SREBPs, FAS, and ACC. Liver-specific PTP1B deletion also protects against high-fat diet–induced endoplasmic reticulum stress response in vivo, as evidenced by decreased phosphorylation of p38MAPK, JNK, PERK, and eIF2α and lower expression of the transcription factors C/EBP homologous protein and spliced X box-binding protein 1.
CONCLUSIONS—Liver PTP1B plays an important role in glucose and lipid metabolism, independent of alterations in adiposity. Inhibition of PTP1B in peripheral tissues may be useful for the treatment of metabolic syndrome and reduction of cardiovascular risk in addition to diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2646057  PMID: 19074988

Results 1-5 (5)