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1.  Insulin-mediated suppression of lipolysis in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle of obese type 2 diabetic men and men with normal glucose tolerance 
Diabetologia  2013;56(10):2255-2265.
Impaired regulation of lipolysis and accumulation of lipid intermediates may contribute to obesity-related insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. We investigated insulin-mediated suppression of lipolysis in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) and skeletal muscle (SM) of obese men with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) and obese type 2 diabetic men.
Eleven NGT men and nine long-term diagnosed type 2 diabetic men (7 ± 1 years), matched for age (58 ± 2 vs 62 ± 2 years), BMI (31.4 ± 0.6 vs 30.5 ± 0.6 kg/m2) and \documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$ \overset{\cdot }{V}{\mathrm{O}}_{2 \max } $$\end{document} (28.9 ± 1.5 vs 29.5 ± 2.4 ml kg−1 min−1) participated in this study. Interstitial glycerol concentrations in AT and SM were assessed using microdialysis during a 1 h basal period and a 6 h stepwise hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic clamp (8, 20 and 40 mU m−2 min−1). AT and SM biopsies were collected to investigate underlying mechanisms.
Hyperinsulinaemia suppressed interstitial SM glycerol concentrations less in men with type 2 diabetes (−7 ± 6%, −13 ± 9% and −27 ± 9%) compared with men with NGT (−21 ± 7%, −38 ± 8% and −53 ± 8%) (p = 0.014). This was accompanied by increased circulating fatty acid and glycerol concentrations, a lower glucose infusion rate (21.8 ± 3.1 vs 30.5 ± 2.0 μmol kg body weight−1 min−1; p < 0.05), higher hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) serine 660 phosphorylation, increased saturated diacylglycerol (DAG) lipid species in the muscle membrane and increased protein kinase C (PKC) activation in type 2 diabetic men vs men with NGT. No significant differences in insulin-mediated reduction in AT interstitial glycerol were observed between groups.
Our results suggest that a blunted insulin-mediated suppression of SM lipolysis may promote the accumulation of membrane saturated DAG, aggravating insulin resistance, at least partly mediated by PKC. This may represent an important mechanism involved in the progression of insulin resistance towards type 2 diabetes.
Trial registration: NCT01680133
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-013-2995-9) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
PMCID: PMC3764323  PMID: 23907381
Adipose tissue; Diabetes; Insulin resistance; Lipolysis; Skeletal muscle
2.  Valsartan Improves Adipose Tissue Function in Humans with Impaired Glucose Metabolism: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Trial 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39930.
Blockade of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus. In rodents, it has been demonstrated that RAS blockade improved adipose tissue (AT) function and glucose homeostasis. However, the effects of long-term RAS blockade on AT function have not been investigated in humans. Therefore, we examined whether 26-wks treatment with the angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker valsartan affects AT function in humans with impaired glucose metabolism (IGM).
Methodology/Principal Findings
We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-group study, in which 38 subjects with IGM were treated with valsartan (VAL, 320 mg/d) or placebo (PLB) for 26 weeks. Before and after treatment, an abdominal subcutaneous AT biopsy was collected for measurement of adipocyte size and AT gene/protein expression of angiogenesis/capillarization, adipogenesis, lipolytic and inflammatory cell markers. Furthermore, we evaluated fasting and postprandial AT blood flow (ATBF) (133Xe wash-out), systemic inflammation and insulin sensitivity (hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp). VAL treatment markedly reduced adipocyte size (P<0.001), with a shift toward a higher proportion of small adipocytes. In addition, fasting (P = 0.043) and postprandial ATBF (P = 0.049) were increased, whereas gene expression of angiogenesis/capillarization, adipogenesis and macrophage infiltration markers in AT was significantly decreased after VAL compared with PLB treatment. Interestingly, the change in adipocyte size was associated with alterations in insulin sensitivity and reduced AT gene expression of macrophage infiltration markers. VAL did not alter plasma monocyte-chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, TNF-α, adiponectin and leptin concentrations.
26-wks VAL treatment markedly reduced abdominal subcutaneous adipocyte size and AT macrophage infiltration markers, and increased ATBF in IGM subjects. The VAL-induced decrease in adipocyte size was associated with reduced expression of macrophage infiltration markers in AT. Our findings suggest that interventions targeting the RAS may improve AT function, thereby contributing to a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Trial Registration NTR721 (ISRCTN Registry: ISRCTN42786336)
PMCID: PMC3386933  PMID: 22768174
3.  Valsartan Improves β-Cell Function and Insulin Sensitivity in Subjects With Impaired Glucose Metabolism 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(4):845-851.
Recently, the Nateglinide and Valsartan in Impaired Glucose Tolerance Outcomes Research Trial demonstrated that treatment with the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) valsartan for 5 years resulted in a relative reduction of 14% in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in subjects with impaired glucose metabolism (IGM). We investigated whether improvements in β-cell function and/or insulin sensitivity underlie these preventive effects of the ARB valsartan in the onset of type 2 diabetes.
In this randomized controlled, double-blind, two-center study, the effects of 26 weeks of valsartan (320 mg daily; n = 40) or placebo (n = 39) on β-cell function and insulin sensitivity were assessed in subjects with impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance, using a combined hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamp with subsequent arginine stimulation and a 2-h 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Treatment effects were analyzed using ANCOVA, adjusting for center, glucometabolic status, and sex.
Valsartan increased first-phase (P = 0.028) and second-phase (P = 0.002) glucose-stimulated insulin secretion compared with placebo, whereas the enhanced arginine-stimulated insulin secretion was comparable between groups (P = 0.25). In addition, valsartan increased the OGTT-derived insulinogenic index (representing first-phase insulin secretion after an oral glucose load; P = 0.027). Clamp-derived insulin sensitivity was significantly increased with valsartan compared with placebo (P = 0.049). Valsartan treatment significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with placebo (P < 0.001). BMI remained unchanged in both treatment groups (P = 0.89).
Twenty-six weeks of valsartan treatment increased glucose-stimulated insulin release and insulin sensitivity in normotensive subjects with IGM. These findings may partly explain the beneficial effects of valsartan in the reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3064038  PMID: 21330640
4.  Glucokinase Regulatory Protein Genetic Variant Interacts with Omega-3 PUFA to Influence Insulin Resistance and Inflammation in Metabolic Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20555.
Glucokinase Regulatory Protein (GCKR) plays a central role regulating both hepatic triglyceride and glucose metabolism. Fatty acids are key metabolic regulators, which interact with genetic factors and influence glucose metabolism and other metabolic traits. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) have been of considerable interest, due to their potential to reduce metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk.
To examine whether genetic variability at the GCKR gene locus was associated with the degree of insulin resistance, plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) and n-3 PUFA in MetS subjects.
Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), HOMA-B, plasma concentrations of C-peptide, CRP, fatty acid composition and the GCKR rs1260326-P446L polymorphism, were determined in a cross-sectional analysis of 379 subjects with MetS participating in the LIPGENE dietary cohort.
Among subjects with n-3 PUFA levels below the population median, carriers of the common C/C genotype had higher plasma concentrations of fasting insulin (P = 0.019), C-peptide (P = 0.004), HOMA-IR (P = 0.008) and CRP (P = 0.032) as compared with subjects carrying the minor T-allele (Leu446). In contrast, homozygous C/C carriers with n-3 PUFA levels above the median showed lower plasma concentrations of fasting insulin, peptide C, HOMA-IR and CRP, as compared with individuals with the T-allele.
We have demonstrated a significant interaction between the GCKR rs1260326-P446L polymorphism and plasma n-3 PUFA levels modulating insulin resistance and inflammatory markers in MetS subjects. Further studies are needed to confirm this gene-diet interaction in the general population and whether targeted dietary recommendations can prevent MetS in genetically susceptible individuals.
Trial Registration NCT00429195
PMCID: PMC3108949  PMID: 21674002
5.  Serum Vitamin D Concentration Does Not Predict Insulin Action or Secretion in European Subjects With the Metabolic Syndrome 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(4):923-925.
To investigate the relation between serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and insulin action and secretion.
In a cross-sectional study of 446 Pan-European subjects with the metabolic syndrome, insulin action and secretion were assessed by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) indexes and intravenous glucose tolerance test to calculate acute insulin response, insulin sensitivity, and disposition index. Serum 25(OH)D was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry.
The 25(OH)D3 concentration was 57.1 ± 26.0 nmol/l (mean ± SD), and only 20% of the subjects had 25(OH)D3 levels ≥75 nmol/l. In multiple linear analyses, 25(OH)D3 concentrations were not associated with parameters of insulin action or secretion after adjustment for BMI and other covariates.
In a large sample of subjects with the metabolic syndrome, serum concentrations of 25(OH)D3 did not predict insulin action or secretion. Clear evidence that D vitamin status directly influences insulin secretion or action is still lacking.
PMCID: PMC2845053  PMID: 20067973
6.  Hormone-Sensitive Lipase Serine Phosphorylation and Glycerol Exchange Across Skeletal Muscle in Lean and Obese Subjects  
Diabetes  2008;57(7):1834-1841.
OBJECTIVE—Increased intramuscular triacylglycerol (IMTG) storage is a characteristic of the obese insulin-resistant state. We aimed to investigate whether a blunted fasting or β-adrenergically mediated lipolysis contributes to this increased IMTG storage in obesity.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Forearm skeletal muscle lipolysis was investigated in 13 lean and 10 obese men using [2H5]glycerol combined with the measurement of arteriovenous differences before and during β-adrenergic stimulation using the nonselective β-agonist isoprenaline (ISO). Muscle biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis muscle before and during ISO to investigate hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) protein expression and serine phosphorylation.
RESULTS—Baseline total glycerol release across the forearm was significantly blunted in obese compared with lean subjects (P = 0.045). This was accompanied by lower HSL protein expression (P = 0.004), HSL phosphorylation on PKA sites Ser563 (P = 0.041) and Ser659 (P = 0.09), and HSL phosphorylation on the AMPK site Ser565 (P = 0.007), suggesting a blunted skeletal muscle lipolysis in obesity. Total forearm glycerol uptake during baseline did not differ significantly between groups, whereas higher net fatty acid uptake across the forearm was observed in the obese (P = 0.064). ISO induced an increase in total glycerol release from skeletal muscle, which was not significantly different between groups. Interestingly, this was accompanied by an increase in HSL Ser659 phosphorylation in obese subjects during ISO compared with baseline (P = 0.008).
CONCLUSIONS—Obesity is accompanied by impaired fasting glycerol release, lower HSL protein expression, and serine phosphorylation. It remains to be determined whether this is a primary factor or an adaptation to the obese insulin-resistant state.
PMCID: PMC2453623  PMID: 18398140
7.  Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) expression in human skeletal muscle is type I (oxidative) fiber specific 
Histochemistry and Cell Biology  2008;129(4):535-538.
Accumulation of triacylglycerol (TAG) and lipid intermediates in skeletal muscle plays an important role in the etiology of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Disturbances in skeletal muscle lipid turnover and lipolysis may contribute significantly to this. So far, knowledge on the regulation of muscle lipolysis is limited. Recently the identification of a new lipase was reported: adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL). ATGL deficient animals show significant lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle, which may indicate that ATGL plays a pivotal role in skeletal muscle lipolysis. However, until now, it is still unknown whether ATGL protein is expressed in human skeletal muscle. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether ATGL is expressed at the protein level in human skeletal muscle, and to examine whether its expression is fiber-type specific. To accomplish this, we established an imunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining procedure to study ATGL protein expression in relation to fiber type in human vastus lateralis muscle of eight male subjects (BMI range: 21.0–34.5 kg/m2 and age: 38–59 years). In the present paper we report for the first time that ATGL protein is indeed expressed in human skeletal muscle. Moreover, ATGL is exclusively expressed in type I (oxidative) muscle fibers, suggesting a pivotal role for ATGL in intramuscular fatty acid handling, lipid storage and breakdown.
PMCID: PMC2668625  PMID: 18224330
ATGL;  Skeletal muscle; Fiber type; Obesity; Protein

Results 1-7 (7)