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1.  Mice with Altered Brain Lipoprotein Metabolism Display Maladaptive Responses to Environmental Challenges That May Predispose to Weight Gain 
Background: Three-month-old neuron-specific lipoprotein lipase (LPL)-depleted mice (NEXLP−/−) mice are preobese and have normal body weight before developing obesity by 4.5 months. This series of experiments investigated responses to novel environment stimuli and acute sleep deprivation in preobese NEXLPL−/−) mice to test the hypothesis that neuron-specific LPL deletion alters normal adaptive metabolic responses to environmental challenges.
Methods: Three-month-old, age- and weight-matched, male NEXLPL−/−) (n=10) and wild-type (WT) (n=10) mice were housed in individual metabolic chambers with a 12-hr dark cycle. Food and water intake, locomotor activity, and calorimetry data were recorded in 12-min intervals. Novel environmental responses were elicited by first-time introduction to chambers at dark onset, followed by acclimation, baseline recording, and 6-hr of sleep deprivation on subsequent experimental days.
Results: NEXLPL−/−) mice displayed a 1.5-fold greater increase in activity in response to a novel environment than seen in WT controls (P=0.0308), and a two-fold greater increase in food intake following acute sleep deprivation (P=0.0117). NEXLPL−/−) mice averaged a 27% higher metabolic rate than WT mice throughout the experiments (P<0.0001). Body weight, composition, and temperature did not differ between murine groups throughout the experiments. Levels of free fatty acid, insulin, glucose, and triglycerides were similar between groups at the terminus.
Conclusions: A deficiency in neuronal LPL signaling disrupts normal responses to novel environmental exposure and acute sleep deprivation, a maladaptive response that may contribute to weight gain in genetically predisposed mice, and perhaps humans.
PMCID: PMC4162444  PMID: 24730656
3.  Dietary triglycerides act on mesolimbic structures to regulate the rewarding and motivational aspects of feeding 
Molecular psychiatry  2014;19(10):1095-1105.
Circulating triglycerides (TG) normally increase after a meal but are altered in pathophysiological conditions such as obesity. Although TG metabolism in the brain remains poorly understood, several brain structures express enzymes that process TG-enriched particles, including mesolimbic structures. For this reason, and because consumption of high fat diet alters dopamine signaling, we tested the hypothesis that TG might directly target mesolimbic reward circuits to control reward-seeking behaviors. We found that the delivery of small amounts of TG to the brain through the carotid artery rapidly reduced both spontaneous and amphetamine-induced locomotion, abolished preference for palatable food, and reduced the motivation to engage in food-seeking behavior. Conversely, targeted disruption of the TG-hydrolyzing enzyme lipoprotein lipase specifically in the nucleus accumbens increased palatable food preference and food seeking behavior. Finally, prolonged TG perfusion resulted in a return to normal palatable food preference despite continued locomotor suppression, suggesting that adaptive mechanisms occur. These findings reveal new mechanisms by which dietary fat may alter mesolimbic circuit function and reward seeking.
PMCID: PMC4303340  PMID: 24732670
Dietary triglyceride; reward; motivation; amphetamine; feeding behavior; nucleus accumbens; lipoprotein lipase
4.  Lipid catabolism via CPT1 as a therapeutic target for prostate cancer 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2014;13(10):2361-2371.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy among western men and accounts for the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. PCa tends to grow slowly and recent studies suggest that it relies on lipid fuel more than on aerobic glycolysis. However, the biochemical mechanisms governing the relationships between lipid synthesis, lipid utilization, and cancer growth remain unknown. To address the role of lipid metabolism in PCa we have used Etomoxir and Orlistat, clinically safe drugs that block lipid oxidation and lipid synthesis/lipolysis, respectively. Etomoxir is an irreversible inhibitor of the carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT1) enzyme that decreases beta oxidation in the mitochondria. Combinatorial treatments using Etomoxir and Orlistat resulted in synergistic decreased viability in LNCaP, VCaP and patient-derived benign and PCa cells. These effects were associated with decreased androgen receptor (AR) expression, decreased mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and increased caspase-3 activation. Knockdown of CPT1A enzyme in LNCaP cells resulted in decreased palmitate oxidation but increased sensitivity to Etomoxir, with inactivation of AKT kinase and activation of caspase-3. Systemic treatment with Etomoxir in nude nice resulted in decreased xenograft growth over 21 days, underscoring the therapeutic potential of blocking lipid catabolism to decrease PCa tumor growth.
PMCID: PMC4185227  PMID: 25122071
Lipid; CPT1; Etomoxir; Orlistat; Prostate; androgen receptor
5.  Inhibition of Lipid Oxidation Increases Glucose Metabolism and Enhances 2-Deoxy-2-[18F]Fluoro-d-Glucose Uptake in Prostate Cancer Mouse Xenografts 
Molecular Imaging and Biology  2015;17(4):529-538.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cause of cancer-related death among men in the United States. Due to the lipid-driven metabolic phenotype of PCa, imaging with 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose ([18F]FDG) is suboptimal, since tumors tend to have low avidity for glucose.
We have used the fat oxidation inhibitor etomoxir (2-[6-(4-chlorophenoxy)-hexyl]oxirane-2-carboxylate) that targets carnitine-palmitoyl-transferase-1 (CPT-1) to increase glucose uptake in PCa cell lines. Small hairpin RNA specific for CPT1A was used to confirm the glycolytic switch induced by etomoxir in vitro. Systemic etomoxir treatment was used to enhance [18F]FDG-positron emission tomography ([18F]FDG-PET) imaging in PCa xenograft mouse models in 24 h.
PCa cells significantly oxidize more of circulating fatty acids than benign cells via CPT-1 enzyme, and blocking this lipid oxidation resulted in activation of the Warburg effect and enhanced [18F]FDG signal in PCa mouse models.
Inhibition of lipid oxidation plays a major role in elevating glucose metabolism of PCa cells, with potential for imaging enhancement that could also be extended to other cancers.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11307-014-0814-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4493937  PMID: 25561013
CPT1A; Etomoxir; FDG-PET; Glycolysis; Fatty acid; Beta-oxidation; Mitochondria
6.  Regional Differences in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Gene Expression 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2012;20(11):2168-2173.
Adipose tissue located in the viscera is considered to be functionally and metabolically different from that found in the subcutaneous depot. However, subcutaneous adipose tissue in generalized regions is considered to be homogeneous in nature. Affymetrix GeneChip Human Exon 1.0 ST Arrays were used to determine differential gene expression in four subcutaneous adipose depots (upper abdomen, lower abdomen, flank and hip) in normal weight women. A total of 2890/24,409 transcripts were differentially expressed between all sites. When comparing the hip and flank to the lower abdomen, 248 and 83 genes were differentially expressed, respectively. When comparing the hip and flank to the upper abdomen, 2480 and 79 genes were differentially expressed, respectively. No genes were significantly different when the lower abdomen was compared to the upper abdomen and the hip to the flank. Genes involved in the complement and coagulation cascades and immune responses showed increased expression in the lower abdomen compared to the flank. In addition, two genes involved in the complement and coagulation cascade, CR1 and C7, were expressed more highly in the lower abdomen compared to the hip. Genes involved in basic biochemical metabolism including insulin signaling, the urea cycle, glutamate metabolism, arginine and proline metabolism and aminosugar metabolism had higher expression in the lower abdomen compared to the hip. These results in normal weight healthy women provide a new perspective on regional differences in subcutaneous adipose tissue biology that may have pathophysiologic implications when adiposity increases.
PMCID: PMC3434286  PMID: 22627919
7.  What are Lipoproteins doing in the Brain? 
Lipoproteins in plasma transport lipids between tissues, however, only high density lipoproteins (HDL) appear to traverse the blood brain barrier; thus, lipoproteins found in the brain must be produced within the central nervous system. Apolipoproteins E (ApoE) and ApoJ are the most abundant apolipoproteins in the brain, are mostly synthesized by astrocytes and are found on HDL. In the hippocampus and other brain regions lipoproteins help regulate neurobehavioral functions by processes that are lipoprotein receptor-mediated. Moreover, lipoproteins and their receptors also have roles in the regulation of body weight and energy balance, i.e. through lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and the LDL receptor-related protein (LRP). Thus, understanding lipoproteins and their metabolism in the brain provides a new opportunity with potential therapeutic relevance.
PMCID: PMC4062975  PMID: 24189266
lipoprotein; metabolism; brain; lipoprotein receptor; neuron; astrocyte
8.  Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: What Can Be Unified and What Needs to Be Individualized? 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(6):1424-1430.
This report examines what is known about the relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes and how future research in these areas might be directed to benefit prevention, interventions, and overall patient care.
An international working group of 32 experts in the pathophysiology, genetics, clinical trials, and clinical care of obesity and/or type 2 diabetes participated in a conference held on 6–7 January 2011 and cosponsored by The Endocrine Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. A writing group comprising eight participants subsequently prepared this summary and recommendations. Participants reviewed and discussed published literature and their own unpublished data.
The writing group unanimously supported the summary and recommendations as representing the working group's majority or unanimous opinions.
The major questions linking obesity to type 2 diabetes that need to be addressed by combined basic, clinical, and population-based scientific approaches include the following: 1) Why do not all patients with obesity develop type 2 diabetes? 2) Through what mechanisms do obesity and insulin resistance contribute to β-cell decompensation, and if/when obesity prevention ensues, how much reduction in type 2 diabetes incidence will follow? 3) How does the duration of type 2 diabetes relate to the benefits of weight reduction by lifestyle, weight-loss drugs, and/or bariatric surgery on β-cell function and glycemia? 4) What is necessary for regulatory approval of medications and possibly surgical approaches for preventing type 2 diabetes in patients with obesity? Improved understanding of how obesity relates to type 2 diabetes may help advance effective and cost-effective interventions for both conditions, including more tailored therapy. To expedite this process, we recommend further investigation into the pathogenesis of these coexistent conditions and innovative approaches to their pharmacological and surgical management.
PMCID: PMC3114323  PMID: 21602431
9.  Update on the NCEP ATP-III emerging cardiometabolic risk factors 
BMC Medicine  2014;12:115.
The intent of this review is to update the science of emerging cardiometabolic risk factors that were listed in the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel-III (ATP-III) report of 2001 (updated in 2004). At the time these guidelines were published, the evidence was felt to be insufficient to recommend these risk factors for routine screening of cardiovascular disease risk. However, the panel felt that prudent use of these biomarkers for patients at intermediate risk of a major cardiovascular event over the subsequent 10 years might help identify patients who needed more aggressive low density lipoprotein (LDL) or non-high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol lowering therapy. While a number of other emerging risk factors have been identified, this review will be limited to assessing the data and recommendations for the use of apolipoprotein B, lipoprotein (a), homocysteine, pro-thrombotic factors, inflammatory factors, impaired glucose metabolism, and measures of subclinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease for further cardiovascular disease risk stratification.
PMCID: PMC4283079  PMID: 25154373
Apolipoprotein B; Lipoprotein (a); C-reactive protein; Homocysteine
10.  CCAAT/Enhancer-binding Protein β Deletion Reduces Adiposity, Hepatic Steatosis, and Diabetes in Leprdb/db Mice* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2007;282(21):15717-15729.
CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) plays a key role in initiation of adipogenesis in adipose tissue and gluconeogenesis in liver; however, the role of C/EBPβ in hepatic lipogenesis remains undefined. Here we show that C/EBPβ inactivation in Leprdb/db mice attenuates obesity, fatty liver, and diabetes. In addition to impaired adipogenesis, livers from C/EBPβ−/− x Leprdb/db mice had dramatically decreased triglyceride content and reduced lipogenic enzyme activity. C/EBPβ deletion in Leprdb/db mice down-regulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ2 (PPARγ2) and stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 and up-regulated PPARα independent of SREBP1c. Conversely, C/EBPβ overexpression in wild-type mice increased PPARγ2 and stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 mRNA and hepatic triglyceride content. In FAO cells, overexpression of the liver inhibiting form of C/EBPβ or C/EBPβ RNA interference attenuated palmitate-induced triglyceride accumulation and reduced PPARγ2 and triglyceride levels in the liver in vivo. Leptin and the anti-diabetic drug metformin acutely down-regulated C/EBPβ expression in hepatocytes, whereas fatty acids up-regulate C/EBPβ expression. These data provide novel evidence linking C/EBPβ expression to lipogenesis and energy balance with important implications for the treatment of obesity and fatty liver disease.
PMCID: PMC4109269  PMID: 17387171
12.  Lipoprotein Lipase in the Brain and Nervous System 
Annual review of nutrition  2012;32:147-160.
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is rate limiting in the provision of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein-derived lipids into tissues. LPL is also present in the brain, where its function has remained elusive. Recent evidence implicates a role of LPL in the brain in two processes: (a) the regulation of energy balance and body weight and (b) cognition. Mice with neuron-specific deletion of LPL have increases in food intake that lead to obesity, and then reductions in energy expenditure that further contribute to and sustain the phenotype. In other mice with LPL deficiency rescued from neonatal lethality by somatic gene transfer wherein LPL in the brain remains absent, altered cognition ensues. Taking into consideration data that associate LPL mutations with Alzheimer’s disease, a role for LPL in learning and memory seems likely. Overall, the time is ripe for new insights into how LPL-mediated lipoprotein metabolism in the brain impacts CNS processes and systems biology.
PMCID: PMC4065112  PMID: 22540257
triglycerides; fatty acids; metabolism; energy balance; cognition
13.  Skeletal Muscle–Specific Deletion of Lipoprotein Lipase Enhances Insulin Signaling in Skeletal Muscle but Causes Insulin Resistance in Liver and Other Tissues 
Diabetes  2009;58(1):116-124.
OBJECTIVE—Skeletal muscle–specific LPL knockout mouse (SMLPL−/−) were created to study the systemic impact of reduced lipoprotein lipid delivery in skeletal muscle on insulin sensitivity, body weight, and composition.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Tissue-specific insulin sensitivity was assessed using a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and 2-deoxyglucose uptake. Gene expression and insulin-signaling molecules were compared in skeletal muscle and liver of SMLPL−/− and control mice.
RESULTS—Nine-week-old SMLPL−/− mice showed no differences in body weight, fat mass, or whole-body insulin sensitivity, but older SMLPL−/− mice had greater weight gain and whole-body insulin resistance. High-fat diet feeding accelerated the development of obesity. In young SMLPL−/− mice, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was increased 58% in the skeletal muscle, but was reduced in white adipose tissue (WAT) and heart. Insulin action was also diminished in liver: 40% suppression of hepatic glucose production in SMLPL−/− vs. 90% in control mice. Skeletal muscle triglyceride was 38% lower, and insulin-stimulated phosphorylated Akt (Ser473) was twofold greater in SMLPL−/− mice without changes in IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity. Hepatic triglyceride and liver X receptor, carbohydrate response element–binding protein, and PEPCK mRNAs were unaffected in SMLPL−/− mice, but peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR)-γ coactivator-1α and interleukin-1β mRNAs were higher, and stearoyl–coenzyme A desaturase-1 and PPARγ mRNAs were reduced.
CONCLUSIONS—LPL deletion in skeletal muscle reduces lipid storage and increases insulin signaling in skeletal muscle without changes in body composition. Moreover, lack of LPL in skeletal muscle results in insulin resistance in other key metabolic tissues and ultimately leads to obesity and systemic insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC2606858  PMID: 18952837
14.  Fenofibrate Improves Vascular Endothelial Function by Reducing Oxidative Stress While Increasing eNOS in Healthy Normolipidemic Older Adults 
Hypertension  2012;60(6):1517-1523.
Vascular endothelial dysfunction develops with aging, as indicated by impaired endothelium-dependent dilation(EDD), and is related to increased cardiovascular disease risk. We hypothesized that short-term treatment with fenofibrate, a lipid-lowering agent with potential pleiotropic effects, would improve EDD in middle-aged and older normolipidemic adults by reducing oxidative stress. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a measure of EDD, was assessed in 22healthy adults aged 50-77 years before and after 7days of fenofibrate (145 mg/d; n=12/7M) or placebo (n=10/5M). Brachial FMD was unchanged with placebo, but improved after 2 and 7 days of fenofibrate (5.1±0.7 vs. 2d: 6.0±0.7 and 7d: 6.4±0.6 %Δ; both P<0.005). The improvements in FMD after 7 days remained significant (P<0.05) after accounting for modest changes in plasma total and LDL-cholesterol. Endothelium-independent dilation was not affected by fenofibrate or placebo (P>0.05). Infusion (i.v.) of the antioxidant vitamin C improved brachial FMD at baseline in both groups and during placebo treatment (P<0.05), but not after 2 and 7 days of fenofibrate (P>0.05). Fenofibrate treatment also reduced plasma oxidized LDL, a systemic marker of oxidative stress, compared with placebo (P<0.05). In vascular endothelial cells sampled from peripheral veins of the subjects, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression was unchanged with placebo and after 2 days of fenofibrate, but was increased after 7 days of fenofibrate (0.54±0.03 vs. 2d: 0.52±0.04 and 7d: 0.76±0.11 intensity/HUVEC control; P<0.05 7d). Short-term treatment with fenofibrate improves vascular endothelial function in healthy normolipidemic middle-aged/older adults by reducing oxidative stress and induces increases in eNOS.
PMCID: PMC3684180  PMID: 23108655
aging; endothelial-dependent dilation; flow-mediated dilation
15.  Novel and Reversible Mechanisms of Smoking-Induced Insulin Resistance in Humans 
Diabetes  2012;61(12):3156-3166.
Smoking is the most common cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States, in part because it is an independent risk factor for the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, mechanisms responsible for smoking-induced insulin resistance are unclear. In this study, we found smokers were less insulin sensitive compared with controls, which increased after either 1 or 2 weeks of smoking cessation. Improvements in insulin sensitivity after smoking cessation occurred with normalization of IRS-1ser636 phosphorylation. In muscle cell culture, nicotine exposure significantly increased IRS-1ser636 phosphorylation and decreased insulin sensitivity, recapitulating the phenotype of smoking-induced insulin resistance in humans. The two pathways known to stimulate IRS-1ser636 phosphorylation (p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase [MAPK] and mammalian target of rapamycin [mTOR]) were both stimulated by nicotine in culture. Inhibition of mTOR, but not p44/42 MAPK, during nicotine exposure prevented IRS-1ser636 phosphorylation and normalized insulin sensitivity. These data indicate nicotine induces insulin resistance in skeletal muscle by activating mTOR. Therapeutic agents designed to oppose skeletal muscle mTOR activation may prevent insulin resistance in humans who are unable to stop smoking or are chronically exposed to secondhand smoke.
PMCID: PMC3501865  PMID: 22966072
16.  Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Circadian Clock Mutant Mice 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2005;308(5724):1043-1045.
The bHLH-PAS transcription factor, CLOCK, is a key component of the molecular circadian clock within pacemaker neurons of the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. Here we report that homozygous Clock mutant mice have a greatly attenuated diurnal feeding rhythm, are hyperphagic and obese, and develop a metabolic syndrome of hyperleptinemia, hyperlipidemia, hepatic steatosis and hyperglycemia, with insufficient compensatory insulin production, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, the levels of expression of hypothalamic peptides associated with energy balance were greatly attenuated in the Clock mutant animals. Taken together, these results indicate that the circadian clock gene network plays an important role in mammalian energy balance that involves a number of central and peripheral tissues, and disruption of this network can lead to obesity and the metabolic syndrome in mice.
PMCID: PMC3764501  PMID: 15845877
17.  A guide to analysis of mouse energy metabolism 
Nature methods  2011;9(1):57-63.
We present a consolidated view of the complexity and challenges of designing studies for measurement of energy metabolism in mouse models, including a practical guide to the assessment of energy expenditure, energy intake and body composition and statistical analysis thereof. We hope this guide will facilitate comparisons across studies and minimize spurious interpretations of data. We recommend that division of energy expenditure data by either body weight or lean body weight and that presentation of group effects as histograms should be replaced by plotting individual data and analyzing both group and body-composition effects using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
PMCID: PMC3654855  PMID: 22205519
18.  Regulation of Mitochondrial Biogenesis by Lipoprotein Lipase in Muscle of Insulin-Resistant Offspring of Parents With Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2012;61(4):877-887.
Recent studies reveal a strong relationship between reduced mitochondrial content and insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle, although the underlying factors responsible for this association remain unknown. To address this question, we analyzed muscle biopsy samples from young, lean, insulin resistant (IR) offspring of parents with type 2 diabetes and control subjects by microarray analyses and found significant differences in expression of ∼512 probe pairs. We then screened these genes for their potential involvement in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis using RNA interference and found that mRNA and protein expression of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in skeletal muscle was significantly decreased in the IR offspring and was associated with decreased mitochondrial density. Furthermore, we show that LPL knockdown in muscle cells decreased mitochondrial content by effectively decreasing fatty acid delivery and subsequent activation of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR)-δ. Taken together, these data suggest that decreased mitochondrial content in muscle of IR offspring may be due in part to reductions in LPL expression in skeletal muscle resulting in decreased PPAR-δ activation.
PMCID: PMC3314372  PMID: 22368174
19.  Angiopoietin-Like 4 Mediates PPAR Delta Effect on Lipoprotein Lipase-Dependent Fatty Acid Uptake but Not on Beta-Oxidation in Myotubes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46212.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) delta is an important regulator of fatty acid (FA) metabolism. Angiopoietin-like 4 (Angptl4), a multifunctional protein, is one of the major targets of PPAR delta in skeletal muscle cells. Here we investigated the regulation of Angptl4 and its role in mediating PPAR delta functions using human, rat and mouse myotubes. Expression of Angptl4 was upregulated during myotubes differentiation and by oleic acid, insulin and PPAR delta agonist GW501516. Treatment with GW501516 or Angptl4 overexpression inhibited both lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity and LPL-dependent uptake of FAs whereas uptake of BSA-bound FAs was not affected by either treatment. Activation of retinoic X receptor (RXR), PPAR delta functional partner, using bexarotene upregulated Angptl4 expression and inhibited LPL activity in a PPAR delta dependent fashion. Silencing of Angptl4 blocked the effect of GW501516 and bexarotene on LPL activity. Treatment with GW501516 but not Angptl4 overexpression significantly increased palmitate oxidation. Furthermore, Angptl4 overexpression did not affect the capacity of GW501516 to increase palmitate oxidation. Basal and insulin stimulated glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis and glucose oxidation were not significantly modulated by Angptl4 overexpression. Our findings suggest that FAs-PPARdelta/RXR-Angptl4 axis controls the LPL-dependent uptake of FAs in myotubes, whereas the effect of PPAR delta activation on beta-oxidation is independent of Angptl4.
PMCID: PMC3464237  PMID: 23056264
Animal data suggest that males, in particular, rely on PPAR-α activity to maintain normal muscle triglyceride metabolism. We sought to examine whether this was also true in men vs. women and its relationship to insulin sensitivity.
Normolipidemic obese men (n=9) and women (n=9) underwent an assessment of insulin sensitivity (IVGTT) and intramuscular triglyceride metabolism (GC/MS and GC/C/IRMS from plasma and muscle biopsies taken after infusion of [U-13C]palmitate) before and after 12 weeks of fenofibrate treatment.
Women were more insulin sensitive (Si; 5.2(0.7 vs. 2.4(0.4 ×10−4/uU/ml, W vs. M, p<0.01) at baseline despite similar intramuscular triglyceride (IMTG) concentration (41.9(15.5 vs. 30.8(5.1 ug/mg dry weight, W vs. M, p=0.43), and IMTG fractional synthesis rate (FSR; 0.27(0.07 vs. 0.35(0.06/hr, W vs. M, p=0.41) as men. Fenofibrate enhanced FSR in men (0.35(0.06 to 0.54(0.06, p=0.05), with no such change seen in women (0.27(0.07 to 0.32(0.13, p=0.73), and no change in IMTG concentration in either group (23.0(3.9 in M, p=0.26 vs. baseline; 36.3(12.0 in W, p=0.79 vs. baseline). Insulin sensitivity was unaffected by fenofibrate (p>0.68). Lower percent saturation of IMTG in women vs. men before (29.1(2.3 vs. 35.2(1.7%, p=0.06) and after (27.3(2.8 vs. 35.1(1.9%, p=0.04) fenofibrate most closely related to their greater insulin sensitivity (R2=0.34, p=0.10), and was largely unchanged by the drug.
PPAR-α agonist therapy had little effect on IMTG metabolism in men or women. IMTG saturation, rather than IMTG concentration or FSR, most closely (but not significantly) related to insulin sensitivity and was unchanged by fenofibrate administration.
PMCID: PMC3135750  PMID: 21306746
Insulin resistance; isotopes; IMCL; muscle; sex
21.  Effects of Maintained Weight Loss on Sleep Dynamics and Neck Morphology in Severely Obese Adults 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2008;17(1):84-91.
The goals of the study were to determine if moderate weight loss in severely obese adults resulted in 1) reduction in apnea/hypopnea index (AHI), 2) improved pharyngeal patency, 3) reduced total body oxygen consumption (VO2) and carbon dioxide production (VCO2) during sleep, and 4) improved sleep quality. The main outcome was the change in AHI from before to after weight loss. Fourteen severely obese (BMI>40 kg/m2) patients (3 males, 11 females) completed a highly controlled weight reduction program which included 3 months of weight loss and 3 months of weight maintenance. At baseline and post-weight loss, patients underwent pulmonary function testing, polysomnography, and MRI to assess neck morphology. Weight decreased from 134±6.6 kg to 118±6.1 kg (mean ± SEM; F=113.763, p<0.0001). There was a significant reduction in the AHI between baseline and post-weight loss (SUBJECT, F=11.11, p=0.007). Moreover, patients with worse sleep disordered breathing (SDB) at baseline had the greatest improvements in AHI (GROUP, F=9.00, p=0.005). Reductions in VO2 (285±12 to 234±16 ml/min; F=24.85, p<0.0001) and VCO2 (231±9 to 186±12 ml/min; F=27.74, p<0.0001) were also observed, and pulmonary function testing showed improvements in spirometry parameters. Sleep studies revealed improved minimum SaO2 (83.4±61.9% to 89.1±1.2%; F=7.59, p=0.016), and mean SaO2 (90.4±1.1% to 93.8±1.0%; F=6.89, p=0.022), and a significant increase in the number of arousals (8.1±1.4 at baseline, to 17.1±3.0 after weight loss; F=18.13, p=0.001). In severely obese patients, even moderate weight loss (~10%) boasts substantial benefit in terms of the severity of SDB and sleep dynamics.
PMCID: PMC3350806  PMID: 18948968
Obesity; pharynx; diet; oxygen consumption; carbon dioxide production; AHI
22.  Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2 Activity Predicts Progression of Subclinical Coronary Atherosclerosis 
Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) is a lipoprotein-associated enzyme that cleaves oxidized phosphatidylcholines, generating pro-atherosclerotic lysophosphatidylcholine and oxidized free fatty acids. Lp-PLA2 is independently associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a variety of populations. Coronary calcium is a measure of subclinical CVD, and progression of coronary calcification predicts future CVD events. In type 1 diabetes there is an increase in coronary calcium and CVD despite a favorable lipid profile. Levels of Lp-PLA2 in type 1 diabetes are not known, nor is the relationship between Lp-PLA2 and progression of coronary calcification.
The Coronary Artery Calcification in Type 1 Diabetes study measured coronary calcium by electron-beam computed tomography twice over a 2.6 ± 0.3-year interval. Lp-PLA2 mass and activity were measured at baseline (n = 1,097 subjects, 506 with and 591 without type 1 diabetes).
In type 1 diabetes Lp-PLA2 mass was marginally higher (285 ± 79 vs. 278 ± 78 ng/mL, P = 0.1), and Lp-PLA2 activity was significantly lower (137 ± 30 vs. 146 ± 36 nmol/min/mL, P < 0.0001) than in those without diabetes. There was a greater proportion of those with progression of coronary calcification in type 1 diabetes compared with those without diabetes (24% vs. 10%, P < 0.0001). Lp-PLA2 activity was independently associated with progression of coronary calcification in multivariate analysis (4th quartile verses bottom three quartiles, odds ratio = 1.77 [1.08–2.91], P = 0.02). LpPLA2 mass was not significantly associated with progression of coronary calcification in this cohort (P = 0.09).
Lp-PLA2 activity predicts progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in individuals with and without type 1 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3101921  PMID: 21291330
23.  Insulin Resistance, Defective Insulin-Mediated Fatty Acid Suppression, and Coronary Artery Calcification in Subjects With and Without Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2010;60(1):306-314.
To assess insulin action on peripheral glucose utilization and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) suppression as a predictor of coronary artery calcification (CAC) in patients with type 1 diabetes and nondiabetic controls.
Insulin action was measured by a three-stage hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp (4, 8, and 40 mU/m2/min) in 87 subjects from the Coronary Artery Calcification in Type 1 Diabetes cohort (40 diabetic, 47 nondiabetic; mean age 45 ± 8 years; 55% female).
Peripheral glucose utilization was lower in subjects with type 1 diabetes compared with nondiabetic controls: glucose infusion rate (mg/kg FFM/min) = 6.19 ± 0.72 vs. 12.71 ± 0.66, mean ± SE, P < 0.0001, after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, fasting glucose, and final clamp glucose and insulin. Insulin-induced NEFA suppression was also lower in type 1 diabetic compared with nondiabetic subjects: NEFA levels (μM) during 8 mU/m2/min insulin infusion = 370 ± 27 vs. 185 ± 25, P < 0.0001, after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, fasting glucose, and time point insulin. Lower glucose utilization and higher NEFA levels, correlated with CAC volume (r = −0.42, P < 0.0001 and r = 0.41, P < 0.0001, respectively) and predicted the presence of CAC (odds ratio [OR] = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.22–0.93, P = 0.03; OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.08–5.32, P = 0.032, respectively). Insulin resistance did not correlate with GHb or continuous glucose monitoring parameters.
Type 1 diabetic patients are insulin resistant compared with nondiabetic subjects, and the degree of resistance is not related to current glycemic control. Insulin resistance predicts the extent of coronary artery calcification and may contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with type 1 diabetes as well as subjects without diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3012187  PMID: 20978091
24.  Energy expenditure during sleep, sleep deprivation and sleep following sleep deprivation in adult humans 
The Journal of Physiology  2010;589(Pt 1):235-244.
Sleep has been proposed to be a physiological adaptation to conserve energy, but little research has examined this proposed function of sleep in humans. We quantified effects of sleep, sleep deprivation and recovery sleep on whole-body total daily energy expenditure (EE) and on EE during the habitual day and nighttime. We also determined effects of sleep stage during baseline and recovery sleep on EE. Seven healthy participants aged 22 ± 5 years (mean ± s.d.) maintained ∼8 h per night sleep schedules for 1 week before the study and consumed a weight-maintenance diet for 3 days prior to and during the laboratory protocol. Following a habituation night, subjects lived in a whole-room indirect calorimeter for 3 days. The first 24 h served as baseline – 16 h wakefulness, 8 h scheduled sleep – and this was followed by 40 h sleep deprivation and 8 h scheduled recovery sleep. Findings show that, compared to baseline, 24 h EE was significantly increased by ∼7% during the first 24 h of sleep deprivation and was significantly decreased by ∼5% during recovery, which included hours awake 25–40 and 8 h recovery sleep. During the night time, EE was significantly increased by ∼32% on the sleep deprivation night and significantly decreased by ∼4% during recovery sleep compared to baseline. Small differences in EE were observed among sleep stages, but wakefulness during the sleep episode was associated with increased energy expenditure. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that sleep conserves energy and that sleep deprivation increases total daily EE in humans.
PMCID: PMC3039272  PMID: 21059762
25.  Inflexibility in Intramuscular Triglyceride Fractional Synthesis Distinguishes Prediabetes From Obesity in Humans 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2009;18(8):1524-1531.
Whether intramuscular triglyceride (IMTG) concentration or flux is more important in the progression to type 2 diabetes is controversial. Therefore, this study examined IMTG concentration, as well as its fractional synthesis rate (FSR), in obese people with normal glucose tolerance (NGT; n = 20) vs. obese people with prediabetes (PD; n = 19), at rest and during exercise. Insulin action and secretion were assessed using an intravenous glucose tolerance test. [U-13C] palmitate was infused for 4 h before and throughout 1.5 h of treadmill walking at 50% VO2max. IMTG concentration was measured by gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, and FSR by gas chromatography–combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometer, from muscle biopsies taken immediately before and after exercise. Basal IMTG concentration was higher (43 ± 5.7 vs. 27 ± 3.9 mg/mg dry weight, P = 0.03) and FSR trended lower (0.23 ± 0.04 vs. 0.32 ± 0.05/h, P = 0.075), as did insulin action (Si; 2.9 ± 0.43 vs. 3.3 ± 0.35 × 10−4/mU/ml, P = 0.07), in PD vs. NGT. IMTG concentration did not change significantly during exercise, but was no longer different in PD vs. NGT (45 ± 7.7 vs. 37 ± 5.8 mg/mg dry weight, P = 0.41). IMTG FSR suppressed during exercise in NGT (−81% to 0.06 ± 0.13/h, P = 0.02), but not PD (+4% to 0.24 ± 0.13%/h, P = 0.95). Palmitate oxidation was similar during rest (P = 0.92) and exercise (P = 0.94) between groups, but its source appeared different with more coming from muscle at rest and plasma during exercise in NGT, whereas the converse was true in PD. Altogether, higher basal IMTG concentration that is metabolically inflexible distinguishes obese people with PD from those with NGT.
PMCID: PMC3232014  PMID: 20035285

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