Mechanistic models of glucose stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) established in minimal media in vitro, may not accurately describe the complexity of coupling metabolism with insulin secretion that occurs in vivo. As a first approximation, we have evaluated metabolic pathways in a typical growth media, DMEM as a surrogate in vivo medium, for comparison to metabolic fluxes observed under the typical experimental conditions using the simple salt-buffer of KRB. Changes in metabolism in response to glucose and amino acids and coupling to insulin secretion were measured in INS-1 832/13 cells. Media effects on mitochondrial function and the coupling efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation were determined by fluorometrically measured oxygen consumption rates (OCR) combined with 31P-NMR measured rates of ATP synthesis. Substrate preferences and pathways into the TCA cycle, and the synthesis of mitochondrial 2nd messengers by anaplerosis were determined by 13C-NMR isotopomer analysis of the fate of [U-13C]glucose metabolism.
Despite similar incremental increases in insulin secretion, the changes of OCR in response to increasing glucose from 2.5 to 15 mM were blunted in DMEM relative to KRB. Basal and stimulated rates of insulin secretion rates were consistently higher in DMEM, while ATP synthesis rates were identical in both DMEM and KRB, suggesting greater mitochondrial uncoupling in DMEM. The relative rates of anaplerosis, and hence synthesis and export of 2nd messengers from the mitochondria were found to be similar in DMEM to those in KRB. And, the correlation of total PC flux with insulin secretion rates in DMEM was found to be congruous with the correlation in KRB. Together, these results suggest that signaling mechanisms associated with both TCA cycle flux and with anaplerotic flux, but not ATP production, may be responsible for the enhanced rates of insulin secretion in more complex, and physiologically-relevant media.
Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion; anaplerosis; mitochondrial metabolism; INS-1; beta-cells; second messengers; ATP synthesis; substrate cycling
The Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers (MMPCs) were founded in 2001 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance biomedical research by providing the scientific community with standardized, high-quality phenotyping services for mouse models of diabetes, obesity, and their complications. The intent is to allow researchers to take optimum advantage of the many new mouse models produced in labs and in high-throughput public efforts. The six MMPCs are located at universities around the country and perform complex metabolic tests in intact mice and hormone and analyte assays in tissues on a fee-for-service basis. Testing is subsidized by the NIH in order to reduce the barriers for mouse researchers. Although data derived from these tests belong to the researcher submitting mice or tissues, these data are archived after publication in a public database run by the MMPC Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit. It is hoped that data from experiments performed in many mouse models of metabolic diseases, using standard protocols, will be useful in understanding the nature of these complex disorders. The current areas of expertise include energy balance and body composition, insulin action and secretion, whole-body and tissue carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, cardiovascular and renal function, and metabolic pathway kinetics. In addition to providing services, the MMPC staff provides expertise and advice to researchers, and works to develop and refine test protocols to best meet the community’s needs in light of current scientific developments. Test technology is disseminated by publications and through annual courses.
The ability to non-invasively measure endogenous pancreatic β-cell mass (BCM) would accelerate research on the pathophysiology of diabetes and revolutionize the preclinical development of new treatments, the clinical assessment of therapeutic efficacy, and the early diagnosis and subsequent monitoring of disease progression. The vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (VMAT2) is co-expressed with insulin in β-cells and represents a promising target for BCM imaging.
We evaluated the VMAT2 radiotracer 18F-fluoropropyl-dihydrotetrabenazine ([18F]FP-(+)-DTBZ, also known as [18F]AV-133) for quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of BCM in healthy control subjects and patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Standardized uptake value (SUV) was calculated as the net tracer uptake in pancreas normalized by injected dose and body weight. Total volume of distribution (VT), the equilibrium ratio of tracer concentration in tissue relative to plasma, was estimated by kinetic modeling with arterial input functions. Binding potential (BPND), the steady-state ratio of specific binding to non-displaceable uptake, was calculated using the renal cortex as a reference tissue devoid of specific VMAT2 binding.
Mean pancreatic SUV, VT, and BPND were reduced by 38%, 20% and 40%, respectively, in T1DM. The radiotracer binding parameters correlated with insulin secretion capacity as determined by arginine-stimulus tests. Group differences and correlations with β-cell function were enhanced for total pancreas binding parameters that accounted for tracer binding density as well as organ volume.
These findings demonstrate that quantitative evaluation of islet β-cell density and aggregate BCM can be performed clinically with [18F]FP-(+)-DTBZ PET.
Diabetes; pancreas; beta cell mass; PET
The aim of this study is to compare the utility of two PET imaging ligands ((+)-[11C]dihydrotetrabenazine ([11C]DTBZ) and the fluoropropyl analogue ([18F]FP-(+)-DTBZ)) that target islet β-cell vesicular monoamine transporter type II (VMAT2) to measure pancreatic β-cell mass (BCM).
[11C]DTBZ, or [18F]FP-(+)-DTBZ was injected, and serial PET images were acquired in rat models of diabetes (streptozotocin-treated and Zucker Diabetic Fatty) and β-cell compensation (Zucker Fatty). Radiotracer standardized uptake values (SUV) were correlated to pancreas insulin content measured biochemically and histomorphometrically.
On a group level, a positive correlation of [11C]DTBZ pancreatic SUV with pancreas insulin content and BCM was observed. In the STZ-diabetic model, both [18F]FP-(+)-DTBZ and [11C]DTBZ correlated positively with BCM, although only ~25% of uptake could be attributed to β-cell uptake. [18F]FP-(+)-DTBZ displacement studies indicate that there is a substantial fraction of specific binding that is not to pancreatic islet β-cells.
PET imaging with [18F]FP-(+)-DTBZ provides a non-invasive means to quantify insulin-positive BCM, and may prove valuable as a diagnostic tool in assessing treatments to maintain or restore BCM.
The pancreatic islet β-cell is uniquely specialized to couple its metabolism and rates of insulin secretion with the levels of circulating nutrient fuels, with the mitochondrial playing a central regulatory role in this process. In the β-cell, mitochondrial activation generates an integrated signal reflecting rates of oxidativephosphorylation, Kreb's cycle flux, and anaplerosis that ultimately determines the rate of insulin exocytosis. Mitochondrial activation can be regulated by proton leak and mediated by UCP2, and by alkalinization to utilize the pH gradient to drive substrate and ion transport. Converging lines of evidence support the hypothesis that substrate cycles driven by rates of Kreb's cycle flux and by anaplerosis play an integral role in coupling responsive changes in mitochondrial metabolism with insulin secretion. The components and mechanisms that account for the integrated signal of ATP production, substrate cycling, the regulation of cellular redox state, and the production of other secondary signaling intermediates are operative in both rodent and human islet β-cells.
Islet beta-cells; Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion; Mitochondrial metabolism; Anaplerosis; Substrate cycling
We present a new registration method for whole-body rat computed tomography (CT) image and positron emission tomography (PET) images using a weighted demons algorithm. The CT and PET images are acquired in separate scanners at different times and the inherent differences in the imaging protocols produced significant nonrigid changes between the two acquisitions in addition to heterogeneous image characteristics. In this situation, we utilized both the transmission-PET and the emission-PET images in the deformable registration process emphasizing particular regions of the moving transmission-PET image using the emission-PET image. We validated our results with nine rat image sets using M-Hausdorff distance similarity measure. We demonstrate improved performance compared to standard methods such as Demons and normalized mutual information-based non-rigid FFD registration.
Whole body PET-CT image fusion
Long-chain acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) synthetase isoform 1 (ACSL1) catalyzes the synthesis of acyl-CoA from long-chain fatty acids and contributes the majority of cardiac long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase activity. To understand its functional role in the heart, we studied mice lacking ACSL1 globally (Acsl1T−/−) and mice lacking ACSL1 in heart ventricles (Acsl1H−/−) at different times. Compared to littermate controls, heart ventricular ACSL activity in Acsl1T−/− mice was reduced more than 90%, acyl-CoA content was 65% lower, and long-chain acyl-carnitine content was 80 to 90% lower. The rate of [14C]palmitate oxidation in both heart homogenate and mitochondria was 90% lower than in the controls, and the maximal rates of [14C]pyruvate and [14C]glucose oxidation were each 20% higher. The mitochondrial area was 54% greater than in the controls with twice as much mitochondrial DNA, and the mRNA abundance of Pgc1α and Errα increased by 100% and 41%, respectively. Compared to the controls, Acsl1T−/− and Acsl1H−/− hearts were hypertrophied, and the phosphorylation of S6 kinase, a target of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase, increased 5-fold. Our data suggest that ACSL1 is required to synthesize the acyl-CoAs that are oxidized by the heart, and that without ACSL1, diminished fatty acid (FA) oxidation and compensatory catabolism of glucose and amino acids lead to mTOR activation and cardiac hypertrophy without lipid accumulation or immediate cardiac dysfunction.
Hepatic steatosis is strongly associated with insulin resistance, but a causal role has not been established. In ob/ob mice, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1) mediates the induction of steatosis by upregulating target genes, including glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase-1 (Gpat1), which catalyzes the first and committed step in the pathway of glycerolipid synthesis. We asked whether ob/ob mice lacking Gpat1 would have reduced hepatic steatosis and improved insulin sensitivity.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Hepatic lipids, insulin sensitivity, and hepatic insulin signaling were compared in lean (Lep+/?), lean-Gpat1−/−, ob/ob (Lepob/ob), and ob/ob-Gpat1−/− mice.
Compared with ob/ob mice, the lack of Gpat1 in ob/ob mice reduced hepatic triacylglycerol (TAG) and diacylglycerol (DAG) content 59 and 74%, respectively, but increased acyl-CoA levels. Despite the reduction in hepatic lipids, fasting glucose and insulin concentrations did not improve, and insulin tolerance remained impaired. In both ob/ob and ob/ob-Gpat1−/− mice, insulin resistance was accompanied by elevated hepatic protein kinase C-ε activation and blunted insulin-stimulated Akt activation.
These results suggest that decreasing hepatic steatosis alone does not improve insulin resistance, and that factors other than increased hepatic DAG and TAG contribute to hepatic insulin resistance in this genetically obese model. They also show that the SREBP1-mediated induction of hepatic steatosis in ob/ob mice requires Gpat1.
To determine whether plasma lactate can be a significant fuel for human brain energy metabolism infusions of [3-13C]lactate and 1H-13C polarization transfer spectroscopy were used to detect the entry and utilization of lactate. During the 2-hour infusion study, 13C incorporation in the amino acid pools of glutamate and glutamine were measured with a 5 minutes time-resolution. With a plasma concentration ([Lac]P) being in the 0.8–2.8 mmol/L range, the tissue lactate concentration ([Lac]B) was assessed as well as the fractional contribution of lactate to brain energy metabolism (CMRlac). From the measured relationship between unidirectional lactate influx (Vin) and plasma and brain lactate concentrations lactate transport constants were calculated using a reversible Michaelis-Menten model. The results show (i) that in the physiological range plasma lactate unidirectional transport (Vin) and concentration in tissue increases close to linearly with the lactate concentration in plasma, (ii) the maximum potential contribution of plasma lactate to brain metabolism is 10% under basal plasma lactate conditions of ~ 1.0 mmol/L and as much as 60% at supra-physiological plasma lactate concentrations when the transporters are saturated, (iii) the half-saturation constant KT is 5.1±2.7 mmol/L and VMAX is 0.40±0.13 μmol/g/min (68% confidence interval), (iv) the majority of plasma lactate is metabolized in neurons similar to glucose.
Human; Brain metabolism; Lactate transport; NMR; In vivo 13C Spectroscopy; reversible Michaelis-Menten
A decline in brain function is a characteristic feature of healthy aging; however, little is known about the biologic basis of this phenomenon. To determine whether there are alterations in brain mitochondrial metabolism associated with healthy aging, we combined 13C/1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy with infusions of [1-13C]glucose and [2-13C]acetate to quantitatively characterize rates of neuronal and astroglial tricarboxylic acid cycles, as well as neuroglial glutamate–glutamine cycling, in healthy elderly and young volunteers. Compared with young subjects, neuronal mitochondrial metabolism and glutamate–glutamine cycle flux was ∼30% lower in elderly subjects. The reduction in individual subjects correlated strongly with reductions in N-acetylaspartate and glutamate concentrations consistent with chronic reductions in brain mitochondrial function. In elderly subjects infused with [2-13C]acetate labeling of glutamine, C4 and C3 differed from that of the young subjects, indicating age-related changes in glial mitochondrial metabolism. Taken together, these studies show that healthy aging is associated with reduced neuronal mitochondrial metabolism and altered glial mitochondrial metabolism, which may in part be responsible for declines in brain function.
aging; human brain; metabolism; mitochondria; 13C MRS; 1H MRS
Insulin resistance is a major factor in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes in the elderly. To investigate how insulin resistance arises, we studied healthy, lean, elderly and young participants matched for lean body mass and fat mass. Elderly study participants were markedly insulin-resistant as compared with young controls, and this resistance was attributable to reduced insulin-stimulated muscle glucose metabolism. These changes were associated with increased fat accumulation in muscle and liver tissue assessed by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and with a ∼40% reduction in mitochondrial oxidative and phosphorylation activity, as assessed by in vivo 13C/31P NMR spectroscopy. These data support the hypothesis that an age-associated decline in mitochondrial function contributes to insulin resistance in the elderly.
We examined the effect of three months of rosiglitazone treatment (4mg BID) on whole body insulin sensitivity and in vivo peripheral adipocyte insulin sensitivity as assessed by glycerol release in microdialysis from subcutaneous fat during a two-step (20 and 120 mU/m2-min) hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in nine type 2 diabetic subjects. In addition the effects of rosiglitazone on liver and muscle triglyceride content were assessed by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Rosiglitazone treatment resulted in a 68% (P<0.002) and a 20% (P<0.016) improvement in insulin stimulated glucose metabolism during the low and high dose steps, respectively, which was associated with ~40% reductions in both plasma fatty acid concentration (P<0.05) and hepatic triglyceride content (P<0.05). These changes were associated with a 39% increase in extramyocellular lipid content (P<0.05) and a 52% increase in the sensitivity of peripheral adipocytes to the inhibitory effects of insulin on lipolysis (p=0.04).
In conclusion these results support the hypothesis that thiazolidinediones enhance insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes by promoting increased insulin sensitivity in peripheral adipocytes, which results in lower plasma fatty acid concentrations and a redistribution of intracellular lipid from insulin responsive organs into peripheral adipocytes.
thiazolidinediones; type 2 diabetes mellitus; lipolysis; insulin resistance; NMR
Increasing evidence supports a crucial role for glial metabolism in maintaining proper synaptic function and in the etiology of neurological disease. However, the study of glial metabolism in humans has been hampered by the lack of noninvasive methods. To specifically measure the contribution of astroglia to brain energy metabolism in humans, we used a novel noninvasive nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic approach. We measured carbon 13 incorporation into brain glutamate and glutamine in eight volunteers during an intravenous infusion of [2-13C] acetate, which has been shown in animal models to be metabolized specifically in astroglia. Mathematical modeling of the three established pathways for neurotransmitter glutamate repletion indicates that the glutamate/glutamine neurotransmitter cycle between astroglia and neurons (0.32 ± 0.07 μmol · gm−1 · min−1) is the major pathway for neuronal glutamate repletion and that the astroglial TCA cycle flux (0.14 ± 0.06 μmol · gm−1 · min−1) accounts for ~14% of brain oxygen consumption. Up to 30% of the glutamine transferred to the neurons by the cycle may derive from replacement of oxidized glutamate by anaplerosis. The further application of this approach could potentially enlighten the role of astroglia in supporting brain glutamatergic activity and in neurological and psychiatric disease.
human; brain; astrocyte; glutamate/glutamine cycle; TCA cycle; NMR; acetate
Fatty liver is commonly associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, but it is unclear whether triacylglycerol accumulation or an excess flux of lipid intermediates in the pathway of triacyglycerol synthesis are sufficient to cause insulin resistance in the absence of genetic or diet-induced obesity. To determine whether increased glycerolipid flux can, by itself, cause hepatic insulin resistance, we used an adenoviral construct to overexpress glycerol-sn-3-phosphate acyltransferase-1 (Ad-GPAT1), the committed step in de novo triacylglycerol synthesis. After 5–7 days, food intake, body weight, and fat pad weight did not differ between Ad-GPAT1 and Ad-enhanced green fluorescent protein control rats, but the chow-fed Ad-GPAT1 rats developed fatty liver, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance. Liver was the predominant site of insulin resistance; Ad-GPAT1 rats had 2.5-fold higher hepatic glucose output than controls during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Hepatic diacylglycerol and lysophosphatidate were elevated in Ad-GPAT1 rats, suggesting a role for these lipid metabolites in the development of hepatic insulin resistance, and hepatic protein kinase Cε was activated, providing a potential mechanism for insulin resistance. Ad-GPAT1-treated rats had 50% lower hepatic NF-κB activity and no difference in expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-β, consistent with hepatic insulin resistance in the absence of increased hepatic inflammation. Glycogen synthesis and uptake of 2-deoxyglucose were reduced in skeletal muscle, suggesting mild peripheral insulin resistance associated with a higher content of skeletal muscle triacylglycerol. These results indicate that increased flux through the pathway of hepatic de novo triacylglycerol synthesis can cause hepatic and systemic insulin resistance in the absence of obesity or a lipogenic diet.
Individuals born with a low birth weight (LBW) have an increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes, but the mechanisms responsible for this association are unknown. Given the important role of insulin resistance in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, we examined insulin sensitivity in a rat model of LBW due to intrauterine fetal stress. During the last 7 days of gestation, rat dams were treated with dexamethasone and insulin sensitivity was assessed in the LBW offspring by a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. The LBW group had liver-specific insulin resistance associated with increased levels of PEPCK expression. These changes were associated with pituitary hyperplasia of the ACTH secreting cells, increased morning plasma ACTH concentrations, elevated corticosterone secretion during restraint stress, and an ~70% increase in 24-h urine corticosterone excretion. These data support the hypothesis that prenatal stress can result in chronic hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, resulting in increased plasma corticosterone concentrations, upregulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis, and hepatic insulin resistance.
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone; blood; Animals; Animals, Newborn; Cholesterol; blood; Corticosterone; blood; urine; Fasting; blood; Female; Glucose; metabolism; Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System; metabolism; Insulin; blood; Insulin Resistance; physiology; Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1; genetics; metabolism; Insulin-Like Growth Factor I; genetics; metabolism; Liver; enzymology; metabolism; Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (ATP); genetics; metabolism; Pituitary-Adrenal System; metabolism; Pregnancy; Random Allocation; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Receptors, Glucocorticoid; genetics; metabolism; Restraint, Physical; physiology; Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction; Triglycerides; blood; Low Birth Weight; Hepatic Insulin Resistance; Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis
Pancreatic β-cells couple the oxidation of glucose to the secretion of insulin. Apart from the canonical KATP-dependent glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), there are important KATP-independent mechanisms involving both anaplerosis and mitochondrial GTP (mtGTP). How mtGTP that is trapped within the mitochondrial matrix regulates the cytosolic calcium increases that drive GSIS remains a mystery. Here we have investigated whether the mitochondrial isoform of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-M) is the GTPase linking hydrolysis of mtGTP made by succinyl-CoA synthetase (SCS-GTP) to an anaplerotic pathway producing phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). Although cytosolic PEPCK (PEPCK-C) is absent, PEPCK-M message and protein were detected in INS-1 832/13 cells, rat islets, and mouse islets. PEPCK enzymatic activity is half that of primary hepatocytes and is localized exclusively to the mitochondria. Novel 13C-labeling strategies in INS-1 832/13 cells and islets measured substantial contribution of PEPCK-M to the synthesis of PEP. As high as 30% of PEP in INS-1 832/13 cells and 41% of PEP in rat islets came from PEPCK-M. The contribution of PEPCK-M to overall PEP synthesis more than tripled with glucose stimulation. Silencing the PEPCK-M gene completely inhibited GSIS underscoring its central role in mitochondrial metabolism-mediated insulin secretion. Given that mtGTP synthesized by SCS-GTP is an indicator of TCA flux that is crucial for GSIS, PEPCK-M is a strong candidate to link mtGTP synthesis with insulin release through anaplerotic PEP cycling.
N-acylphosphatidylethanolamines (NAPEs) are a relatively abundant group of plasma lipids of unknown physiological significance. Here we show that NAPEs are secreted into circulation from the small intestine in response to ingested fat, and that systemic administration of the most abundant circulating NAPE, at physiologic doses, decreases food intake in rats without causing conditioned taste aversion. Furthermore, 14C-radiolabeled NAPE enters the brain and is particularly concentrated in the hypothalamus, and intracerebroventricular infusions of nanomolar amounts of NAPE reduce food intake, collectively suggesting that its effects may be mediated through direct interactions with the central nervous system. Finally, chronic NAPE infusion results in a reduction of both food intake and body weight, suggesting that NAPE and long acting NAPE analogues may be novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity.
Substrate-level mitochondrial GTP (mtGTP) and ATP (mtATP) synthesis occurs by nucleotide-specific isoforms of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzyme succinyl CoA synthetase (SCS). Unlike mtATP, each molecule of glucose metabolized produces approximately one mtGTP in pancreatic β-cells independent of coupling with oxidative phosphorylation making mtGTP a potentially important fuel signal. siRNA suppression of the GTP-producing pathway (ΔSCS-GTP) reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) by 50%, whereas suppression of the parallel ATP-producing isoform (ΔSCS-ATP) increased GSIS by two-fold in INS-1 832/13 cells and cultured rat islets. Insulin secretion correlated with increases in cytosolic calcium but not with changes in NAD(P)H or the ATP/ADP ratio. These data suggest an important role for mtGTP in mediating GSIS in β-cells by modulation of mitochondrial metabolism possibly via influencing mitochondrial calcium. Furthermore, by virtue of its tight coupling to TCA oxidation rates, mtGTP production may serve as an important molecular signal of TCA cycle activity.
In the postabsorptive state, certain tissues, including the brain, require glucose as the sole source of energy. After an overnight fast, hepatic glycogen stores are depleted, and gluconeogenesis becomes essential for preventing life-threatening hypoglycemia. Mice with a targeted deletion of KLF15, a member of the Krüppel-like family of transcription factors, display severe hypoglycemia after an overnight (18 hr) fast. We provide evidence that defective amino acid catabolism promotes the development of fasting hypoglycemia in KLF15−/− mice by limiting gluconeogenic substrate availability. KLF15−/− liver and skeletal muscle show markedly reduced mRNA expression of amino acid-degrading enzymes. Furthermore, the enzymatic activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), which converts the critical gluconeogenic amino acid alanine into pyruvate, is decreased (~50%) in KLF15−/− hepatocytes. Consistent with this observation, intraperitoneal injection of pyruvate, but not alanine, rescues fasting hypoglycemia in KLF15−/− mice. We conclude that KLF15 plays an important role in the regulation of gluconeogenesis.
Hepatic steatosis is a core feature of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes and leads to hepatic insulin resistance. Malonyl-CoA, generated by acetyl-CoA carboxylases 1 and 2 (Acc1 and Acc2), is a key regulator of both mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and fat synthesis. We used a diet-induced rat model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatic insulin resistance to explore the impact of suppressing Acc1, Acc2, or both Acc1 and Acc2 on hepatic lipid levels and insulin sensitivity. While suppression of Acc1 or Acc2 expression with antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) increased fat oxidation in rat hepatocytes, suppression of both enzymes with a single ASO was significantly more effective in promoting fat oxidation. Suppression of Acc1 also inhibited lipogenesis whereas Acc2 reduction had no effect on lipogenesis. In rats with NAFLD, suppression of both enzymes with a single ASO was required to significantly reduce hepatic malonyl-CoA levels in vivo, lower hepatic lipids (long-chain acyl-CoAs, diacylglycerol, and triglycerides), and improve hepatic insulin sensitivity. Plasma ketones were significantly elevated compared with controls in the fed state but not in the fasting state, indicating that lowering Acc1 and -2 expression increases hepatic fat oxidation specifically in the fed state. These studies suggest that pharmacological inhibition of Acc1 and -2 may be a novel approach in the treatment of NAFLD and hepatic insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance plays a primary role in the development of type 2 diabetes and may be related to alterations in fat metabolism. Recent studies have suggested that local accumulation of fat metabolites inside skeletal muscle may activate a serine kinase cascade involving protein kinase C–θ (PKC-θ), leading to defects in insulin signaling and glucose transport in skeletal muscle. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether mice with inactivation of PKC-θ are protected from fat-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle and hepatic insulin action as assessed during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps did not differ between WT and PKC-θ KO mice following saline infusion. A 5-hour lipid infusion decreased insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle glucose uptake in the WT mice that was associated with 40–50% decreases in insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate–1 (IRS-1) and IRS-1–associated PI3K activity. In contrast, PKC-θ inactivation prevented fat-induced defects in insulin signaling and glucose transport in skeletal muscle. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that PKC-θ is a crucial component mediating fat-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and suggest that PKC-θ is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Lipodystrophy is a rare disorder that is characterized by selective loss of subcutaneous and visceral fat and is associated with hypertriglyceridemia, hepatomegaly, and disordered glucose metabolism. It has recently been shown that chronic leptin treatment ameliorates these abnormalities. Here we show that chronic leptin treatment improves insulin-stimulated hepatic and peripheral glucose metabolism in severely insulin-resistant lipodystrophic patients. This improvement in insulin action was associated with a marked reduction in hepatic and muscle triglyceride content. These data suggest that leptin may represent an important new therapy to reverse the severe hepatic and muscle insulin resistance and associated hepatic steatosis in patients with lipodystrophy.
The mechanism underlying the regulation of basal metabolic rate by thyroid hormone remains unclear. Although it has been suggested that thyroid hormone might uncouple substrate oxidation from ATP synthesis, there are no data from studies on humans to support this hypothesis. To examine this possibility, we used a novel combined 13C/31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) approach to assess mitochondrial energy coupling in skeletal muscle of seven healthy adults before and after three days of triiodothyronine (T3) treatment. Rates of ATP synthesis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle fluxes were measured by 31P and 13C NMR spectroscopy, respectively, and mitochondrial energy coupling was assessed as the ratio. Muscle TCA cycle flux increased by approximately 70% following T3 treatment. In contrast, the rate of ATP synthesis remained unchanged. Given the disproportionate increase in TCA cycle flux compared with ATP synthesis, these data suggest that T3 promotes increased thermogenesis in part by promoting mitochondrial energy uncoupling in skeletal muscle.
To examine the mechanism by which free fatty acids (FFA) induce insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle, glycogen, glucose-6-phosphate, and intracellular glucose concentrations were measured using carbon-13 and phosphorous-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in seven healthy subjects before and after a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp following a five-hour infusion of either lipid/heparin or glycerol/heparin. IRS-1–associated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activity was also measured in muscle biopsy samples obtained from seven additional subjects before and after an identical protocol. Rates of insulin stimulated whole-body glucose uptake. Glucose oxidation and muscle glycogen synthesis were 50%–60% lower following the lipid infusion compared with the glycerol infusion and were associated with a ∼90% decrease in the increment in intramuscular glucose-6-phosphate concentration, implying diminished glucose transport or phosphorylation activity. To distinguish between these two possibilities, intracellular glucose concentration was measured and found to be significantly lower in the lipid infusion studies, implying that glucose transport is the rate-controlling step. Insulin stimulation, during the glycerol infusion, resulted in a fourfold increase in PI 3-kinase activity over basal that was abolished during the lipid infusion. Taken together, these data suggest that increased concentrations of plasma FFA induce insulin resistance in humans through inhibition of glucose transport activity; this may be a consequence of decreased IRS-1–associated PI 3-kinase activity.
Genome wide array studies have associated the Patatin-like Phospholipase Domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) gene polymorphisms with hepatic steatosis. However, it is unclear whether PNPLA3 functions as a lipase or a lipogenic enzyme and whether PNPLA3 is involved in the pathogenesis of hepatic insulin resistance. To address these questions we treated high-fat-fed rats with specific antisense oligonucleotides to decrease hepatic and adipose pnpla3 expression. Reducing pnpla3 expression prevented hepatic steatosis, which could be attributed to decreased fatty acid esterification measured by the incorporation of [U-13C]-palmitate into hepatic triglyceride. While the precursors for phosphatidic acid (PA) [long-chain fatty acyl-CoAs and lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)] were not decreased, we did observe an ~20% reduction in the hepatic PA content, ~35% reduction in PA / LPA ratio, and ~60–70% reduction in transacylation activity at the level of acyl-CoA:1-acylglycerol-sn-3-phosphate acyltransferase. These changes were associated with an ~50% reduction in hepatic diacylglycerol (DAG) content, an ~80% reduction in hepatic protein kinase Cε activation, and increased hepatic insulin sensitivity, as reflected by a twofold greater suppression of endogenous glucose production during the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Finally, in humans, hepatic PNPLA3 mRNA expression was strongly correlated with hepatic triglyceride and DAG content, supporting a potential lipogenic role of PNPLA3 in humans. Taken together these data suggest that PNPLA3 may function primarily in a lipogenic capacity and inhibition of PNPLA3 may be a novel therapeutic approach for treatment of NAFLD associated hepatic insulin resistance.
Esterification; Diacylglycerol; High Fat Diet; Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Antisense Oligonucleotide