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author:("colli, Franco")
1.  14-Year Risk of All-Cause Mortality According to Hypoglycaemic Drug Exposure in a General Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95671.
Guidelines for management of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus recommend the use of hypoglycaemic drugs when lifestyle interventions remain insufficient for glycaemic control. Recent trials have provided worrying safety data on certain hypoglycaemic drugs. The aim of this study was to assess 14-year risk of all-cause mortality according to hypoglycaemic drug exposure at baseline, in a general population.
Our analysis was based on the observational Third French MONICA survey on cardiovascular risk factors (1995–1997). Vital status was obtained 14 years after inclusion, and assessment of determinants of mortality was based on multivariable Cox modelling.
There were 3336 participants and 248 deaths over the 14-year period. At baseline, there were 3162 (95%) non-diabetic, 46 (1%) untreated type 2 diabetic and 128 (4%) type 2 diabetic subjects with hypoglycaemic drug treatment (metformin alone (31%), sulfonylureas alone or in combination (49%), insulin alone or in combination (10%), or other treatments (9%)). After adjustment for duration of diabetes, history of diabetes complications, area of residence (centre), age, gender, educational level, alcohol consumption, smoking, blood pressure, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which all were significant and independent determinants of mortality, the hazard ratio for all-cause mortality was 3.22 [95% confidence interval: 0.87–11.9] for untreated diabetic subjects, 2.28 [0.98–5.26] for diabetics treated with metformin alone, 1.70 [0.92–3.16] for diabetics with sulfonylureas and 4.92 [1.70–14.3] for diabetic with insulin versus non-diabetic subjects.
Our results support the conclusion that until more evidence is provided from randomized trials, a prudent approach should be to restrain use of insulin to situations in which combinations of non-insulin agents have failed to appropriately achieve glycemic control, as it is recommended in the current guidelines for the management of type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3994099  PMID: 24752580
2.  Insulin Dynamics in Young Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Normal Glucose Tolerance across Categories of Body Mass Index 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e92995.
Evidence favours insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia as the predominant, perhaps primary, defects in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of the present study was to evaluate insulin metabolism in young women with PCOS but normal glucose tolerance as compared with age, body mass index and insulin resistance-matched controls to answer the question whether women with PCOS hypersecrete insulin in comparison to appropriately insulin resistance-matched controls.
Research Design and Methods
Sixty-nine cases were divided according to their body mass index (BMI) in normal-weight (N = 29), overweight (N = 24) and obese patients (N = 16). Controls were 479 healthy women (age 16–49 y). Whole body Insulin Sensitivity (WBISI), fasting, and total insulin secretion were estimated following an oral glucose tolerance test (C-peptide deconvolution method).
Across classes of BMI, PCOS patients had greater insulin resistance than matched controls (p<0.0001 for all the comparisons), but they showed higher fasting and total insulin secretion than their age, BMI and insulin resistance-matched peers (p<0.0001 for all the comparisons).
Women with PCOS show higher insulin resistance but also larger insulin secretion to maintain normal glucose homeostasis than age-, BMI- and insulin resistance-matched controls.
PMCID: PMC3976408  PMID: 24705280
Obesity is associated to high insulin and glucagon plasma levels. Enhanced β–cell function and β–cell expansion are responsible for insulin hypersecretion. It is unknown whether hyperglucagonemia is due to α-cell hypersecretion or to an increase in α-cell mass. In this study, we investigated the dynamics of the β-cell and α-cell function and mass in pancreas of obese normoglycemic baboons.
Pancreatic β- and α-cell volumes were measured in 51 normoglycemic baboons divided into 6 groups according to overweight severity or duration. Islets morphometric parameters were correlated to overweight and to diverse metabolic and laboratory parameters.
Relative α-cell volume (RαV) and relative islet α-cell volume (RIαV) increased significantly with both overweight duration and severity. Conversely, in spite of the induction of insulin resistance, overweight produced only modest effects on relative β-cell volume (RβV) and relative islet β-cell volume (RIβV). Of note, RIβV did not increase neither with overweight duration nor with overweight severity, supposedly because of the concomitant, greater, increase in RIαV. Baboons' body weights correlated with serum levels of Interleukin-6 and Tumour Necrosis Factor-α soluble Receptors (IL-6sR and sTNF-R1), demonstrating that overweight induces abnormal activation of the signaling of two cytokines known to impact differently β- and α-cell viability and replication.
In conclusion, overweight and insulin resistance induce in baboons a significant increase in α-cell volumes (RαV, RIαV) while have minimal effects on the β-cells. This study suggests that an increase in the α-cell mass may precede the loss of β-cells and the transition to overt hyperglycemia and diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3906680  PMID: 23229736
Obesity duration; obesity severity; α-cell volume; β-cells volume; pancreatic islet remodelling; insulin resistance
5.  Clinical Impact of the Temporal Relationship between Depression and Type 2 Diabetes: The Fremantle Diabetes Study Phase II 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81254.
The clinical features of type 2 diabetes may differ depending on whether first depression episode precedes or follows the diagnosis of diabetes.
Type 2 patients from the observational community-based Fremantle Diabetes Study Phase II underwent assessment of lifetime depression using the Brief Lifetime Depression Scale (developed and validated for this study) supplemented by information on current depression symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire, 9-item version) and use of antidepressants. Patients were categorized as never depressed (Group 1), having had depression before diabetes diagnosis (Group 2), diagnosed with depression and diabetes within 2 years of each other (Group 3) and having depression after diabetes diagnosis (Group 4).
Of 1391 patients, 20.8% were assigned to Group 2, 6.0% to Group 3 and 14.5% to Group 4. In Group 2, depression occurred a median 15.6 years before diabetes onset at age 37.2±14.7 years. These patients had similar clinical characteristics to never depressed patients except for reduced self-care behaviours and having more symptomatic peripheral arterial disease. In Group 4, depression occurred a median 9.9 years after diabetes onset at age 59.8±13.0 years. These patients had long duration diabetes, poor glycaemic control, more intensive management and more diabetic complications. Group 4 patients had more current depression than Group 2 but were less likely to be receiving antidepressants.
The clinical features of depression and type 2 diabetes are heterogeneous depending on their temporal relationship. There may be corresponding differences in the pathogenesis of depression in diabetes that have implications for diagnosis and management.
PMCID: PMC3852722  PMID: 24324682
6.  Prevalence and Trends of the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Epidemic in General Population - A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81260.
To conduct a meta-analysis assessing the prevalence and trends of the abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) epidemic in general population.
Studies that reported prevalence rates of AAA from the general population were identified through MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and reference lists for the period between 1988 and 2013. Studies were included if they reported prevalence rates of AAA in general population from the community. In stratified analyses possible sources of bias, including areas difference, age, gender and diameter of aneurysms were examined. Publication bias was assessed with Egger's test method.
56 studies were identified. The overall pooled prevalence of AAA was 4.8% (4.3%, 5.3%). Stratified analyses showed the following results, areas difference: America 2.2% (2.2%, 2.2%), Europe 2.5% (2.4%, 2.5%), Australia 6.7% (6.5%, 7.0%), Asia 0.5% (0.3%, 0.7%); gender difference: male 6.0% (5.3%, 6.7%), female 1.6% (1.2%, 1.9%); age difference: 55–64years 1.3% (1.2%, 1.5%), 65–74 years 2.8% (2.7%, 2.9%), 75–84 years1.2%(1.1%, 1.3%), ≥85years0.6% (0.4%, 0.7%); aortic diameters difference: 30–39 mm, 3.3% (2.8%, 3.9%), 40–49 mm,0.7% (0.4%,1.0%), ≥50 mm, 0.4% (0.3%, 0.5%). The prevalence of AAA has decreased in Europe from 1988 to 2013. Hypertension, smoking, coronary artery disease, dyslipidemia, respiratory disease, cerebrovascular disease, claudication and renal insufficiency were risk factors for AAA in Europe.
AAA is common in general population. The prevalence of AAA is higher in Australia than America and Europe. The pooled prevalence in western countries is higher than the Asia. Future research requires a larger database on the epidemiology of AAA in general population.
PMCID: PMC3846841  PMID: 24312543
7.  Prevalence of Comorbidities and Baseline Characteristics of LAP-BAND AP® Subjects in the Helping Evaluate Reduction in Obesity (HERO) Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78971.
To describe the baseline characteristics in patients who chose placement of a LAP-BAND AP® System (LBAP) and participated in the Helping Evaluate Reduction in Obesity (HERO) Study across regions.
Patients and Methods
HERO is a five- year, prospective, multicenter, international study of patients with LBAP placement between July 22, 2009 and January 31, 2011. In addition to baseline and peri-surgery clinical data, seven follow up visits are scheduled at 3, 6 and 12 months, and annually through year five. Data collection included family and medical history, clinical outcomes, laboratory data, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), productivity, healthcare resource utilization, and adverse events.
LBAP were placed in 1106 enrolled patients; 56.6% from the US, 26.3% from Europe, 7.1% from Canada, and 10.0% from Australia. The majority were female (n = 877 (79.3%)) with a mean age of 43 years (s.d. = 11.4) and mean body mass index of 45.1 kg/m2 (s.d. = 6.9). The most common comorbidities were hypertension (HTN) (overall  = 42.9%) and diabetes (overall 22.2%, with 27% from the US and 14% from Europe). Overall, less than 5% had a history of cardiovascular disease. The prevalence rates of HTN, diabetes and cardiovascular disease were significantly (p<0.001) higher in men than in women across all regions. Overall HRQoL also worsened with increasing BMI.
The HERO study is the first large, multinational and long-term registry with the LBAP. This study will provide real-world outcomes data on LAGB that will help inform patient choice, clinician treatment strategies, and payer reimbursement decisions.
PMCID: PMC3829819  PMID: 24260140
8.  Identification of Candidate Children for Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young Type 2 (MODY2) Gene Testing: A Seven-Item Clinical Flowchart (7-iF) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79933.
MODY2 is the most prevalent monogenic form of diabetes in Italy with an estimated prevalence of about 0.5–1.5%. MODY2 is potentially indistinguishable from other forms of diabetes, however, its identification impacts on patients' quality of life and healthcare resources. Unfortunately, DNA direct sequencing as diagnostic test is not readily accessible and expensive. In addition current guidelines, aiming to establish when the test should be performed, proved a poor detection rate. Aim of this study is to propose a reliable and easy-to-use tool to identify candidate patients for MODY2 genetic testing. We designed and validated a diagnostic flowchart in the attempt to improve the detection rate and to increase the number of properly requested tests. The flowchart, called 7-iF, consists of 7 binary “yes or no” questions and its unequivocal output is an indication for whether testing or not. We tested the 7-iF to estimate its clinical utility in comparison to the clinical suspicion alone. The 7-iF, in a prospective 2-year study (921 diabetic children) showed a precision of about the 76%. Using retrospective data, the 7-iF showed a precision in identifying MODY2 patients of about 80% compared to the 40% of the clinical suspicion. On the other hand, despite a relatively high number of missing MODY2 patients, the 7-iF would not suggest the test for 90% of the non-MODY2 patients, demonstrating that a wide application of this method might 1) help less experienced clinicians in suspecting MODY2 patients and 2) reducing the number of unnecessary tests. With the 7-iF, a clinician can feel confident of identifying a potential case of MODY2 and suggest the molecular test without fear of wasting time and money. A Qaly-type analysis estimated an increase in the patients' quality of life and savings for the health care system of about 9 million euros per year.
PMCID: PMC3823596  PMID: 24244580
9.  The role of nateglinide and repaglinide, derivatives of meglitinide, in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide, presenting a great challenge to the public health systems due to high morbidity and mortality, because of frequent micro-/macro-vascular complications. Many treatment options are now available, with different efficacy as well as mechanisms of action to improve deranged glucose metabolism. We review some of the available data on derivatives of meglitinide, namely nateglinide and repaglinide. These two compounds increase insulin secretion by a mechanism similar to the one of sulfonylureas, but with a shorter half-life. Nateglinide and repaglinide, derivatives of meglitinides, have characteristic pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties that, together with their proposed mechanism of action, make them useful for type 2 diabetes mellitus, especially when used in combination therapy.
PMCID: PMC3832818  PMID: 24273582
meglitinide; repaglinide; nateglinide; glycemic control; post-prandial glucose excursion; hypoglycemia
10.  KLF15 Is a Molecular Link between Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Insulin Resistance 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77851.
Obesity places major demands on the protein folding capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), resulting in ER stress, a condition that promotes hepatic insulin resistance and steatosis. Here we identify the transcription factor, Kruppel-like factor 15 (KLF15), as an essential mediator of ER stress-induced insulin resistance in the liver. Mice with a targeted deletion of KLF15 exhibit increased hepatic ER stress, inflammation, and JNK activation compared to WT mice; however, KLF15-/- mice are protected against hepatic insulin resistance and fatty liver under high-fat feeding conditions and in response to pharmacological induction of ER stress. The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a key regulator of cellular energy homeostasis, has been shown to cooperate with ER stress signaling pathways to promote hepatic insulin resistance and lipid accumulation. We find that the uncoupling of ER stress and insulin resistance in KLF15-/- liver is associated with the maintenance of a low energy state characterized by decreased mTORC1 activity, increased AMPK phosphorylation and PGC-1α expression and activation of autophagy, an intracellular degradation process that enhances hepatic insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, in primary hepatocytes, KLF15 deficiency markedly inhibits activation of mTORC1 by amino acids and insulin, suggesting a mechanism by which KLF15 controls mTORC1-mediated insulin resistance. This study establishes KLF15 as an important molecular link between ER stress and insulin action.
PMCID: PMC3805598  PMID: 24167585
11.  Inclusion of Plasma Lipid Species Improves Classification of Individuals at Risk of Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76577.
A significant proportion of individuals with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance have fasting plasma glucose less than 6.1 mmol/L and so are not identified with fasting plasma glucose measurements. In this study, we sought to evaluate the utility of plasma lipids to improve on fasting plasma glucose and other standard risk factors for the identification of type 2 diabetes or those at increased risk (impaired glucose tolerance).
Methods and Findings
Our diabetes risk classification model was trained and cross-validated on a cohort 76 individuals with undiagnosed diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance and 170 gender and body mass index matched individuals with normal glucose tolerance, all with fasting plasma glucose less than 6.1 mmol/L. The inclusion of 21 individual plasma lipid species to triglycerides and HbA1c as predictors in the diabetes risk classification model resulted in a statistically significant gain in area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of 0.049 (p<0.001) and a net reclassification improvement of 10.5% (p<0.001). The gain in area under the curve and net reclassification improvement were subsequently validated on a separate cohort of 485 subjects.
Plasma lipid species can improve the performance of classification models based on standard lipid and non-lipid risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3792993  PMID: 24116121
12.  Energy Expenditure Evaluation in Humans and Non-Human Primates by SenseWear Armband. Validation of Energy Expenditure Evaluation by SenseWear Armband by Direct Comparison with Indirect Calorimetry 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73651.
The purpose of this study was to compare and validate the use of SenseWear Armband (SWA) placed on the arm (SWA ARM) and on the back (SWA BACK) in healthy humans during resting and a cycle-ergometer exercise and to evaluate the SWA to estimate Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) and Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) in healthy baboons.
We studied 26 (15F/11M) human subjects wearing SWA in two different anatomical sites (arm and back) during resting and a cycle-ergometer test and directly compared these results with indirect calorimetry evaluation (IC), performed at the same time. We then inserted the SWA in a metabolic jacket for baboons and evaluated the TEE and REE in free living condition for 6 days in 21 (8F/13M) non-human primates.
In humans we found a good correlation between SWA place on the ARM and on the BACK with IC during the resting experiment (1.1±0.3 SWAs, 1±0.2 IC kcal/min) and a slight underestimation in the SWAs data compared with IC during the cycle-ergometer exercise (5±1.9 SWA ARM, 4.5±1.5 SWA BACK and 5.4±2.1 IC kcal/min). In the non-human primate (baboons) experiment SWA estimated a TEE of 0.54±0.009 kcal/min during free living and a REE of 0.82±0.06 kcal/min.
SWA, an extremely simple and inexpensive apparatus, provides quite accurate measurements of energy expenditure in humans and in baboons. Energy expenditure data obtained with SWA are highly correlated with the data obtained with “gold standard”, IC, in humans.
PMCID: PMC3777938  PMID: 24069218
13.  The Business Case for Bariatric Surgery Revisited: A Non-Randomized Case-Control Study  
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75498.
Background and Aim
Prior studies reporting that bariatric surgery (including laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) and [laparoscopic Roux-en-Y] Gastric Bypass (LRYGB)) is cost-saving relied on a comparison sample of those with a morbid obesity (MO) diagnosis code, a high cost group who may not be reflective of those who opt for the procedures. We re-estimate net costs and time to breakeven using an alternative sample that does not rely on this code.
Materials and Methods
Non-randomized case-control study using medical claims data from a commercial database in the USA. LAGB and LRYGB claimants were propensity score matched to two control samples: one restricted to those with a MO diagnosis code and one without this restriction.
When using the MO sample, costs for LAGB and LRYGB are recovered in 1.5 (Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.45 to 1.55) and 2.25 years (CI: 2.07 to 2.43), and 5 year savings are $78,980 (CI: 62,320 to 100,550) for LAGB and $61,420 (CI: 44,710 to 82,870) for LRYGB. Without the MO requirement, time to breakeven for LAGB increases to 5.25 (CI: 4.25 to 10+) years with a 5 year net cost of $690 (CI: 6,800 to 8.400). For LRYGB, time to breakeven exceeds 10 years and 5 year net costs are $18,940 (CI: 10,390 to 26,740).
The net costs and time to breakeven resulting from bariatric surgery are likely less favorable than has been reported in prior studies, and especially for LRYGB, with a time to breakeven of more than twice the 5.25 year estimate for LAGB.
PMCID: PMC3777948  PMID: 24069423
14.  BMP7 Activates Brown Adipose Tissue and Reduces Diet-Induced Obesity Only at Subthermoneutrality 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74083.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates energy stored in triglycerides as heat via the uncoupling protein UCP-1 and is a promising target to combat hyperlipidemia and obesity. BAT is densely innervated by the sympathetic nervous system, which increases BAT differentiation and activity upon cold exposure. Recently, Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 (BMP7) was identified as an inducer of BAT differentiation. We aimed to elucidate the role of sympathetic activation in the effect of BMP7 on BAT by treating mice with BMP7 at varying ambient temperature, and assessed the therapeutic potential of BMP7 in combating obesity.
Methods and Results
High-fat diet fed lean C57Bl6/J mice were treated with BMP7 via subcutaneous osmotic minipumps for 4 weeks at 21°C or 28°C, the latter being a thermoneutral temperature in which sympathetic activation of BAT is largely diminished. At 21°C, BMP7 increased BAT weight, increased the expression of Ucp1, Cd36 and hormone-sensitive lipase in BAT, and increased total energy expenditure. BMP7 treatment markedly increased food intake without affecting physical activity. Despite that, BMP7 diminished white adipose tissue (WAT) mass, accompanied by increased expression of genes related to intracellular lipolysis in WAT. All these effects were blunted at 28°C. Additionally, BMP7 resulted in extensive ‘browning’ of WAT, as evidenced by increased expression of BAT markers and the appearance of whole clusters of brown adipocytes via immunohistochemistry, independent of environmental temperature. Treatment of diet-induced obese C57Bl6/J mice with BMP7 led to an improved metabolic phenotype, consisting of a decreased fat mass and liver lipids as well as attenuated dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia.
Together, these data show that BMP7-mediated recruitment and activation of BAT only occurs at subthermoneutral temperature, and is thus likely dependent on sympathetic activation of BAT, and that BMP7 may be a promising tool to combat obesity and associated disorders.
PMCID: PMC3774620  PMID: 24066098
15.  Maternal Vitamin D Status in Type 1 Diabetic Pregnancy: Impact on Neonatal Vitamin D Status and Association with Maternal Glycaemic Control 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74068.
The first aim of this study was to assess 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25OHD) concentrations in women with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) during pregnancy, post-delivery and also foetal (cord blood) 25OHD concentrations and to examine relationships between these. The second aim of the study was to investigate potential interactions between maternal body mass index (BMI) and foetal vitamin D status. A further study aim was to examine potential relationships between maternal 25OHD and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) throughout pregnancy.
Research Design and Methods
This was an observational study of 52 pregnant controls without diabetes and 65 pregnant women with T1DM in a university teaching hospital. Maternal serum 25OHD was measured serially throughout the pregnancy and post-delivery. Cord blood 25OHD was measured at delivery. 25OHD was measured by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
Vitamin D deficiency (25OHD <25 nmol/L) was apparent in both the T1DM subjects and controls at all 3 pregnancy trimesters. Vitamin D levels in all cord blood were <50 nmol/L. Maternal 25OHD correlated positively with cord 25OHD at all 3 trimesters in the T1DM group (p = 0.02; p<0.001; p<0.001). 25OHD levels within cord blood were significantly lower for women with diabetes classified as obese vs. normal weight at booking [normal weight BMI <25 kg/m2 vs. obese BMI >30 kg/m2 (nmol/L±SD); 19.93±11.15 vs. 13.73±4.74, p = 0.026]. In the T1DM group, HbA1c at booking was significantly negatively correlated with maternal 25OHD at all 3 trimesters (p = 0.004; p = 0.001; p = 0.05).
In T1DM pregnancy, low vitamin D levels persist throughout gestation and post-delivery. Cord blood vitamin D levels correlate with those of the mother, and are significantly lower in obese women than in their normal weight counterparts. Maternal vitamin D levels exhibit a significant negative relationship with HbA1c levels, supporting a potential role for this vitamin in maintaining glycaemic control.
PMCID: PMC3760821  PMID: 24019947
16.  Insulin Sensitivity from Preschool to School Age in Patients with Severe Obesity 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68628.
Insulin sensitivity decreases at puberty transition, but little information has been provided on its earlier time-course. Aim of the present study was to describe the time-course of insulin sensitivity in severely obese children at the transition from preschool to school age.
Research design and methods
Retrospective study of a cohort of 47 severely obese [Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥99° percentile] preschoolers evaluated twice, once between 2 and 6 years of age, and once before age 8. Glucose tolerance, Whole Body Insulin Sensitivity Index (WBISI), Insulinogenic Index (IGI); β-cell demand index (BCDI) and Insulin Secretion-Sensitivity Index 2 (ISSI-2) were longitudinally estimated during the oral glucose tolerance test.
After a median follow-up of 2.23 (1–4.52) y, obese patients showed significant decrease in WBISI (p<0.0001), and increase in fasting (p = 0.005) and 2 h glucose (2HG, p = 0.001). One child in preschool age and 4 school age children presented with 2HG between 7.8–11.1 mmol/l. Best predictors of WBISI, 2HG and BCDI in the school age were changes in BMI z-score (R2 = 0.309; p = 0.002; β = −0.556), ISSI-2 (R2 = 0.465; p<0.0001; β = −0.682), and BMI z-score (R2 = 0.246; p = 0.008; 0.496), respectively.
In morbidly obese children, insulin sensitivity seems to decline even before pubertal transition, but changes in total adiposity can only partially explain this variation.
PMCID: PMC3729946  PMID: 23935878
17.  Health Disparities from Economic Burden of Diabetes in Middle-income Countries: Evidence from México 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68443.
The rapid growth of diabetes in middle-income countries is generating disparities in global health. In this context we conducted a study to quantify the health disparities from the economic burden of diabetes in México. Evaluative research based on a longitudinal design, using cost methodology by instrumentation. For the estimation of epidemiological changes during the 2010–2012 period, several probabilistic models were developed using the Box-Jenkins technique. The financial requirements were obtained from expected case management costs by disease and the application of an econometric adjustment factor to control the effects of inflation. Comparing the economic impact in 2010 versus 2012 (p<0.05), there was a 33% increase in financial requirements. The total amount for diabetes in 2011 (US dollars) was $7.7 billion. It includes $3.4 billion in direct costs and $4.3 in indirect costs. The total direct costs were $.4 billion to the Ministry of Health (SSA), serving the uninsured population; $1.2 to the institutions serving the insured population (Mexican Institute for Social Security–IMSS-, and Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers-ISSSTE-); $1.8 to users; and $.1 to Private Health Insurance (PHI). If the risk factors and the different health care models remain as they currently are in the analyzed institutions, health disparities in terms of financial implications will have the greatest impact on users’ pockets. In middle-income countries, health disparities generated by the economic burden of diabetes is one of the main reasons for catastrophic health expenditure. Health disparities generated by the economic burden of diabetes suggests the need to design and review the current organization of health systems and the relevance of moving from biomedical models and curative health care to preventive and socio-medical models to meet expected challenges from diseases like diabetes in middle-income countries.
PMCID: PMC3709919  PMID: 23874629
18.  The Ontogeny of the Endocrine Pancreas in the Fetal/Newborn Baboon 
The Journal of endocrinology  2012;214(3):289-299.
Erratic regulation of glucose metabolism including hyperglycemia is a common condition of premature infants and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
To examine histological and ultra-structural differences in the endocrine pancreas in fetal (throughout gestation) and neonatal baboons.
Twelve fetal baboons were delivered at 125 days (d) gestational age (GA), 140dGA, or 175dGA. Eight animals were delivered at term (185dGA); half were fed for 5d. Seventy-three non-diabetic adult baboons were used for comparison. Pancreatic tissue was studied utilizing light microscopy, confocal imaging and electron microscopy.
The fetal and neonatal endocrine pancreas islet architecture became more organized as GA advanced. The percent areas of α-β-δ-cell type were similar within each fetal and newborn GA (NS), but were higher than the adults (P<0.05) regardless of GA. The ratio of β-cells within the islet (whole and core) increased with gestation (P<0.01). Neonatal baboons who survived for 5 days (feeding), had a 2.5-fold increase in pancreas weight compared to their counterparts euthanized at birth (P=0.01). Endocrine cells were found amongst exocrine ductal and acinar cells in 125,140 and 175dGA fetuses. Subpopulation of cells that co-expressed trypsin and glucagon/insulin show the presence of cells with mixed endo-exocrine lineage in fetuses.
The fetal endocrine pancreas has no prevalence of a of α-β-δ-cell type with larger endocrine cell percent areas than adults. Cells with mixed endocrine/exocrine phenotype occur during fetal development. Developmental differences may play a role in glucose homeostasis during the neonatal period and may have long term implications.
PMCID: PMC3686495  PMID: 22723715
Insulin; glucagon; fetus; islet cells; primates
19.  Identification of a Mitochondrial Target of Thiazolidinedione Insulin Sensitizers (mTOT)—Relationship to Newly Identified Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier Proteins 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e61551.
Thiazolidinedione (TZD) insulin sensitizers have the potential to effectively treat a number of human diseases, however the currently available agents have dose-limiting side effects that are mediated via activation of the transcription factor PPARγ. We have recently shown PPARγ-independent actions of TZD insulin sensitizers, but the molecular target of these molecules remained to be identified. Here we use a photo-catalyzable drug analog probe and mass spectrometry-based proteomics to identify a previously uncharacterized mitochondrial complex that specifically recognizes TZDs. These studies identify two well-conserved proteins previously known as brain protein 44 (BRP44) and BRP44 Like (BRP44L), which recently have been renamed Mpc2 and Mpc1 to signify their function as a mitochondrial pyruvate carrier complex. Knockdown of Mpc1 or Mpc2 in Drosophila melanogaster or pre-incubation with UK5099, an inhibitor of pyruvate transport, blocks the crosslinking of mitochondrial membranes by the TZD probe. Knockdown of these proteins in Drosophila also led to increased hemolymph glucose and blocked drug action. In isolated brown adipose tissue (BAT) cells, MSDC-0602, a PPARγ-sparing TZD, altered the incorporation of 13C-labeled carbon from glucose into acetyl CoA. These results identify Mpc1 and Mpc2 as components of the mitochondrial target of TZDs (mTOT) and suggest that understanding the modulation of this complex, which appears to regulate pyruvate entry into the mitochondria, may provide a viable target for insulin sensitizing pharmacology.
PMCID: PMC3655167  PMID: 23690925
20.  FGF21 Can Be Mimicked In Vitro and In Vivo by a Novel Anti-FGFR1c/β-Klotho Bispecific Protein 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61432.
The endocrine hormone FGF21 has attracted considerable interest as a potential therapeutic for treating diabetes and obesity. As an alternative to the native cytokine, we generated bispecific Avimer polypeptides that bind with high affinity and specificity to one of the receptor and coreceptor pairs used by FGF21, FGFR1c and β-Klotho. These Avimers exhibit FGF21-like activity in in vitro assays with potency greater than FGF21. In a study conducted in obese male cynomolgus monkeys, animals treated with an FGFR1c/β-Klotho bispecific Avimer showed improved metabolic parameters and reduced body weight comparable to the effects seen with FGF21. These results not only demonstrate the essential roles of FGFR1c and β-Klotho in mediating the metabolic effects of FGF21, they also describe a first bispecific activator of this unique receptor complex and provide validation for a novel therapeutic approach to target this potentially important pathway for treating diabetes and obesity.
PMCID: PMC3632592  PMID: 23630589
21.  Glucose-Reducing Effect of the ORMD-0801 Oral Insulin Preparation in Patients with Uncontrolled Type 1 Diabetes: A Pilot Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e59524.
The unpredictable behavior of uncontrolled type 1 diabetes often involves frequent swings in blood glucose levels that impact maintenance of a daily routine. An intensified insulin regimen is often unsuccessful, while other therapeutic options, such as amylin analog injections, use of continuous glucose sensors, and islet or pancreas transplantation are of limited clinical use. In efforts to provide patients with a more compliable treatment method, Oramed Pharmaceuticals tested the capacity of its oral insulin capsule (ORMD-0801, 8 mg insulin) in addressing this resistant clinical state. Eight Type I diabetes patients with uncontrolled diabetes (HbA1c: 7.5–10%) were monitored throughout the 15-day study period by means of a blind continuous glucose monitoring device. Baseline patient blood glucose behavior was monitored and recorded over a five-day pretreatment screening period. During the ensuing ten-day treatment phase, patients were asked to conduct themselves as usual and to self-administer an oral insulin capsule three times daily, just prior to meal intake. CGM data sufficient for pharmacodynamics analyses were obtained from 6 of the 8 subjects. Treatment with ORMD-0801 was associated with a significant 24.4% reduction in the frequencies of glucose readings >200 mg/dL (60.1±7.9% pretreatment vs. 45.4±4.9% during ORMD-0801 treatment; p = 0.023) and a significant mean 16.6% decrease in glucose area under the curve (AUC) (66055±5547 mg/dL/24 hours vs. 55060±3068 mg/dL/24 hours, p = 0.023), with a greater decrease during the early evening hours. In conclusion, ORMD-0801 oral insulin capsules in conjunction with subcutaneous insulin injections, well tolerated and effectively reduced glycemia throughout the day.
Trial Registration NCT00867594.
PMCID: PMC3622027  PMID: 23593142
22.  Absence of Diabetes and Pancreatic Exocrine Dysfunction in a Transgenic Model of Carboxyl-Ester Lipase-MODY (Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60229.
CEL-MODY is a monogenic form of diabetes with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency caused by mutations in CARBOXYL-ESTER LIPASE (CEL). The pathogenic processes underlying CEL-MODY are poorly understood, and the global knockout mouse model of the CEL gene (CELKO) did not recapitulate the disease. We therefore aimed to create and phenotype a mouse model specifically over-expressing mutated CEL in the pancreas.
We established a monotransgenic floxed (flanking LOX sequences) mouse line carrying the human CEL mutation c.1686delT and crossed it with an elastase-Cre mouse to derive a bitransgenic mouse line with pancreas-specific over-expression of CEL carrying this disease-associated mutation (TgCEL). Following confirmation of murine pancreatic expression of the human transgene by real-time quantitative PCR, we phenotyped the mouse model fed a normal chow and compared it with mice fed a 60% high fat diet (HFD) as well as the effects of short-term and long-term cerulein exposure.
Pancreatic exocrine function was normal in TgCEL mice on normal chow as assessed by serum lipid and lipid-soluble vitamin levels, fecal elastase and fecal fat absorption, and the normoglycemic mice exhibited normal pancreatic morphology. On 60% HFD, the mice gained weight to the same extent as controls, had normal pancreatic exocrine function and comparable glucose tolerance even after resuming normal diet and follow up up to 22 months of age. The cerulein-exposed TgCEL mice gained weight and remained glucose tolerant, and there were no detectable mutation-specific differences in serum amylase, islet hormones or the extent of pancreatic tissue inflammation.
In this murine model of human CEL-MODY diabetes, we did not detect mutation-specific endocrine or exocrine pancreatic phenotypes, in response to altered diets or exposure to cerulein.
PMCID: PMC3615023  PMID: 23565203
23.  Effect of acute physiological hyperinsulinemia on gene expression in human skeletal muscle in vivo 
This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that short-term exposure (4 h) to physiological hyperinsulinemia in normal, healthy subjects without a family history of diabetes would induce a low grade inflammatory response independently of glycemic status. Twelve normal glucose tolerant subjects received a 4-h euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp with biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle. Microarray analysis identified 121 probe sets that were significantly altered in response to physiological hyperinsulinemia while maintaining euglycemia. In normal, healthy human subjects insulin increased the mRNAs of a number of inflammatory genes (CCL2, CXCL2 and THBD) and transcription factors (ATF3, BHLHB2, HES1, KLF10, JUNB, FOS, and FOSB). A number of other genes were upregulated in response to insulin, including RRAD, MT, and SGK. CITED2, a known coactivator of PPARα, was significantly downregulated. SGK and CITED2 are located at chromosome 6q23, where we previously detected strong linkage to fasting plasma insulin concentrations. We independently validated the mRNA expression changes in an additional five subjects and closely paralleled the results observed in the original 12 subjects. A saline infusion in healthy, normal glucose-tolerant subjects without family history of diabetes demonstrated that the genes altered during the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp were due to hyperinsulinemia and were unrelated to the biopsy procedure per se. The results of the present study demonstrate that insulin acutely regulates the levels of mRNAs involved in inflammation and transcription and identifies several candidate genes, including HES1 and BHLHB2, for further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3581328  PMID: 18334611
gene expression; muscle; insulin action; euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp; inflammation
24.  Immunopositivity for Histone MacroH2A1 Isoforms Marks Steatosis-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54458.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Prevention and risk reduction are important and the identification of specific biomarkers for early diagnosis of HCC represents an active field of research. Increasing evidence indicates that fat accumulation in the liver, defined as hepatosteatosis, is an independent and strong risk factor for developing an HCC. MacroH2A1, a histone protein generally associated with the repressed regions of chromosomes, is involved in hepatic lipid metabolism and is present in two alternative spliced isoforms, macroH2A1.1 and macroH2A1.2. These isoforms have been shown to predict lung and colon cancer recurrence but to our knowledge, their role in fatty-liver associated HCC has not been investigated previously.
We examined macroH2A1.1 and macroH2A1.2 protein expression levels in the liver of two murine models of fat-associated HCC, the high fat diet/diethylnistrosamine (DEN) and the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) liver specific knock-out (KO) mouse, and in human liver samples of subjects with steatosis or HCC, using immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry.
Protein levels for both macroH2A1 isoforms were massively upregulated in HCC, whereas macroH2A1.2 was specifically upregulated in steatosis. In addition, examination of human liver samples showed a significant difference (p<0.01) in number of positive nuclei in HCC (100% of tumor cells positive for either macroH2A1.1 or macroH2A1.2), when compared to steatosis (<2% of hepatocytes positive for either isoform). The steatotic areas flanking the tumors were highly immunopositive for macroH2A1.1 and macroH2A1.2.
These data obtained in mice and humans suggest that both macroH2A1 isoforms may play a role in HCC pathogenesis and moreover may be considered as novel diagnostic markers for human HCC.
PMCID: PMC3553099  PMID: 23372727
25.  Phytol/Phytanic Acid and Insulin Resistance: Potential Role of Phytanic Acid Proven by Docking Simulation and Modulation of Biochemical Alterations 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e45638.
Since activation of PPARγ is the main target for the antidiabetic effect of TZDs, especially when it heterodimerizes with RXR, we aimed to test the potential antidiabetic effect of phytol (250 mg/kg), the natural precursor of phytanic acid, a RXR ligand and/or pioglitazone (5 mg/kg) to diabetic insulin-resistant rats. Regarding the molecular docking simulation on PPARγ, phytanic acid, rather than phytol, showed a binding mode that mimics the crystal orientation of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, forming H bonds with the same amino acids (S289, H 323, H 449 and Y 473), and the least energy level, which emphasizes their importance for PPARγ molecular recognition, activation, hence antidiabetic activity. In addition, docking on the RXRα/PPARγ heterodimer, revealed that phytanic acid has higher binding affinity and lesser energy score on RXRα, compared to the original ligand, retinoic acid. Phytanic acid binds by 3H bonds and shares retinoic acid in arginine (R 316). These results were further supported biochemically, where oral phytol and/or pioglitazone (5 mg/kg) improved significantly glucose homeostasis, lipid panel, raised serum adiponectin level and lowered TNF-α, reaching in most cases the effect of the 10 mg/kg pioglitazone. The study concluded that the insulin sensitizing/anti-diabetic effect of phytol is mediated by partly from activation of nuclear receptors and heterodimerization of RXR with PPARγ by phytanic acid.
PMCID: PMC3534692  PMID: 23300941

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