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1.  NK Cell Inflammation in the Clinical Outcome of Colorectal Carcinoma 
The ability of natural killer (NK) cells to provide protection against myeloid leukemia has been demonstrated in clinical settings. However, whether NK cells play a role in the clinical course of solid tumors is debated. The controversy surrounding the role of NK cells is due, at least in part, to the limited extent of NK cell infiltration found in the tumor bed. Inactivation of NK cells may explain the shortage of NK cells in the microenvironment of colorectal cancer (CRC). Upon NK cell/tumor cell interaction, tumor cells may escape NK cells by creating an immunosuppressive microenvironment, which possibly affects T-cells as well. Such an immunosuppressive microenvironment would hamper the functions of NK and T-cell and reduce NK and T-cell interactions. CRC patients with levels of tumor NK cell infiltration suitable for statistical analysis have been identified. The infiltration of the CRC microenvironment by NK cells, in combination with CD8+ T-lymphocytes, has been shown to enhance the prognosis of CRC patients. Here, we discuss the clinicopathological role of NK cells in CRC, and present clinical data indicating a potential supporting role for NK cells in the anti-CRC effects of CD8+ T-cells.
PMCID: PMC4469113  PMID: 26131447
NK cells; colorectal carcinoma; inflammation; CD8+ T cells; cooperation; survival
2.  Age-Related Different Relationships between Ectopic Adipose Tissues and Measures of Central Obesity in Sedentary Subjects 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103381.
Accumulation of fat at ectopic sites has been gaining attention as pivotal contributor of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and related cardiovascular complications. Intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT), located between skeletal muscle bundles and beneath muscle fascia, has been linked to physical inactivity, ageing and body mass index, but little is known about its relationship with the other AT compartments, in particular with increasing age. To address this issue, erector spinae IMAT, epicardial (EAT), intraabdominal (IAAT) and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were simultaneously measured by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and related to waist circumference measurements and age in 32 sedentary subjects without cardiovascular disease (18 men; 14 women; mean age 48.5±14 years). Fasting glucose, triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol were also assessed. We observed that, after dividing individuals according to age (≤ or >50 years), IMAT and EAT depots were significantly more expanded in older subjects (63.2±8.3 years) than in the younger ones (38.4±5.2 years) (p<0.001). Overall, both IMAT and EAT showed stronger positive associations with increasing age (β = 0.63 and 0.67, respectively, p<0.001 for both) than with waist circumference (β = 0.55 and 0.49, respectively, p<0.01 for both) after adjusting for gender. In addition, the gender-adjusted associations of IMAT and EAT with waist circumference and IAAT were significant in individuals ≤50 years only (p<0.05 for all) and not in the older ones. In contrast, no age-related differences were seen in the relationships of IAAT and SAT with waist circumference. Finally, serum triglycerides levels turned out not to be independently related with ectopic IMAT and EAT. In conclusion, the expansion of IMAT and EAT in sedentary subjects is more strongly related to age than waist circumference, and a positive association of these ectopic depots with waist circumference and IAAT amount can be postulated in younger individuals only.
PMCID: PMC4106895  PMID: 25051047
3.  Effects of GLP-1 on Forearm Vasodilator Function and Glucose Disposal During Hyperinsulinemia in the Metabolic Syndrome 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(3):683-689.
Patients with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) have impaired insulin-induced enhancement of vasodilator responses. The incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), beyond its effects on blood glucose, has beneficial actions on vascular function. This study, therefore, aimed to assess whether GLP-1 affects insulin-stimulated vasodilator reactivity in patients with the MetS.
Forearm blood flow responses to acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were assessed in MetS patients before and after the addition of GLP-1 to an intra-arterial infusion of saline (n = 5) or insulin (n = 5). The possible involvement of oxidative stress in the vascular effects of GLP-1 in this setting was investigated by infusion of vitamin C (n = 5). The receptor specificity of GLP-1 effect during hyperinsulinemia was assessed by infusing its metabolite GLP-1(9-36) (n = 5). The metabolic actions of GLP-1 were also tested by analyzing forearm glucose disposal during hyperinsulinemia (n = 5).
In MetS patients, GLP-1 enhanced endothelium-dependent and -independent responses to ACh and SNP, respectively, during hyperinsulinemia (P < 0.001 for both), but not during saline (P > 0.05 for both). No changes in vasodilator reactivity to ACh and SNP were seen after GLP-1 was added to insulin and vitamin C (P > 0.05 for both) and after GLP-1(9-36) was given during hyperinsulinemia (P > 0.05 for both). Also, GLP-1 did not affect forearm glucose extraction and uptake during hyperinsulinemia (P > 0.05 for both).
In patients with the MetS, GLP-1 improves insulin-mediated enhancement of endothelium-dependent and -independent vascular reactivity. This effect may be influenced by vascular oxidative stress and is possibly exerted through a receptor-mediated mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3579378  PMID: 23069838
4.  HLA Class II Antigen Expression in Colorectal Carcinoma Tumors as a Favorable Prognostic Marker12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2014;16(1):31-42.
The goal of this study was to determine the frequency of HLA class II antigen expression in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) tumors, its association with the clinical course of the disease, and the underlying mechanism(s). Two tissue microarrays constructed with 220 and 778 CRC tumors were stained with HLA-DR, DQ, and DP antigen-specific monoclonal antibody LGII-612.14, using the immunoperoxidase staining technique. The immunohistochemical staining results were correlated with the clinical course of the disease. The functional role of HLA class II antigens expressed on CRC cells was analyzed by investigating their in vitro interactions with immune cells. HLA class II antigens were expressed in about 25% of the 220 and 21% of the 778 tumors analyzed with an overall frequency of 23%. HLA class II antigens were detected in 19% of colorectal adenomas. Importantly, the percentage of stained cells and the staining intensity were significantly lower than those detected in CRC tumors. However, HLA class II antigen staining was weakly detected only in 5.4% of 37 normal mucosa tissues. HLA class II antigen expression was associated with a favorable clinical course of the disease. In vitro stimulation with interferon gamma (IFNγ) induced HLA class II antigen expression on two of the four CRC cell lines tested. HLA class II antigen expression on CRC cells triggered interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production by resting monocytes. HLA class II antigen expression in CRC tumors is a favorable prognostic marker. This association may reflect stimulation of IL-1β production by monocytes.
PMCID: PMC3924546  PMID: 24563618
5.  Platelet Isoprostane Overproduction in Diabetic Patients Treated With Aspirin 
Diabetes  2012;61(6):1626-1632.
Aspirin modestly influences cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but the reason is unclear. The aim of the study was to determine whether in T2DM patients aspirin enhances platelet isoprostanes, which are eicosanoids with proaggregating properties derived from arachidonic acid oxidation by platelet NOX2, the catalytic subunit of reduced NAD phosphate oxidase. A cross-sectional study was performed comparing T2DM patients, treated (n = 50) or not treated (n = 50) with 100 mg/day aspirin, with 100 nondiabetic patients, matched for age, sex, atherosclerosis risk factors, and aspirin treatment. A short-term (7 days) treatment with 100 mg/day aspirin also was performed in 36 aspirin-free diabetic and nondiabetic patients. Higher platelet recruitment, platelet isoprostane, and NOX2 activation was found in diabetic versus nondiabetic patients and in aspirin-treated diabetic patients versus nontreated patients (P < 0.001). Platelet thromboxane (Tx) A2 (P < 0.001) was inhibited in all aspirin-treated patients. In the interventional study, aspirin similarly inhibited platelet TxA2 in diabetic and nondiabetic patients (P < 0.001). Platelet recruitment, isoprostane levels, and NOX2 activation showed a parallel increase in diabetic patients (P < 0.001) and no changes in nondiabetic patients. These findings suggest that in aspirin-treated diabetic patients, oxidative stress–mediated platelet isoprostane overproduction is associated with enhanced platelet recruitment, an effect that mitigates aspirin-mediated TxA2 inhibition.
PMCID: PMC3357260  PMID: 22427378
6.  Loss of TIMP3 underlies diabetic nephropathy via FoxO1/STAT1 interplay 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2013;5(3):441-455.
ADAM17 and its inhibitor TIMP3 are involved in nephropathy, but their role in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is unclear. Diabetic Timp3−/− mice showed increased albuminuria, increased membrane thickness and mesangial expansion. Microarray profiling uncovered a significant reduction of Foxo1 expression in diabetic Timp3−/− mice compared to WT, along with FoxO1 target genes involved in autophagy, while STAT1, a repressor of FoxO1 transcription, was increased. Re-expression of Timp3 in Timp3−/− mesangial cells rescued the expression of Foxo1 and its targets, and decreased STAT1 expression to control levels; abolishing STAT1 expression led to a rescue of FoxO1, evoking a role of STAT1 in linking Timp3 deficiency to FoxO1. Studies on kidney biopsies from patients with diabetic nephropathy confirmed a significant reduction in TIMP3, FoxO1 and FoxO1 target genes involved in autophagy compared to controls, while STAT1 expression was strongly increased.
Our study suggests that loss of TIMP3 is a hallmark of DKD in human and mouse models and designates TIMP3 as a new possible therapeutic target for diabetic nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC3598083  PMID: 23401241
autophagy; diabetic nephropathy; FoxO1; STAT1; TIMP3
7.  TIMP3 Overexpression in Macrophages Protects From Insulin Resistance, Adipose Inflammation, and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Mice 
Diabetes  2012;61(2):454-462.
The tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)3, a stromal protein that restrains the activity of proteases and receptors, is reduced in inflammatory metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and atherosclerosis. We overexpressed Timp3 in mouse macrophages (MacT3) to analyze its potential antidiabetic and antiatherosclerotic effects. Transgenic mice with myeloid cells targeting overexpression of TIMP3 were generated and fed a high-fat diet for 20 weeks. Physical and metabolic phenotypes were determined. Inflammatory markers, lipid accumulation, and insulin sensitivity were measured in white adipose tissue (WAT), liver, and skeletal muscle. In a model of insulin resistance, MacT3 mice were more glucose tolerant and insulin sensitive than wild-type mice in both in vitro and in vivo tests. Molecular and biochemical analyses revealed that increased expression of TIMP3 restrained metabolic inflammation and stress-related pathways, including Jun NH2-terminal kinase and p38 kinase activation, in WAT and liver. TIMP3 overexpression in macrophages resulted in reduced activation of oxidative stress signals related to lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation, and nitration in WAT and liver. Our data show that macrophage-specific overexpression of TIMP3 protects from metabolic inflammation and related metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
PMCID: PMC3266402  PMID: 22228717
8.  Decreased IRS2 and TIMP3 Expression in Monocytes From Offspring of Type 2 Diabetic Patients Is Correlated With Insulin Resistance and Increased Intima-Media Thickness 
Diabetes  2011;60(12):3265-3270.
In humans, it is unclear if insulin resistance at the monocyte level is associated with atherosclerosis in vivo. Here we have studied first-degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes to investigate whether a reduction in components of the insulin signal transduction pathways, such as the insulin receptor (InsR) or InsR substrate 1 or 2 (IRS1 or IRS2), or a reduction in genetic modifiers of insulin action, such as the TIMP3/ADAM17 (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3/A disintegrin and metalloprotease domain 17) pathway, is associated with evidence of atherosclerosis.
Insulin sensitivity was analyzed through euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp, and subclinical atherosclerosis was analyzed through intimal medial thickness. Monocytes were isolated through magnetic cell sorting, and mRNA and proteins were extracted and analyzed by quantitative PCR and pathscan enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, respectively.
In monocyte cells from human subjects with increased risk for diabetes and atherosclerosis, we found that gene expression, protein levels, and tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS2, but not InsR or IRS1, were decreased. TIMP3 was also reduced, along with insulin resistance, resulting in increased ectodomain shedding activity of the metalloprotease ADAM17.
Systemic insulin resistance and subclinical atherosclerosis are associated with decreased IRS2 and TIMP3 expression in circulating monocytes.
PMCID: PMC3219931  PMID: 21984580
9.  The ENPP1 Q121 Variant Predicts Major Cardiovascular Events in High-Risk Individuals 
Diabetes  2011;60(3):1000-1007.
Insulin resistance (IR) and cardiovascular disease may share a common genetic background. We investigated the role of IR-associated ENPP1 K121Q polymorphism (rs1044498) on cardiovascular disease in high-risk individuals.
A prospective study (average follow-up, 37 months) was conducted for major cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction [MI], stroke, cardiovascular death) from the Gargano Heart Study (GHS; n = 330 with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease), the Tor Vergata Atherosclerosis Study (TVAS; n = 141 who had MI), and the Cardiovascular Risk Extended Evaluation in Dialysis (CREED) database (n = 266 with end-stage renal disease). Age at MI was investigated in cross-sectional studies of 339 type 2 diabetic patients (n = 169 from Italy, n = 170 from the U.S.).
Incidence of cardiovascular events per 100 person--years was 4.2 in GHS, 10.8 in TVAS, and 11.7 in CREED. Hazard ratios (HRs) for KQ+QQ versus individuals carrying the K121/K121 genotype (KK) individuals were 1.47 (95% CI 0.80–2.70) in GHS, 2.31 (95% CI 1.22–4.34) in TVAS, and 1.36 (95% CI 0.88–2.10) in CREED, and 1.56 (95% CI 1.15–2.12) in the three cohorts combined. In the 395 diabetic patients, the Q121 variant predicted cardiovascular events among obese but not among nonobese individuals (HR 5.94 vs. 0.62, P = 0.003 for interaction). A similar synergism was observed in cross-sectional studies, with age at MI being 3 years younger in Q121 carriers than in KK homozygotes among obese but not among nonobese patients (P = 0.035 for interaction).
The ENPP1 K121Q polymorphism is an independent predictor of major cardiovascular events in high-risk individuals. In type 2 diabetes, this effect is exacerbated by obesity. Future larger studies are needed to confirm our finding.
PMCID: PMC3046818  PMID: 21282363
10.  Hypoglycemia Assessed by Continuous Glucose Monitoring Is Associated with Preclinical Atherosclerosis in Individuals with Impaired Glucose Tolerance 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28312.
Hypoglycemia is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular adverse clinical outcomes. There is evidence that impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Whether IGT individuals have asymptomatic hypoglycemia under real-life conditions that are related to early atherosclerosis is unknown. To this aim, we measured episodes of hypoglycemia during continuous interstitial glucose monitoring (CGM) and evaluated their relationship with early manifestation of vascular atherosclerosis in glucose tolerant and intolerant individuals. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed in 79 non-diabetic subjects. Each individual underwent continuous glucose monitoring for 72 h. Cardiovascular risk factors and ultrasound measurement of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) were evaluated. IGT individuals had a worse cardiovascular risk profile, including higher IMT, and spent significantly more time in hypoglycemia than glucose-tolerant individuals. IMT was significantly correlated with systolic (r = 0.22; P = 0.05) and diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.28; P = 0.01), total (r = 0.26; P = 0.02) and LDL cholesterol (r = 0.27; P = 0.01), 2-h glucose (r = 0.39; P<0.0001), insulin sensitivity (r = −0.26; P = 0.03), and minutes spent in hypoglycemia (r = 0.45; P<0.0001). In univariate analyses adjusted for gender, minutes spent in hypoglycemia were significantly correlated with age (r = 0.26; P = 0.01), waist circumference (r = 0.33; P = 0.003), 2-h glucose (r = 0.58; P<0.0001), and 2-h insulin (r = 0.27; P = 0.02). In a stepwise multivariate regression analysis, the variables significantly associated with IMT were minutes spent in hypoglycemia (r2 = 0.252; P<0.0001), and ISI index (r2 = 0.089; P = 0.004), accounting for 34.1% of the variation. Episodes of hypoglycemia may be considered as a new potential cardiovascular risk factor for IGT individuals.
PMCID: PMC3229545  PMID: 22164268
11.  Human placental lactogen (hPL-A) activates signaling pathways linked to cell survival and improves insulin secretion in human pancreatic islets 
Islets  2011;3(5):250-258.
The search for factors either promoting islets proliferation or survival during adult life is a major issue for both type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. Among factors with mitogenic activity on pancreatic β-cells, human placental lactogen (hPL) showed stronger activity when compared to the other lactogen hormones: growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL). The aim of the present work is to elucidate the biological and molecular events of hPL isoform A (hPL-A) activity on human cultured islets. We used pure human pancreatic islets and insulinoma cell lines (βTC-1 and RIN, murine and rat respectively) stimulated with hPL-A recombinant protein and we compared hPL-A activity with that of hGH. We showed that hPL-A inhibits apoptosis, both in insulinoma and human islets, by the phosphorylation of AKT protein. Indeed, the antiapoptotic role of hPL-A was mediated by PI3K, p38 and it was independent by PKA, Erk1/2. Compared with hGH, hPL-A modulated at different intervals and/or intensity by the phosphorylation of JAKs/STATs and MAPKinases. Moreover, hPL-A induced PDX-1 intracellular expression, improving beta cell activity and ameliorating insulin secretion in response to high glucose stimulation. Our data support the idea that hPL-A is involved in the regulation of beta cells activity. Importantly, we found that hPL-A can preserve and improve the ability of purified human pancreatic islets cultured to secrete insulin in vitro.
PMCID: PMC3219159  PMID: 21765243
placental lactogen hormone; growth hormone; β-cell; apoptosis; islets survival; PDX-1; islets insulin secretion
12.  Metabolic Syndrome, Chronic Kidney, and Cardiovascular Diseases: Role of Adipokines 
Obesity is a chronic disease, whose incidence is alarmingly growing. It is associated with metabolic abnormalities and cardiovascular complications. These complications are clustered in the metabolic syndrome (MetS) leading to high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Obesity predisposes to diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive nephrosclerosis, and focal and segmental glomerular sclerosis and represents an independent risk factor for the development and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Albuminuria is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Microalbuminuria has been described as early manifestation of MetS-associated kidney damage and diabetic nephropathy. Obesity and MetS affect renal physiology and metabolism through mechanisms which include altered levels of adipokines such as leptin and adiponectin, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Secretory products of adipose tissue also deeply and negatively influence endothelial function. A better understanding of these interactions will help in designing more effective treatments aimed to protect both renal and cardiovascular systems.
PMCID: PMC3051177  PMID: 21403882
13.  Sildenafil Reduces Insulin-Resistance in Human Endothelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e14542.
The efficacy of Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors to re-establish endothelial function is reduced in diabetic patients. Recent evidences suggest that therapy with PDE5 inhibitors, i.e. sildenafil, may increase the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) proteins in the heart and cardiomyocytes. In this study we analyzed the effect of sildenafil on endothelial cells in insulin resistance conditions in vitro.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with insulin in presence of glucose 30 mM (HG) and glucosamine 10 mM (Gluc-N) with or without sildenafil. Insulin increased the expression of PDE5 and eNOS mRNA assayed by Real time-PCR. Cytofluorimetric analysis showed that sildenafil significantly increased NO production in basal condition. This effect was partially inhibited by the PI3K inhibitor LY 294002 and completely inhibited by the NOS inhibitor L-NAME. Akt-1 and eNOS activation was reduced in conditions mimicking insulin resistance and completely restored by sildenafil treatment. Conversely sildenafil treatment can counteract this noxious effect by increasing NO production through eNOS activation and reducing oxidative stress induced by hyperglycaemia and glucosamine.
These data indicate that sildenafil might improve NOS activity of endothelial cells in insulin resistance conditions and suggest the potential therapeutic use of sildenafil for improving vascular function in diabetic patients.
PMCID: PMC3030559  PMID: 21297971
14.  Proteomics Reveals Novel Oxidative and Glycolytic Mechanisms in Type 1 Diabetic Patients' Skin Which Are Normalized by Kidney-Pancreas Transplantation 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(3):e9923.
In type 1 diabetes (T1D) vascular complications such as accelerated atherosclerosis and diffused macro-/microangiopathy are linked to chronic hyperglycemia with a mechanism that is not yet well understood. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) worsens most diabetic complications, particularly, the risk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease is increased several fold.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated protein regulation and expression in skin biopsies obtained from T1D patients with and without ESRD, to identify pathways of persistent cellular changes linked to diabetic vascular disease. We therefore examined pathways that may be normalized by restoration of normoglycemia with kidney-pancreas (KP) transplantation. Using proteomic and ultrastructural approaches, multiple alterations in the expression of proteins involved in oxidative stress (catalase, superoxide dismutase 1, Hsp27, Hsp60, ATP synthase δ chain, and flavin reductase), aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis (ACBP, pyruvate kinase muscle isozyme, and phosphoglycerate kinase 1), and intracellular signaling (stratifin-14-3-3, S100-calcyclin, cathepsin, and PPI rotamase) as well as endothelial vascular abnormalities were identified in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients. These abnormalities were reversed after KP transplant. Increased plasma levels of malondialdehyde were observed in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients, confirming increased oxidative stress which was normalized after KP transplant.
Our data suggests persistent cellular changes of anti-oxidative machinery and of aerobic/anaerobic glycolysis are present in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients, and these abnormalities may play a key role in the pathogenesis of hyperglycemia-related vascular complications. Restoration of normoglycemia and removal of uremia with KP transplant can correct these abnormalities. Some of these identified pathways may become potential therapeutic targets for a new generation of drugs.
PMCID: PMC2848014  PMID: 20360867
15.  Fish oil supplementation improves endothelial function in normoglycemic offspring of patients with type 2 diabetes 
Atherosclerosis  2009;206(2):569-574.
Offspring of patients with type 2 diabetes (OPDs) exhibits endothelial dysfunction (ED) associated with a chronic inflammatory state. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for cardiovascular and metabolic health. Therefore, in the present study, we tested the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with fish oil rich in n-3 PUFA may improve ED in otherwise healthy OPDs.
Methods and design
A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted with 50 OPDs. Participants were randomized to treatment with either placebo or n-3 PUFA (2 g/day) for 12 weeks. Before and after treatment we evaluated endothelial function (using flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery), circulating inflammatory markers (adiponectin, TNF-α, and high sensitivity-CRP), and insulin resistance (QUICKI).
No significant changes were observed in study outcomes in subjects treated with placebo. By contrast, when compared with baseline values, subjects treated with n-3 PUFA had significant improvement in FMD (9.1 ± 5.8% vs. 11.7 ± 4.4%, p = 0.02) that was accompanied by decreased plasma triglycerides (117 ± 73 mg/dl vs. 86 ± 44 mg/dl, p = 0.001) and TNF-α levels (8.9 ± 2.3 pg/ml vs. 6.8 ± 2.7 pg/ml, p = 0.001), and a trend towards increased plasma adiponectin levels (7.8 ± 4.5 μg/ml vs. 9.5 ± 5.1 μg/ml, p = 0.09). When data were analyzed by multiple regression analysis, decreased TNF-α after treatment with n-3 PUFA predicted increased FMD.
Dietary supplementation with n-3 PUFA significantly improved endothelial function and reduced pro-inflammatory markers in OPDs. Thus, fish oil consumption may have beneficial cardiovascular and metabolic health effects in otherwise healthy subjects predisposed to diabetes and its vascular complications.
PMCID: PMC2772138  PMID: 19394939
Fish oil; Type 2 diabetes; Endothelial function; TNF-alpha; Inflammation
16.  Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Antagonism Improves Vasodilation During Hyperinsulinemia in Metabolic Syndrome  
Diabetes Care  2008;31(7):1439-1441.
OBJECTIVE—Obesity is associated with chronic inflammation due to overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. We assessed the effects of TNF-α neutralization by infliximab on vascular reactivity during hyperinsulinemia in obesity-related metabolic syndrome.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Vascular responses to intra-arterial infusion of acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were assessed in patients with metabolic syndrome, before and after administration of infliximab.
RESULTS—Patients had blunted vasodilator responses to ACh and SNP during hyperinsulinemia compared with control subjects; a potentiation of the responsiveness to both ACh and SNP, however, was observed in patients following infliximab. The antioxidant vitamin C improved the vasodilator response to ACh in patients with metabolic syndrome, but its effect was not further enhanced by concurrent administration of infliximab.
CONCLUSIONS—TNF-α neutralization ameliorates vascular reactivity in metabolic syndrome during hyperinsulinemia, likely in relation to decreased oxidative stress, thereby suggesting an involvement of inflammatory cytokines in vascular dysfunction of these patients.
PMCID: PMC2453644  PMID: 18390795
17.  Timp3 deficiency in insulin receptor–haploinsufficient mice promotes diabetes and vascular inflammation via increased TNF-α 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2005;115(12):3494-3505.
Activation of inflammatory pathways may contribute to the beginning and the progression of both atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Here we report a novel interaction between insulin action and control of inflammation, resulting in glucose intolerance and vascular inflammation and amenable to therapeutic modulation. In insulin receptor heterozygous (Insr+/–) mice, we identified the deficiency of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (Timp3, an inhibitor of both TNF-α–converting enzyme [TACE] and MMPs) as a common bond between glucose intolerance and vascular inflammation. Among Insr+/– mice, those that develop diabetes have reduced Timp3 and increased TACE activity. Unchecked TACE activity causes an increase in levels of soluble TNF-α, which subsequently promotes diabetes and vascular inflammation. Double heterozygous Insr+/–Timp3+/– mice develop mild hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia at 3 months and overt glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia at 6 months. A therapeutic role for Timp3/TACE modulation is supported by the observation that pharmacological inhibition of TACE led to marked reduction of hyperglycemia and vascular inflammation in Insr+/– diabetic mice, as well as by the observation of increased insulin sensitivity in Tace+/– mice compared with WT mice. Our results suggest that an interplay between reduced insulin action and unchecked TACE activity promotes diabetes and vascular inflammation.
PMCID: PMC1283942  PMID: 16294222
18.  The Gly972→Arg amino acid polymorphism in IRS-1 impairs insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;104(3):357-364.
Recent studies have identified several polymorphisms in the human insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) gene. The most prevalent IRS-1 variant, a Gly→Arg change at the codon 972, has been reported to be increased in prevalence among patients with type 2 diabetes. Carriers of the Arg972 substitution are characterized by lower fasting insulin and C-peptide levels compared with non-carriers, suggesting that the Arg972 IRS-1 variant may contribute to impairment of insulin secretion. In this study, we stably overexpressed both wild-type IRS-1 (RIN-WT) and Arg972 IRS-1 variant (RIN-Arg972) in RIN β cells to investigate directly whether the polymorphism in codon 972 of IRS-1 impairs insulin secretion. The Arg972 IRS-1 variant did not affect expression or function of endogenous IRS-2. RIN-WT showed a marked increase in both glucose- and insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS-1 compared with control RIN cells. The Arg972 IRS-1 variant did not alter the extent of either glucose- or insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of recombinant IRS-1. However, RIN-Arg972 showed a significant decrease in binding of the p85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) with IRS-1, compared with RIN-WT. Compared with control RIN cells, insulin content was reduced to the same extent in RIN-WT or RIN-Arg972 at both the protein and mRNA levels. Both glucose- and sulfonylurea-induced insulin secretion was increased in RIN-WT compared with control RIN cells. By contrast, RIN cells expressing Arg972 IRS-1 exhibited a marked decrease in both glucose- and sulfonylurea-stimulated insulin secretion compared with RIN-WT. These data suggest that the insulin signaling pathway involving the IRS-1/PI 3-kinase may play an important role in the insulin secretory process in pancreatic β cells. More importantly, the results suggest that the common Arg972 IRS-1 polymorphism may impair glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, thus contributing to the relative insulin deficiency observed in carriers of this variant.
PMCID: PMC408413  PMID: 10430617

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