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1.  Reduction in Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Mitochondria From Elderly Subjects With Normal and Impaired Glucose Tolerance 
Diabetes  2011;60(8):2051-2060.
Aging increases the risk of developing impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and type 2 diabetes. It has been proposed that increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by dysfunctional mitochondria could play a role in the pathogenesis of these metabolic abnormalities. We examined whether aging per se (in subjects with normal glucose tolerance [NGT]) impairs mitochondrial function and how this relates to ROS generation, whether older subjects with IGT have a further worsening of mitochondrial function (lower ATP production and elevated ROS generation), and whether exercise reverses age-related changes in mitochondrial function.
Mitochondrial ATP and ROS production were measured in muscle from younger individuals with NGT, older individuals with NGT, and older individuals with IGT. Measurements were performed before and after 16 weeks of aerobic exercise.
ATP synthesis was lower in older subjects with NGT and older subjects with IGT versus younger subjects. Notably, mitochondria from older subjects (with NGT and IGT) displayed reduced ROS production versus the younger group. ATP and ROS production were similar between older groups. Exercise increased ATP synthesis in the three groups. Mitochondrial ROS production also increased after training. Proteomic analysis revealed downregulation of several electron transport chain proteins with aging, and this was reversed by exercise.
Old mitochondria from subjects with NGT and IGT display mitochondrial dysfunction as manifested by reduced ATP production but not with respect to increased ROS production. When adjusted to age, the development of IGT in elderly individuals does not involve changes in mitochondrial ATP and ROS production. Lastly, exercise reverses the mitochondrial phenotype (proteome and function) of old mitochondria.
PMCID: PMC3142073  PMID: 21677280
2.  Circulating Fibroblast Growth Factor-21 Is Elevated in Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Type 2 Diabetes and Correlates With Muscle and Hepatic Insulin Resistance 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(8):1542-1546.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-21 is highly expressed in the liver and regulates hepatic glucose production and lipid metabolism in rodents. However, its role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes in humans remains to be defined. The aim of this study was to quantitate circulating plasma FGF-21 levels and examine their relationship with insulin sensitivity in subjects with varying degrees of obesity and glucose tolerance.
Forty-one subjects (8 lean with normal glucose tolerance [NGT], 9 obese with NGT, 12 with impaired fasting glucose [IFG]/impaired glucose tolerance [IGT], and 12 type 2 diabetic subjects) received an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp (80 mU/m2 per min) combined with 3-[3H] glucose infusion.
Subjects with type 2 diabetes, subjects with IGT, and obese subjects with NGT were insulin resistant compared with lean subjects with NGT. Plasma FGF-21 levels progressively increased from 3.9 ± 0.3 ng/ml in lean subjects with NGT to 4.9 ± 0.2 in obese subjects with NGT to 5.2 ± 0.2 in subjects with IGT and to 5.3 ± 0.2 in type 2 diabetic subjects. FGF-21 levels correlated inversely with whole-body (primarily reflects muscle) insulin sensitivity (r = −0.421, P = 0.007) and directly with the hepatic insulin resistance index (r = 0.344, P = 0.034). FGF-21 levels also correlated with measures of glycemia (fasting plasma glucose [r = 0.312, P = 0.05], 2-h plasma glucose [r = 0.414, P = 0.01], and A1C [r = 0.325, P = 0.04]).
Plasma FGF-21 levels are increased in insulin-resistant states and correlate with hepatic and whole-body (muscle) insulin resistance. FGF-21 may play a role in pathogenesis of hepatic and whole-body insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2713625  PMID: 19487637

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