The orexigenic peptide, ghrelin is known to influence function of GnRH neurons, however, the direct effects of the hormone upon these neurons have not been explored, yet. The present study was undertaken to reveal expression of growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) in GnRH neurons and elucidate the mechanisms of ghrelin actions upon them. Ca2+-imaging revealed a ghrelin-triggered increase of the Ca2+-content in GT1-7 neurons kept in a steroid-free medium, which was abolished by GHS-R-antagonist JMV2959 (10µM) suggesting direct action of ghrelin. Estradiol (1nM) eliminated the ghrelin-evoked rise of Ca2+-content, indicating the estradiol dependency of the process. Expression of GHS-R mRNA was then confirmed in GnRH-GFP neurons of transgenic mice by single cell RT-PCR. Firing rate and burst frequency of GnRH-GFP neurons were lower in metestrous than proestrous mice. Ghrelin (40nM-4μM) administration resulted in a decreased firing rate and burst frequency of GnRH neurons in metestrous, but not in proestrous mice. Ghrelin also decreased the firing rate of GnRH neurons in males. The ghrelin-evoked alterations of the firing parameters were prevented by JMV2959, supporting the receptor-specific actions of ghrelin on GnRH neurons. In metestrous mice, ghrelin decreased the frequency of GABAergic mPSCs in GnRH neurons. Effects of ghrelin were abolished by the cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) antagonist AM251 (1µM) and the intracellularly applied DAG-lipase inhibitor THL (10µM), indicating the involvement of retrograde endocannabinoid signaling. These findings demonstrate that ghrelin exerts direct regulatory effects on GnRH neurons via GHS-R, and modulates the firing of GnRH neurons in an ovarian-cycle and endocannabinoid dependent manner.
Spontaneous ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (sOHSS) is a rare event that may result from a FSH-producing pituitary adenoma (FSHoma), activating mutations of the FSH receptor (FSHR), and cross-reactivity of the FSHR to elevated hCG and TSH in the setting of pregnancy or hypothyroidism. The objective of this study was to investigate whether an aberrant FSHR was present in a woman with sOHSS and a non-surgically diagnosed FSHoma whose serum FSH levels and FSH bioactivity were nearly normal. Sequencing of the patient’s FSHR gene revealed a heterozygous novel missense mutation c. 1536G>A resulting in an amino acid substitution M512I. We asked whether this mutant FSHR affected FSHR-mediated signaling pathways involving cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA), phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) and v-src sarcoma (Schmidt-Ruppin A-2) viral oncogene homolog kinase (SRC)/ p42/p44 extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERK1/2). Thus, 293T cells expressing wild-type (FSHRwt), the mutant FSHR (FSHRmt), or both (FSHRwt/mt) were treated with FSH and subjected to measurements of intracellular cAMP, cAMP-induced CRE (cAMP response element)-mediated luciferase assays and immunoblot analyses of phosphorylated PI3K and ERK1/2. There were no differences in luciferase activities or phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 among FSHRwt, FSHRmt cells and FSHwt/mt cells. However, FSHRmt cells showed a significant reduction in both cAMP production and PI3K phosphorylation levels with unchanged phosphorylation of ERK1/2 upon FSH stimulation in comparison to FSHwt cells. Also, FSH treatment did not provoke PI3K phosphorylation in FSHwt/mt cells. These results indicate that the novel missense M512I FSHR mutation identified herein did not participate in hyperactivation of FSHR-mediated signaling pathways but rather in hypoactivation of the FSH-mediated PI3K/AKT pathway. Thus, this study demonstrates a new functional property of this novel mutatnt FSHR, which, however, might not be involved in the pathogenesis of sOHSS in this FSHoma patient.
Acromegaly is frequently associated with impaired glucose tolerance and/or diabetes. To evaluate the relationship between glucose metabolism and acromegaly disease, we evaluated 269 consecutive patients from two referral centres.
Clinical presentation, pituitary tumor size and invasiveness, and pituitary pathology were captured in a dedicated database.
131 women and 138 men with a mean age of 53.8 years were included. Of these, 201 (74.7%) presented with a macroadenoma and 18 (6.7%) with a microadenoma. Radiographic invasion was present in 91 cases (33.8%). Mean tumor diameter was 1.86 cm (0.2–4.6). Pituitary histopathologic findings revealed pure GH-producing somatotroph adenomas (SA) in 147 patients, prolactin-production by mixed lactotroph (LA) and SA or mammosomatotroph adenoma (MSA) in 46 [22.4%], acidophil stem cell adenoma in 6 [2.9%], and other diagnoses in 6 [2.9%]. Medical treatment included octreotide in 96 [36.9%] and in combination with pegvisomant or dopamine agonists in 63 [24.2%]. Nearly 80% of patients achieved IGF-1 normalization. Importantly, patients with pure somatotroph adenomas were significantly more likely to present with abnormal glucose metabolism [48.7%] than those with mixed adenomas [9.7%] [p<0.001] independent of GH/IGF-1 levels or tumor invasiveness. Abnormal glucose metabolism and pituitary pathology also remained linked following IGF-1 normalization. Moreover patients with pure SA and abnormal glucose metabolism were significantly (p<0.001) less likely to achieve disease remission despite the same therapeutic strategies. Conversely, patients with mixed adenomas were more likely (OR: 2.766 (95% CI: 1.490–5.136) to achieve disease remission.
Patients with pure somatotroph adenomas are more likely than those with mixed adenomas to exhibit abnormal glucose metabolism.
We discovered the gene Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing 1 (Cthrc1) and reported its developmental expression and induction in adventitial cells of injured arteries and dermal cells of skin wounds. The role of Cthrc1 in normal adult tissues has not yet been determined.
We generated mutant mice with a novel Cthrc1 null allele by homologues recombination. Cthrc1 null mice appeared developmentally normal. On the C57BL/6J background, livers from Cthrc1 null mice accumulated vast quantities of lipid, leading to extensive macrovesicular steatosis. Glycogen levels in skeletal muscle and liver of Cthrc1 null mice on the 129S6/SvEv background were significantly increased. However, Cthrc1 expression is not detectable in these tissues in wild-type mice, suggesting that the lipid and glycogen storage phenotype may be a secondary effect due to loss of Cthrc1 production at a distant site. To investigate potential hormonal functions of Cthrc1, tissues from adult mice and pigs were examined for Cthrc1 expression by immunohistochemistry with monoclonal anti-Cthrc1 antibodies. In pigs, Cthrc1 was detected around chromophobe cells of the anterior pituitary, and storage of Cthrc1 was observed in colloid-filled follicles and the pituitary cleft. Pituitary follicles have been observed in numerous vertebrates including humans but none of the known pituitary hormones have hitherto been detected in them. In C57BL/6J mice, however, Cthrc1 was predominantly expressed in the paraventricular and supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus but not in the posterior pituitary. In human plasma, we detected Cthrc1 in pg/ml quantities and studies with 125I-labeled Cthrc1 revealed a half-life of 2.5 hours in circulation. The highest level of Cthrc1 binding was observed in the liver.
Cthrc1 has characteristics of a circulating hormone generated from the anterior pituitary, hypothalamus and bone. Hormonal functions of Cthrc1 include regulation of lipid storage and cellular glycogen levels with potentially broad implications for cell metabolism and physiology.
Circulating growth hormone (GH) levels rise in response to nutrient deprivation and fall in states of nutrient excess. Since GH regulates carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism, defining the mechanisms by which changes in metabolism alters GH secretion will aid in our understanding of the cause, progression and treatment of metabolic diseases. This review will summarize what is currently known regarding the impact of systemic metabolic signals on GH-axis function. In addition, ongoing studies using the Cre/loxP system to generate mouse models with selective somatotrope resistance to metabolic signals, will be discussed, where these models will serve to enhance our understanding of the specific role the somatotrope plays in sensing the metabolic environment and adjusting GH output in metabolic extremes.
growth hormone; somatotrope; fasting; obesity
Neurotrophins (NTs) are a family of secreted growth factor proteins primarily involved in the regulation of survival and appropriate development of neural cells, functioning by binding to their specific (TrkA, TtkB, and TrkC) and/or common NGFR receptor. NGFR is the common receptor of NTs, binding with low-affinity to all members of the family. Among different functions assigned to NGFR, it is also involved in apoptosis induction and tumorigenesis processes. Interestingly, some of the functions of NGFR appear to be ligand-independent, suggesting a probable involvement of non-coding RNA residing within the sequence of the gene. Here, we are reporting the existence of a conserved putative microRNA, named Hsa-mir-6165 [EBI accession#: FR873488]. Transfection of a DNA segment corresponding to the pre-mir-6165 sequence in Hela cell line caused the generation of mature exogenous mir-6165 (a ∼200,000 fold overexpression). Furthermore, using specific primers, we succeeded to detect the endogenous expression of mir-6165 in several glioma cell lines and glioma primary tumors known to express NGFR. Similar to the pro-apoptotic role of NGFR in some cell types, overexpression of pre-mir-6165 in U87 cell line resulted in an elevated rate of apoptosis. Moreover, coordinated with the increased level of mir-6165 in the transfected U87 cell line, two of its predicted target genes (Pkd1 and DAGLA) were significantly down-regulated. The latter findings suggest that some of the previously attributed functions of NGFR could be explained indirectly by co-transcription of mir-6165 in the cells.
Seasonal timing of reproduction and the number of clutches produced per season are two key avian life-history traits with major fitness consequences. Female condition may play an important role in these decisions. In mammals, body condition and leptin levels are correlated. In birds, the role of leptin remains unclear. We did two experiments where we implanted female great tits with a pellet releasing leptin evenly for 14 days, to manipulate their perceived body condition, or a placebo pellet. In the first experiment where females were implanted when feeding their first brood offspring we found, surprisingly, that placebo treated females were more likely to initiate a second brood compared to leptin treated females. Only one second brood fledged two chicks while five were deserted late in the incubation stage or when the first egg hatched. No difference was found in female or male return rate or in recruitment rate of fledglings of the first brood, possibly due to the desertion of the second broods. In our study population, where there is selection for early egg laying, earlier timing of reproduction might be hampered by food availability and thus nutritional state of the female before egg laying. We therefore implanted similar leptin pellets three weeks before the expected start of egg laying in an attempt to manipulate the laying dates of first clutches. However, leptin treated females did not initiate egg laying earlier compared to placebo treated females, suggesting that other variables than the perceived body condition play a major role in the timing of reproduction. Also, leptin treatment did not affect body mass, basal metabolic rate or feeding rates in captive females. Manipulating life history decisions using experimental protocols which do not alter individuals' energy balance are crucial in understanding the trade-off between costs and benefits of life history decisions.
We evaluated the effect of an oral administration of a plant-derived lactic acid bacterium, Pediococcus pentosaceus LP28 (LP28), on metabolic syndrome by using high fat diet-induced obese mice. The obese mice were divided into 2 groups and fed either a high fat or regular diet for 8 weeks. Each group was further divided into 3 groups, which took LP28, another plant-derived Lactobacillus plantarum SN13T (SN13T) or no lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The lean control mice were fed a regular diet without inducing obesity prior to the experiment. LP28 reduced body weight gain and liver lipid contents (triglyceride and cholesterol), in mice fed a high fat diet for 8 weeks (40%, 54%, and 70% less than those of the control group without LAB, and P = 0.018, P<0.001, and P = 0.021, respectively), whereas SN13T and the heat treated LP28 at 121°C for 15 min were ineffective. Abdominal visceral fat in the high fat diet mice fed with LP28 was also lower than that without LAB by 44%, although it was not significant but borderline (P = 0.076). The sizes of the adipocytes and the lipid droplets in the livers were obviously decreased. A real-time PCR analyses showed that lipid metabolism-related genes, such as CD36 (P = 0.013), SCD1 encoding stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (not significant but borderline, P = 0.066), and PPARγ encoding peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (P = 0.039), were down-regulated by taking LP28 continuously, when compared with those of the control group. In conclusion, LP28 may be a useful LAB strain for the prevention and reduction of the metabolic syndrome.
Ghrelin acts as an endocrine link connecting physiological processes regulating food intake, body composition, growth, and energy balance. Ghrelin is the only peptide known to undergo octanoylation. The enzyme mediating this process, ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT), is expressed in the gastrointestinal tract (GI; primary source of circulating ghrelin) as well as other tissues. The present study demonstrates that stomach GOAT mRNA levels correlate with circulating acylated-ghrelin levels in fasted and diet-induced obese mice. In addition, GOAT was found to be expressed in both the pituitary and hypothalamus (two target tissues of ghrelin’s actions), and regulated in response to metabolic status. Using primary pituitary cell cultures as a model system to study the regulation of GOAT expression, we found that acylated-ghrelin, but not desacyl-ghrelin, increased GOAT expression. In addition, growth-hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and leptin increased, while somatostatin (SST) decreased GOAT expression. The physiologic relevance of these later results is supported by the observation that pituitary GOAT expression in mice lacking GHRH, SST and leptin showed opposite changes to those observed after in vitro treatment with the corresponding peptides. Therefore, it seems plausible that these hormones directly contribute to the regulation of pituitary GOAT. Interestingly, in all the models studied, pituitary GOAT expression paralleled changes in the expression of a dominant spliced-variant of ghrelin (In2-ghrelin) and therefore this transcript may be a primary substrate for pituitary GOAT. Collectively, these observations support the notion that the GI tract is not the only source of acylated-ghrelin, but in fact locally-produced des-acylated-ghrelin could be converted to acylated-ghrelin within target tissues by locally active GOAT, to mediate its tissue-specific effects.
Ghrelin O-Acyl Transferase (GOAT); mouse models (fasting, obesity, knockouts); stomach; pituitary; hypothalamus
Context and Objective
The myokine irisin has been proposed to regulate energy homeostasis. Little is known about its association with metabolic parameters and especially with parameters influencing pathways of lipid metabolism. In the context of a clinical trial, an exploratory post hoc analysis has been performed in healthy subjects to determine whether simvastatin and/or ezetimibe influence serum irisin levels. The direct effects of simvastatin on irisin were also examined in primary human skeletal muscle cells (HSKMCs).
Design and Participants
A randomized, parallel 3-group study was performed in 72 men with mild hypercholesterolemia and without apparent cardiovascular disease. Each group of 24 subjects received a 14-day treatment with either simvastatin 40 mg, ezetimibe 10 mg, or their combination.
Baseline irisin concentrations were not significantly correlated with age, BMI, estimated GFR, thyroid parameters, glucose, insulin, lipoproteins, non-cholesterol sterols, adipokines, inflammation markers and various molecular markers of cholesterol metabolism. Circulating irisin increased significantly in simvastatin-treated but not in ezetimibe-treated subjects. The changes were independent of changes in LDL-cholesterol and were not correlated with changes in creatine kinase levels. In HSKMCs, simvastatin significantly increased irisin secretion as well as mRNA expression of its parent peptide hormone FNDC5. Simvastatin significantly induced cellular reactive oxygen species levels along with expression of pro- and anti-oxidative genes such as Nox2, and MnSOD and catalase, respectively. Markers of cellular stress such as atrogin-1 mRNA and Bax protein expression were also induced by simvastatin. Decreased cell viability and increased irisin secretion by simvastatin was reversed by antioxidant mito-TEMPO, implying in part that irisin is secreted as a result of increased mitochondrial oxidative stress and subsequent myocyte damage.
Simvastatin increases irisin concentrations in vivo and in vitro. It remains to be determined whether this increase is a result of muscle damage or a protective mechanism against simvastatin-induced cellular stress.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00317993 NCT00317993.
Adiponectin is an adipose tissue derived hormone which strengthens insulin sensitivity. However, there is little data available regarding the influence of a positive energy challenge (PEC) on circulating adiponectin and the role of obesity status on this response.
The purpose of this study was to investigate how circulating adiponectin will respond to a short-term PEC and whether or not this response will differ among normal-weight(NW), overweight(OW) and obese(OB).
We examined adiponectin among 64 young men (19-29 yr) before and after a 7-day overfeeding (70% above normal energy requirements). The relationship between adiponectin and obesity related phenotypes including; weight, percent body fat (%BF), percent trunk fat (%TF), percent android fat (%AF), body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, HDLc, LDLc, glucose, insulin, homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and β-cell function (HOMA-β) were analyzed before and after overfeeding.
Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and partial correlations were used to compute the effect of overfeeding on adiponectin and its association with adiposity measurements, respectively. Circulating Adiponectin levels significantly increased after the 7-day overfeeding in all three adiposity groups. Moreover, adiponectin at baseline was not significantly different among NW, OW and OB subjects defined by either %BF or BMI. Baseline adiponectin was negatively correlated with weight and BMI for the entire cohort and %TF, glucose, insulin and HOMA-IR in OB. However, after controlling for insulin resistance the correlation of adiponectin with weight, BMI and %TF were nullified.
Our study provides evidence that the protective response of adiponectin is preserved during a PEC regardless of adiposity. Baseline adiponectin level is not directly associated with obesity status and weight gain in response to short-term overfeeding. However, the significant increase of adiponectin in response to overfeeding indicates the physiological potential for adiponectin to attenuate insulin resistance during the development of obesity.
Pregnancy is associated with hyperphagia, increased adiposity and multiple neuroendocrine adaptations. Maternal adipose tissue secretes rising amounts of interleukin 6 (IL6), which acts peripherally modulating metabolic function and centrally increasing energy expenditure and reducing body fat. To explore the role of IL6 in the central mechanisms governing dam's energy homeostasis, early, mid and late pregnant (gestational days 7, 13 and 18) wild-type (WT) and Il6 knockout mice (Il6-KO) were compared with virgin controls at diestrus. Food intake, body weight and composition as well as indirect calorimetry measurements were performed in vivo. Anabolic and orexigenic peptides: neuropeptide Y (Npy) and agouti-related peptide (Agrp); and catabolic and anorectic neuropeptides: proopiomelanocortin (Pomc), corticotrophin and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (Crh and Trh) mRNA levels were determined by in situ hybridization. Real time-PCR and western-blot were used for additional tissue gene expression and protein studies. Non-pregnant Il6-KO mice were leaner than WT mice due to a decrease in fat but not in lean body mass. Pregnant Il6-KO mice had higher fat accretion despite similar body weight gain than WT controls. A decreased fat utilization in absence of Il6 might explain this effect, as shown by increased respiratory exchange ratio (RER) in virgin Il6-KO mice. Il6 mRNA levels were markedly enhanced in adipose tissue but reduced in hypothalamus of mid and late pregnant WT mice. Trh expression was also stimulated at gestational day 13 and lack of Il6 blunted this effect. Conversely, in late pregnant mice lessened hypothalamic Il6 receptor alpha (Il6ra), Pomc and Crh mRNA were observed. Il6 deficiency during this stage up-regulated Npy and Agrp expression, while restoring Pomc mRNA levels to virgin values. Together these results demonstrate that IL6/IL6Ra system modulates Npy/Agrp, Pomc and Trh expression during mouse pregnancy, supporting a role of IL6 in the central regulation of body fat in this physiological state.
This study, conducted in the brain of a perciform fish, the European sea bass, aimed at raising antibodies against the precursor of the kisspeptins in order to map the kiss systems and to correlate the expression of kisspeptins, kiss1 and kiss2, with that of kisspeptin receptors (kiss-R1 and kiss-R2). Specific antibodies could be raised against the preprokiss2, but not the preoprokiss1. The data indicate that kiss2 neurons are mainly located in the hypothalamus and project widely to the subpallium and pallium, the preoptic region, the thalamus, the pretectal area, the optic tectum, the torus semicircularis, the mediobasal medial and caudal hypothalamus, and the neurohypophysis. These results were compared to the expression of kiss-R1 and kiss-R2 messengers, indicating a very good correlation between the wide distribution of Kiss2-positive fibers and that of kiss-R2 expressing cells. The expression of kiss-R1 messengers was more limited to the habenula, the ventral telencephalon and the proximal pars distalis of the pituitary. Attempts to characterize the phenotype of the numerous cells expressing kiss-R2 showed that neurons expressing tyrosine hydroxylase, neuropeptide Y and neuronal nitric oxide synthase are targets for kisspeptins, while GnRH1 neurons did not appear to express kiss-R1 or kiss-R2 messengers. In addition, a striking result was that all somatostatin-positive neurons expressed-kissR2. These data show that kisspeptins are likely to regulate a wide range of neuronal systems in the brain of teleosts.
A low-carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic diet (KD) induces hepatic ketogenesis and is believed to affect energy metabolism in mice. As hepatic Fgf21 expression was markedly induced in mice fed KD, we examined the effects of KD feeding on metabolism and the roles of Fgf21 in metabolism in mice fed KD using Fgf21 knockout mice.
We examined C57BL/6 mice fed KD for 6 or 14 days. Blood β-hydroxybutyrate levels were greatly increased at 6 days, indicating that hepatic ketogenesis was induced effectively by KD feeding for 6 days. KD feeding for 6 and 14 days impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, although it did not affect body weight, blood NEFA, and triglyceride levels. Hepatic Fgf21 expression and blood Fgf21 levels were markedly increased in mice fed KD for 6 days. Blood β-hydroxybutyrate levels in the knockout mice fed KD for 6 days were comparable to those in wild-type mice fed KD, indicating that Fgf21 is not required for ketogenesis. However, the impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity caused by KD feeding were improved in the knockout mice. Insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation was significantly decreased in the white adipose tissue in wild-type mice fed KD compared with those fed normal chow, but not in the muscle and liver. Its phosphorylation in the white adipose tissue was significantly increased in the knockout mice fed KD compared with wild-type mice fed KD. In contrast, hepatic gluconeogenic gene expression in Fgf21 knockout mice fed KD was comparable to those in the wild-type mice fed KD.
The present findings indicate that KD feeding impairs insulin sensitivity in mice due to insulin resistance in white adipose tissue. In addition, our findings indicate that Fgf21 induced to express by KD is a negative regulator of adipocyte insulin sensitivity in adaptation to a low-carbohydrate malnutritional state.
Diabetic voiding dysfunction has been reported in epidemiological dimension of individuals with diabetes mellitus. Animal models might provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of this dysfunction to facilitate early diagnosis and to identify new drug targets for therapeutic interventions.
Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats received either chow or high-fat diet for eleven weeks. Proteomic alterations were comparatively monitored in both groups to discover a molecular fingerprinting of the urinary bladder remodelling/dysfunction. Results were validated by ELISA, Western blotting and immunohistology.
In the proteome analysis 383 proteins were identified and canonical pathway analysis revealed a significant up-regulation of acute phase reaction, hypoxia, glycolysis, β-oxidation, and proteins related to mitochondrial dysfunction in high-fat diet rats. In contrast, calcium signalling, cytoskeletal proteins, calpain, 14-3-3η and eNOS signalling were down-regulated in this group. Interestingly, we found increased ubiquitin proteasome activity in the high-fat diet group that might explain the significant down-regulation of eNOS, 14-3-3η and calpain.
Thus, high-fat diet is sufficient to induce significant remodelling of the urinary bladder and alterations of the molecular fingerprint. Our findings give new insights into obesity related bladder dysfunction and identified proteins that may indicate novel pathophysiological mechanisms and therefore constitute new drug targets.
Ghrelin is an orexigenic peptide hormone produced mainly by a distinct group of dispersed endocrine cells located within the gastric oxyntic mucosa. Besides secreted gene products derived from the preproghrelin gene, which include acyl-ghrelin, desacyl-ghrelin and obestatin, ghrelin cells also synthesize the secreted protein nesfatin-1. The main goal of the current study was to identify other proteins secreted from ghrelin cells. An initial gene chip screen using mRNAs derived from highly enriched pools of mouse gastric ghrelin cells demonstrated high levels of serum retinol-binding protein (RBP4) and transthyretin (TTR), both of which are known to circulate in the bloodstream bound to each other. This high expression was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR using as template mRNA derived from the enriched gastric ghrelin cell pools and from two ghrelin-producing cell lines (SG-1 and PG-1). RBP4 protein also was shown to be secreted into the culture medium of ghrelin cell lines. Neither acute nor chronic caloric restriction had a significant effect on RBP4 mRNA levels within stomachs of C57BL/6J mice, although both manipulations significantly decreased stomach TTR mRNA levels. In vitro studies using PG-1 cells showed no effect on RBP4 release of octanoic acid, epinephrine or norepinephrine, all of which are known to act directly on ghrelin cells to stimulate ghrelin secretion. These data provide new insights into ghrelin cell physiology, and given the known functions of RBP4 and TTR, support an emerging role for the ghrelin cell in blood glucose handling and metabolism.
The leptin (LEP) and its receptor (LEPR) regulate food intake and energy balance through hypothalamic signaling. However, the LEP-LEPR axis seems to be more complex and its expression regulation has not been well described. In pigs, LEP and LEPR genes have been widely studied due to their relevance. Previous studies reported significant effects of SNPs located in both genes on growth and fatness traits. The aim of this study was to determine the expression profiles of LEP and LEPR across hypothalamic, adipose, hepatic and muscle tissues in Iberian x Landrace backcrossed pigs and to analyze the effects of gene variants on transcript abundance. To our knowledge, non porcine LEPR isoforms have been described rather than LEPRb. A short porcine LEPR isoform (LEPRa), that encodes a protein lacking the intracellular residues responsible of signal transduction, has been identified for the first time. The LEPRb isoform was only quantifiable in hypothalamus while LEPRa appeared widely expressed across tissues, but at higher levels in liver, suggesting that both isoforms would develop different roles. The unique LEP transcript showed expression in backfat and muscle. The effects of gene variants on transcript expression revealed interesting results. The LEPRc.1987C>T polymorphism showed opposite effects on LEPRb and LEPRa hypothalamic expression. In addition, one out of the 16 polymorphisms identified in the LEPR promoter region revealed high differential expression in hepatic LEPRa. These results suggest a LEPR isoform-specific regulation at tissue level. Conversely, non-differential expression of LEP conditional on the analyzed polymorphisms could be detected, indicating that its regulation is likely affected by other mechanisms rather than gene sequence variants. The present study has allowed a transcriptional characterization of LEP and LEPR isoforms on a range of tissues. Their expression patterns seem to indicate that both molecules develop peripheral roles apart from their known hypothalamic signal transduction function.
Exercise provides clear beneficial effects for the prevention of numerous diseases. However, many of the molecular events responsible for the curative and protective role of exercise remain elusive. The recent discovery of FNDC5/irisin protein that is liberated by muscle tissue in response to exercise might be an important finding with regard to this unsolved mechanism. The most striking aspect of this myokine is its alleged capacity to drive brown-fat development of white fat and thermogenesis. However, the nature and secretion form of this new protein is controversial. The present study reveals that rat skeletal muscle secretes a 25 kDa form of FNDC5, while the 12 kDa/irisin theoretical peptide was not detected. More importantly, this study is the first to reveal that white adipose tissue (WAT) also secretes FNDC5; hence, it may also behave as an adipokine. Our data using rat adipose tissue explants secretomes proves that visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and especially subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), express and secrete FNDC5. We also show that short-term periods of endurance exercise training induced FNDC5 secretion by SAT and VAT. Moreover, we observed that WAT significantly reduced FNDC5 secretion in fasting animals. Interestingly, WAT of obese animals over-secreted this hormone, which might suggest a type of resistance. Because 72% of circulating FNDC5/irisin was previously attributed to muscle secretion, our findings suggest a muscle-adipose tissue crosstalk through a regulatory feedback mechanism.
Ghrelin is an endogenous regulator of energy homeostasis synthesized by the stomach to stimulate appetite and positive energy balance. Similarly, the endocannabinoid system is part of our internal machinery controlling food intake and energy expenditure. Both peripheral and central mechanisms regulate CB1-mediated control of food intake and a functional relationship between hypothalamic ghrelin and cannabinoid CB1 receptor has been proposed. First of all, we investigated brain ghrelin actions on food intake in rats with different metabolic status (negative or equilibrate energy balance). Secondly, we tested a sub-anxiogenic ultra-low dose of the CB1 antagonist SR141716A (Rimonabant) and the peripheral-acting CB1 antagonist LH-21 on ghrelin orexigenic actions. We found that: 1) central administration of ghrelin promotes food intake in free feeding animals but not in 24 h food-deprived or chronically food-restricted animals; 2) an ultra-low dose of SR141716A (a subthreshold dose 75 folds lower than the EC50 for induction of anxiety) completely counteracts the orexigenic actions of central ghrelin in free feeding animals; 3) the peripheral-restricted CB1 antagonist LH-21 blocks ghrelin-induced hyperphagia in free feeding animals. Our study highlights the importance of the animaĺs metabolic status for the effectiveness of ghrelin in promoting feeding, and suggests that the peripheral endocannabinoid system may interact with ghrelińs signal in the control of food intake under equilibrate energy balance conditions.
Histamine is a potent biogenic amine that mediates numerous physiological processes throughout the body, including digestion, sleep, and immunity. It is synthesized by gastric enterochromaffin-like cells, a specific set of hypothalamic neurons, as well as a subset of white blood cells, including mast cells. Much remains to be learned about these varied histamine-producing cell populations. Here, we report the validation of a transgenic mouse line in which Cre recombinase expression has been targeted to cells expressing histidine decarboxylase (HDC), which catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of histamine. This was achieved by crossing the HDC-Cre mouse line with Rosa26-tdTomato reporter mice, thus resulting in the expression of the fluorescent Tomato (Tmt) signal in cells containing Cre recombinase activity. As expected, the Tmt signal co-localized with HDC-immunoreactivity within the gastric mucosa and gastric submucosa and also within the tuberomamillary nucleus of the brain. HDC expression within Tmt-positive gastric cells was further confirmed by quantitative PCR analysis of mRNA isolated from highly purified populations of Tmt-positive cells obtained by fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS). HDC expression within these FACS-separated cells was found to coincide with other markers of both ECL cells and mast cells. Gastrin expression was co-localized with HDC expression in a subset of histaminergic gastric mucosal cells. We suggest that these transgenic mice will facilitate future studies aimed at investigating the function of histamine-producing cells.
Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) is known to be produced by the bone and linked to metabolic risk. We aimed to explore circulating FGF-23 in association with fatness and insulin sensitivity, atherosclerosis and bone mineral density (BMD). Circulating intact FGF-23 (iFGF-23) and C-terminal (CtFGF-23) concentrations (ELISA) were measured in 133 middle aged men from the general population in association with insulin sensitivity (Cohort 1); and in association with fat mass and bone mineral density (DEXA) and atherosclerosis (intima media thickness, IMT) in 78 subjects (52 women) with a wide range of adiposity (Cohort 2). Circulating iFGF-23 was also measured before and after weight loss. In all subjects as a whole, serum intact and C-terminal concentrations were linearly and positively associated with BMI. In cohort 1, both serum iFGF-23 and CtFGF-23 concentrations increased with insulin resistance. Serum creatinine contributed to iFGF-23 variance, while serum ferritin and insulin sensitivity (but not BMI, age or serum creatinine) contributed to 17% of CtFGF-23 variance. In cohort 2, CtFGF-23 levels were higher in women vs. men, and increased with BMI, fat mass, fasting and post-load serum glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR and PTH, being negatively associated with circulating vitamin D and ferritin levels. The associations of CtFGF-23 with bone density in the radius, lumbar spine and carotid IMT were no longer significant after controlling for BMI. Weight loss led to decreased iFGF-23 concentrations. In summary, the associations of circulating FGF-23 concentration with parameters of glucose metabolism, bone density and atherosclerosis are dependent on iron and obesity status-associated insulin resistance.
The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin is required for normal pubertal maturation in mice and humans and, therefore, leptin has been recognized as a crucial metabolic cue linking energy stores and the onset of puberty. Several lines of evidence have suggested that leptin acts via kisspeptin expressing neurons of the arcuate nucleus to exert its effects. Using conditional knockout mice, we have previously demonstrated that deletion of leptin receptors (LepR) from kisspeptin cells cause no puberty or fertility deficits. However, developmental adaptations and system redundancies may have obscured the physiologic relevance of direct leptin signaling in kisspeptin neurons. To overcome these putative effects, we re-expressed endogenous LepR selectively in kisspeptin cells of mice otherwise null for LepR, using the Cre-loxP system. Kiss1-Cre LepR null mice showed no pubertal development and no improvement of the metabolic phenotype, remaining obese, diabetic and infertile. These mice displayed decreased numbers of neurons expressing Kiss1 gene, similar to prepubertal control mice, and an unexpected lack of re-expression of functional LepR. To further assess the temporal coexpression of Kiss1 and Lepr genes, we generated mice with the human renilla green fluorescent protein (hrGFP) driven by Kiss1 regulatory elements and crossed them with mice that express Cre recombinase from the Lepr locus and the R26-tdTomato reporter gene. No coexpression of Kiss1 and LepR was observed in prepubertal mice. Our findings unequivocally demonstrate that kisspeptin neurons are not the direct target of leptin in the onset of puberty. Leptin signaling in kisspeptin neurons arises only after completion of sexual maturation.
This study was designed to determine the genotoxicity of a supraphysiological dose of triiodothyronine (T3) in both obese and calorie-restricted obese animals. Fifty male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to one of the two following groups: control (C; n = 10) and obese (OB; n = 40). The C group received standard food, whereas the OB group was fed a hypercaloric diet for 20 weeks. After this period, half of the OB animals (n = 20) were subjected to a 25%-calorie restriction of standard diet for 8 weeks forming thus a new group (OR), whereas the remaining OB animals were kept on the initial hypercaloric diet. During the following two weeks, 10 OR animals continued on the calorie restriction diet, whereas the remaining 10 rats of this group formed a new group (ORS) given a supraphysiological dose of T3 (25 µg/100 g body weight) along with the calorie restriction diet. Similarly, the remaining OB animals were divided into two groups, one that continued on the hypercaloric diet (OB, n = 10), and one that received the supraphysiological dose of T3 (25 µg/100 g body weight) along with the hypercaloric diet (OS, n = 10) for two weeks. The OB group showed weight gain, increased adiposity, insulin resistance, increased leptin levels and genotoxicity; T3 administration in OS animals led to an increase in genotoxicity and oxidative stress when compared with the OB group. The OR group showed weight loss and normalized levels of adiposity, insulin resistance, serum leptin and genotoxicity, thus having features similar to those of the C group. On the other hand, the ORS group, compared to OR animals, showed higher genotoxicity. Our results indicate that regardless of diet, a supraphysiological dose of T3 causes genotoxicity and potentiates oxidative stress.
Endoglin is a transmembrane auxiliary receptor for transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) that is predominantly expressed on proliferating endothelial cells. It plays a wide range of physiological roles but its importance on energy balance or insulin sensitivity has been unexplored. Endoglin deficient mice die during midgestation due to cardiovascular defects. Here we report for first time that heterozygous endoglin deficiency in mice decreases high fat diet-induced hepatic triglyceride content and insulin levels. Importantly, these effects are independent of changes in body weight or adiposity. At molecular level, we failed to detect relevant changes in the insulin signalling pathway at basal levels in liver, muscle or adipose tissues that could explain the insulin-dependent effect. However, we found decreased triglyceride content in the liver of endoglin heterozygous mice fed a high fat diet in comparison to their wild type littermates. Overall, our findings indicate that endoglin is a potentially important physiological mediator of insulin levels and hepatic lipid metabolism.
Pituitary stalk interruption syndrome (PSIS) is characterized by the absence of pituitary stalk, pituitary hypoplasia, and ectopic posterior pituitary. Due to the rarity of PSIS, clinical data are limited, especially in Chinese people. Herein, we analyzed the clinical characteristics of patients diagnosed with PSIS from our center over 10 years.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the clinical manifestations and laboratory and MRI findings in 55 patients with PSIS.
Of the 55 patients with PSIS, 48 (87.3%) were male. The average age was 19.7±6.7 years and there was no familial case. A history of breech delivery was documented in 40 of 45 patients (88.9%) and 19 of 55 patients (34.5%) had a history of dystocia. Short stature was found in 47 of 55 patients (85.5%) and bone age delayed 7.26±5.37 years. Secondary sex characteristics were poor or undeveloped in most patients. The prevalence of deficiencies in growth hormone, gonadotropins, corticotropin, and thyrotropin were 100%, 95.8%, 81.8%, 76.3%, respectively. Hyperprolactinemia was found in 36.4% of patients. Three or more pituitary hormone deficiencies were found in 92.7% of the patients. All patients had normal posterior pituitary function and absent pituitary stalk on imaging. The average height of anterior pituitary was 28 mm, documented anterior pituitary hypoplasia. Midline abnormalities were presented in 9.1% of patients.
The clinical features of our Chinese PSIS patients seem to be different from other reported patients in regarding to the higher degree of hypopituitarism and lower prevalence of midline defects. In addition, our patients were older at the time of case detection and the bone age was markedly delayed. We also had no cases of familial PSIS.