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1.  Decreased diabetes-induced glycemic impairment in WKY and SHR involves enhanced skeletal muscle Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression 
Hypertension has been associated to diabetes, and participates in the development of diabetic complications. The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is the gold standard model for the study of hypertension, and experimental diabetes has been currently investigated in SHR. Wistar-Kyoto rat is usually taken as control for SHR, however, regarding the glycemic homeostasis, WKY may be similar to SHR, when compared to the standard Wistar rat, importantly affecting the interpretation of data. Slc2a4 gene, which encodes the GLUT4 protein, is expressed in insulin-sensitive tissues, such as muscle cells and adipocytes, and alteration in Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression is inversely related to glycemic levels. We investigated the effect of diabetes on the expression of Slc2a4/GLUT4 and glycemic control in Wistar-Kyoto and SHR.
Slc2a4 mRNA (Northern-blotting) and GLUT4 protein (Western-blotting) were investigated in skeletal muscles (soleus and extensor digitorum longus) of Wistar, Wistar-Kyoto and SHR, rendered or not diabetic for 1 month. Non-diabetic SHR shows hyperinsulinemia, and unaltered GLUT4 expression. The hyperglycemia was significantly attenuated in diabetic Wistar-Kyoto and SHR, compared to that observed in diabetic Wistar, although all of them presented the same hypoinsulinemic levels. Besides, diabetes significantly reduced Slc2a4/GLUT4 in Wistar, as expected; however, that was not observed in diabetic Wistar-Kyoto and SHR.
Non-diabetic SHR is insulin resistant, despite unaltered GLUT4 expression. Diabetic Wistar-Kyoto and diabetic SHR presented high Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression in skeletal muscle, as compared to diabetic Wistar. This Slc2a4/GLUT4 regulation does not depend on insulin level and possibly protects the WKY and SHR from severe glycemic impairment.
PMCID: PMC4164711  PMID: 25228927
Hypertension; Soleus; EDL; Glycemic homeostasis; Hyperglycemia
2.  Altered Response of Skeletal Muscle to IL-6 in Type 2 Diabetic Patients 
Diabetes  2013;62(2):355-361.
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has a dual role in modulating insulin sensitivity, with evidence for this cytokine as both an enhancer and inhibitor of insulin action. We determined the effect of IL-6 exposure on glucose and lipid metabolism in cultured myotubes established from people with normal glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes. Acute IL-6 exposure increased glycogen synthesis, glucose uptake, and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation in cultured myotubes from normal glucose tolerant subjects. However, in type 2 diabetic patients, IL-6 was without effect on glucose metabolism and STAT3 signaling, concomitant with increased suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) expression. IL-6 increased fatty acid oxidation in myotubes from type 2 diabetic and normal glucose tolerant subjects. Expression of IL-6, IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), or glycoprotein 130, as well as IL-6 secretion, was unaltered between cultured myotubes from normal glucose tolerant or type 2 diabetic subjects. Circulating serum IL-6 concentration was unaltered between normal glucose tolerant and type 2 diabetic subjects. In summary, skeletal muscle cells from type 2 diabetic patients display selective IL-6 resistance for glucose rather than lipid metabolism. In conclusion, IL-6 appears to play a differential role in regulating metabolism in type 2 diabetic patients compared with normal glucose tolerant subjects.
PMCID: PMC3554367  PMID: 23086036
3.  Aerobic exercise training induces metabolic benefits in rats with metabolic syndrome independent of dietary changes 
Clinics  2013;68(7):1010-1017.
We evaluated the effects of aerobic exercise training without dietary changes on cardiovascular and metabolic variables and on the expression of glucose transporter Type 4 in rats with metabolic syndrome.
Twenty male spontaneously hypertensive rats received monosodium glutamate during the neonatal period. The animals were allocated to the following groups: MS (sedentary metabolic syndrome), MS-T (trained on a treadmill for 1 hour/day, 5 days/week for 10 weeks), H (sedentary spontaneously hypertensive rats) and H-T (trained spontaneously hypertensive rats). The Lee index, blood pressure (tail-cuff system), insulin sensitivity (insulin tolerance test) and functional capacity were evaluated before and after 10 weeks of training. Glucose transporter Type 4 expression was analyzed using Western blotting. The data were compared using analysis of variance (ANOVA) (p<0.05).
At baseline, the MS rats exhibited lower insulin sensitivity and increased Lee index compared with the H rats. Training decreased the body weight and Lee index of the MS rats (MS-T vs. MS), but not of the H rats (H-T vs. H). There were no differences in food intake between the groups. At the end of the experiments, the systolic blood pressure was lower in the two trained groups than in their sedentary controls. Whole-body insulin sensitivity increased in the trained groups. Glucose transporter Type 4 content increased in the heart, white adipose tissue and gastrocnemius muscle of the trained groups relative to their respective untrained groups.
In conclusion, the present study shows that an isolated aerobic exercise training intervention is an efficient means of improving several components of metabolic syndrome, that is, training reduces obesity and hypertension and increases insulin sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC3714777  PMID: 23917668
Metabolic Syndrome X; Glucose Transporter Type 4; Obesity; Exercise Training
4.  GLUT4 content decreases along with insulin resistance and high levels of inflammatory markers in rats with metabolic syndrome 
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by insulin resistance, which is closely related to GLUT4 content in insulin-sensitive tissues. Thus, we evaluated the GLUT4 expression, insulin resistance and inflammation, characteristics of the metabolic syndrome, in an experimental model.
Spontaneously hypertensive neonate rats (18/group) were treated with monosodium glutamate (MetS) during 9 days, and compared with Wistar-Kyoto (C) and saline-treated SHR (H). Blood pressure (BP) and lipid levels, C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), TNF-α and adiponectin were evaluated. GLUT4 protein was analysed in the heart, white adipose tissue and gastrocnemius. Studies were performed at 3 (3-mo), 6 (6-mo) and 9 (9-mo) months of age.
MetS rats were more insulin resistant (p<0.001, all ages) and had higher BP (3-mo: p<0.001, 6-mo: p = 0.001, 9-mo: p = 0.015) as compared to C. At 6 months, CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α were higher (p<0.001, all comparisons) in MetS rats vs H, but adiponectin was lower in MetS at 9 months (MetS: 32 ± 2, H: 42 ± 2, C: 45 ± 2 pg/mL; p<0.001). GLUT4 protein was reduced in MetS as compared to C rats at 3, 6 and 9-mo, respectively (Heart: 54%, 50% and 57%; Gastrocnemius: 37%, 56% and 50%; Adipose tissue: 69%, 61% and 69%).
MSG-treated SHR presented all metabolic syndrome characteristics, as well as reduced GLUT4 content, which must play a key role in the impaired glycemic homeostasis of the metabolic syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3439702  PMID: 22897936
Monosodium glutamate; Spontaneously hypertensive rats; Glucose transporter 4
6.  Renal denervation in an animal model of diabetes and hypertension: Impact on the autonomic nervous system and nephropathy 
The effects of renal denervation on cardiovascular reflexes and markers of nephropathy in diabetic-hypertensive rats have not yet been explored.
Aim: To evaluate the effects of renal denervation on nephropathy development mechanisms (blood pressure, cardiovascular autonomic changes, renal GLUT2) in diabetic-hypertensive rats. Forty-one male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) ~250 g were injected with STZ or not; 30 days later, surgical renal denervation (RD) or sham procedure was performed; 15 days later, glycemia and albuminuria (ELISA) were evaluated. Catheters were implanted into the femoral artery to evaluate arterial pressure (AP) and heart rate variability (spectral analysis) one day later in conscious animals. Animals were killed, kidneys removed, and cortical renal GLUT2 quantified (Western blotting).
Higher glycemia (p < 0.05) and lower mean AP were observed in diabetics vs. nondiabetics (p < 0.05). Heart rate was higher in renal-denervated hypertensive and lower in diabetic-hypertensive rats (384.8 ± 37, 431.3 ± 36, 316.2 ± 5, 363.8 ± 12 bpm in SHR, RD-SHR, STZ-SHR and RD-STZ-SHR, respectively). Heart rate variability was higher in renal-denervated diabetic-hypertensive rats (55.75 ± 25.21, 73.40 ± 53.30, 148.4 ± 93 in RD-SHR, STZ-SHR- and RD-STZ-SHR, respectively, p < 0.05), as well as the LF component of AP variability (1.62 ± 0.9, 2.12 ± 0.9, 7.38 ± 6.5 in RD-SHR, STZ-SHR and RD-STZ-SHR, respectively, p < 0.05). GLUT2 renal content was higher in all groups vs. SHR.
Renal denervation in diabetic-hypertensive rats improved previously reduced heart rate variability. The GLUT2 equally overexpressed by diabetes and renal denervation may represent a maximal derangement effect of each condition.
PMCID: PMC3110548  PMID: 21496329
7.  The beneficial effects of exercise in rodents are preserved after detraining: a phenomenon unrelated to GLUT4 expression 
Although exercise training has well-known cardiorespiratory and metabolic benefits, low compliance with exercise training programs is a fact, and the harmful effects of physical detraining regarding these adaptations usually go unnoticed. We investigated the effects of exercise detraining on blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and GLUT4 expression in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY).
Studied animals were randomized into sedentary, trained (treadmill running/5 days a week, 60 min/day for 10 weeks), 1 week of detraining, and 2 weeks of detraining. Blood pressure (tail-cuff system), insulin sensitivity (kITT), and GLUT4 (Western blot) in heart, gastrocnemius and white fat tissue were measured.
Exercise training reduced blood pressure (19%), improved insulin sensitivity (24%), and increased GLUT4 in the heart (+34%); gastrocnemius (+36%) and fat (+22%) in SHR. In WKY no change in either blood pressure or insulin sensitivity were observed, but there was an increase in GLUT4 in the heart (+25%), gastrocnemius (+45%) and fat (+36%) induced by training. Both periods of detraining did not induce any change in neither blood pressure nor insulin sensitivity in SHR and WKY. One-week detraining reduced GLUT4 in SHR (heart: -28%; fat: -23%) and WKY (heart: -19%; fat: -22%); GLUT4 in the gastrocnemius was reduced after a 2-week detraining (SHR: -35%; WKY: -25%). There was a positive correlation between GLUT4 (gastrocnemius) and the maximal velocity in the exercise test (r = 0.60, p = 0.004).
The study findings show that in detraining, despite reversion of the enhanced GLUT4 expression, cardiorespiratory and metabolic beneficial effects of exercise are preserved.
PMCID: PMC2984487  PMID: 21029425

Results 1-7 (7)