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1.  Systemic arteriosclerosis and eating behavior in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients with visceral fat accumulation 
Visceral fat accumulation is a major etiological factor in the progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. We described previously visceral fat accumulation and multiple cardiovascular risk factors in a considerable number of Japanese non-obese subjects (BMI <25 kg/m2). Here, we investigated differences in systemic arteriosclerosis, serum adiponectin concentration, and eating behavior in type 2 diabetic patients with and without visceral fat accumulation.
The study subjects were 75 Japanese type 2 diabetes mellitus (age: 64.8 ± 11.5 years, mean ± SD). Visceral fat accumulation represented an estimated visceral fat area of 100 cm2 using the bioelectrical impedance analysis method. Subjects were divided into two groups; with (n = 53) and without (n = 22) visceral fat accumulation. Systemic arteriosclerosis was scored for four arteries by ultrasonography. Eating behavior was assessed based on The Guideline for Obesity questionnaire issued by the Japan Society for the Study of Obesity.
The visceral fat accumulation (+) group showed significantly higher systemic vascular scores and significantly lower serum adiponectin levels than the visceral fat accumulation (−) group. With respect to the eating behavior questionnaire items, (+) patients showed higher values for the total score and many of the major sub-scores than (−) patients.
Type 2 diabetic patients with visceral fat accumulation showed 1) progression of systemic arteriosclerosis, 2) low serum adiponectin levels, and 3) differences in eating behavior, compared to those without visceral fat accumulation. Taken together, the findings highlight the importance of evaluating visceral fat area in type 2 diabetic patients. Furthermore, those with visceral fat accumulation might need to undergo more intensive screening for systemic arteriosclerosis and consider modifying their eating behaviors.
PMCID: PMC4301666  PMID: 25592402
Type 2 diabetes; Visceral fat accumulation; Adiponectin; Systemic arteriosclerosis; Vascular ultrasonography; Eating behavior
2.  Adipose Hypothermia in Obesity and Its Association with Period Homolog 1, Insulin Sensitivity, and Inflammation in Fat 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112813.
Visceral fat adiposity plays an important role in the development of metabolic syndrome. We reported previously the impact of human visceral fat adiposity on gene expression profile of peripheral blood cells. Genes related to circadian rhythm were highly associated with visceral fat area and period homolog 1 (PER1) showed the most significant negative correlation with visceral fat area. However, regulation of adipose Per1 remains poorly understood. The present study was designed to understand the regulation of Per1 in adipose tissues. Adipose Per1 mRNA levels of ob/ob mice were markedly low at 25 and 35 weeks of age. The levels of other core clock genes of white adipose tissues were also low in ob/ob mice at 25 and 35 weeks of age. Per1 mRNA was mainly expressed in the mature adipocyte fraction (MAF) and it was significantly low in MAF of ob/ob mice. To examine the possible mechanisms, 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated with H2O2, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), S100A8, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). However, no significant changes in Per1 mRNA level were observed by these agents. Exposure of cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes to low temperature (33°C) decreased Per1 and catalase, and increased monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (Mcp-1) mRNA levels. Hypothermia also worsened insulin-mediated Akt phosphorylation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Finally, telemetric analysis showed low temperature of adipose tissues in ob/ob mice. In obesity, adipose hypothermia seems to accelerate adipocyte dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC4232416  PMID: 25397888
3.  Long-term impact of liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue, on body weight and glycemic control in Japanese type 2 diabetes: an observational study 
Liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue, has been shown to possess pleiotropic effects including body weight reduction. However, long-term effect of liraglutide on body weight and glycemic control has not been elucidated in Japanese type 2 diabetes (T2D) subjects. Present study investigates whether liraglutide treatment maintains the body weight-decreasing and glucose-lowering effects for 2 years in Japanese T2D subjects.
The enrolled subjects were 86 T2D patients [age; 59.8 ± 12.8 years, duration of diabetes; 15.8 ± 9.5 years, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c); 8.5 ± 1.5%, body mass index (BMI); 27.3 ± 5.4 kg/m2 (15.8 - 46.5 kg/m2), mean ± SD]. Among 86 subjects, liraglutide was introduced in 25 inpatients and 61 outpatients, and 46 subjects were followed for 2 years. Clinical parameters were measured at baseline and 3, 6, 9, 12, and 24 months after liraglutide introduction. The increase in liraglutide dosage and the additional usage of glucose-lowering agents depended on each attending physician.
At 1 year after liraglutide introduction, 69 patients (80.2%) decreased body weight and 58 patients (67.4%) improved glycemic control. Body mass index (BMI) was changed 27.3 ± 5.4 kg/m2 to 25.9 ± 4.8 kg/m2 and percent reduction of body weight was significant and maintained over 4% at 2 years after liraglutide introduction. HbA1c was significantly decreased from 8.5 ± 1.5% to 7.7 ± 1.2% for 2 years. Liraglutide treatment tended to ameliorate lipid profile and hepatic enzymes. Stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that baseline BMI and previous insulin dose were positively associated with body weight reduction and baseline HbA1c was positively associated with reduction of HbA1c at 2 years after liraglutide introduction.
Long-term liraglutide treatment effectively maintained the reduction of body weight and the fair glycemic control, and also improved lipid profile and liver enzymes in Japanese T2D subjects.
PMCID: PMC4167135  PMID: 25237400
Liraglutide; Glucagon-like peptide-1; Obesity; Diabetes; Metabolic syndrome; Eating behavior
4.  A pilot three-month sitagliptin treatment increases serum adiponectin level in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus- a randomized controlled trial START-J study 
The dipeptidyl-peptidase-IV (DPP-4) inhibitors, including sitagliptin, are used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Adiponectin, an adipocyte-derived circulating protein, has anti-atherosclerotic and anti-diabetic properties and is effectively elevated in bloodstream by thiazolidinediones, an insulin sensitizer. However, the effect of sitagliptin treatment on serum adiponectin level in T2DM has not fully elucidated in Japanese T2DM patients. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of sitagliptin treatment on serum adiponectin levels in T2DM subjects.
Twenty-six consecutive Japanese T2DM outpatients were recruited between April 2011 and March 2013, and randomized into the control (conventional treatment, n = 10) group and sitagliptin treatment group (n = 16). Serum adiponectin was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Indices of glycemic control, such as hemoglobin A1c, glycated albumin, and 1.5-anhydro-D-glucitol, were significantly improved after the three-month treatment in both the control and sitagliptin groups. Serum adiponectin level was significantly increased in sitagliptin group from 6.7 ± 0.8 to 7.4 ± 1.0 μg/mL without change of body mass index (p = 0.034), while serum adiponectin level was not altered in the control group (p = 0.601).
In Japanese T2DM patients, serum adiponectin level was elevated by three-month treatment with sitagliptin without change of body weight.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC4049487  PMID: 24884787
Sitagliptin; Adiponectin; DPP4 inhibitor; Inctrein; Diabetes; Oxidative stress
5.  Possible Involvement of Opa-Interacting Protein 5 in Adipose Proliferation and Obesity 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87661.
Obesity is an epidemic matter increasing risk for cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes. We recently examined the association between visceral fat adiposity and gene expression profile of peripheral blood cells in human subjects. In a series of studies, Opa (Neisseria gonorrhoeae opacity-associated)-interacting protein 5 (OIP5) was nominated as a molecule of unknown function in adipocytes and thus the present study was performed to investigate the role of OIP5 in obesity. Adenovirus overexpressing Oip5 (Ad-Oip5) was generated and infected to 3T3-L1 cells stably expressing Coxsackie-Adenovirus Receptor (CAR-3T3-L1) and to mouse subcutaneous fat. For a knockdown experiment, siRNA against Oip5 (Oip5-siRNA) was introduced into 3T3-L1 cells. Proliferation of adipose cells was measured by BrdU uptake, EdU-staining, and cell count. Significant increase of Oip5 mRNA level was observed in obese white adipose tissues and such increase was detected in both mature adipocytes fraction and stromal vascular cell fraction. Ad-Oip5-infected CAR-3T3-L1 preadipocytes and adipocytes proliferated rapidly, while a significant reduction of proliferation was observed in Oip5-siRNA-introduced 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Fat weight and number of adipocytes were significantly increased in Ad-Oip5-administered fat tissues. Oip5 promotes proliferation of pre- and mature-adipocytes and contributes adipose hyperplasia. Increase of Oip5 may associate with development of obesity.
PMCID: PMC3916335  PMID: 24516558
7.  A Novel Role for Adipose Ephrin-B1 in Inflammatory Response 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76199.
Ephrin-B1 (EfnB1) was selected among genes of unknown function in adipocytes or adipose tissue and subjected to thorough analysis to understand its role in the development of obesity.
Methods and Results
EfnB1 mRNA and protein levels were significantly decreased in adipose tissues of obese mice and such reduction was mainly observed in mature adipocytes. Exposure of 3T3-L1 adipocytes to tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and their culture with RAW264.7 cells reduced EFNB1 levels. Knockdown of adipose EFNB1 increased monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (Mcp-1) mRNA level and augmented the TNF-α-mediated THP-1 monocyte adhesion to adipocytes. Adenovirus-mediated adipose EFNB1-overexpression significantly reduced the increase in Mcp-1 mRNA level induced by coculture of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with RAW264.7 cells. Monocyte adherent assay showed that adipose EfnB1-overexpression significantly decreased the increase of monocyte adhesion by coculture with RAW264.7 cells. TNF-α-induced activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) was reduced by EFNB1-overexpression.
EFNB1 contributes to the suppression of adipose inflammatory response. In obesity, reduction of adipose EFNB1 may accelerate the vicious cycle involved in adipose tissue inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3787942  PMID: 24098442
8.  Vascular complications and changes in body mass index in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients with abdominal obesity 
Although many Asian type 2 diabetic patients have been considered to be not obese and have low capacity of insulin secretion, the proportion of obese patients with visceral fat accumulation has increased in recent years. We found previously considerable number of Japanese non-obese subjects (body mass index (BMI) < 25 kg/m2) with visceral fat accumulation and multiple cardiovascular risk factors. The aim of the study was to investigate the difference in clinical features of type 2 diabetic patients with and without visceral fat accumulation, focusing on vascular complications and changes in BMI.
We enrolled 88 Japanese hospitalized type 2 diabetic patients. Abdominal obesity represented waist circumference (WC) of ≥85 cm for males and ≥90 cm for females (corresponding to visceral fat area of 100 cm2). Subjects were divided into two groups; with or without abdominal obesity.
Hypertension, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular diseases were significantly more in the patients with abdominal obesity. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the non-obese patients (BMI < 25 kg/m2) with abdominal obesity were similar in obese patients (BMI ≥25 kg/m2). The mean BMI of the patients with abdominal obesity was < 25 kg/m2 at 20 years of age, but reached maximum to more than 30 kg/m2 in the course. Furthermore, substantial portion of the type 2 diabetic patients (52% in males and 43% in females) were not obese at 20 year-old (BMI < 25 kg/m2), but developed abdominal obesity by the time of admission.
These results emphasize the need to control multiple risk factors and prevent atherosclerotic disease in patients with abdominal obesity. The significant weight gain after 20 years of age in patients with abdominal obesity stresses the importance of lifestyle modification in younger generation, to prevent potential development of type 2 diabetes and future atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3698109  PMID: 23773268
Abdominal obesity; Type 2 diabetes; Waist circumference; Visceral fat accumulation; Body mass index; Cardiovascular disease
9.  Dipeptidyl peptidase‐4 inhibitors are effective in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients with sustained endogenous insulin‐secreting capacity, a higher body mass index and insulin resistance 
Recently, dipeptidyl peptidase‐4 (DPP‐4) inhibitors have become available in Japan. It has not yet been clarified what clinical parameters could discriminate DPP‐4 inhibitor‐effective patients from DPP‐4 inhibitor‐ineffective patients.
Materials and Methods
We reviewed 33 consecutive patients with type 2 diabetes admitted to Osaka University Hospital for glycemic control. All of the patients were treated with medical nutrition therapy plus insulin therapy to improve fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and postprandial glucose below 150 and 200 mg/dL, respectively. After insulin secretion and insulin resistance were evaluated, insulin was replaced by DPP‐4 inhibitors. The efficacy of DPP‐4 inhibitors was determined according to whether glycemic control was maintained at the target levels.
Dipeptidyl peptidase‐4 inhibitors were effective in 16 of 33 patients. DPP‐4 inhibitor‐effective patients were younger than DPP‐4 inhibitor‐ineffective patients. Body mass index (BMI) was significantly higher in DPP‐4 inhibitor‐effective patients. Endogeneous insulin‐secreting capacity, including insulinogenic index (II), fasting plasma C‐peptide (F‐CPR) and C‐peptide index (CPI), was more sustained in DPP‐4 inhibitor‐effective patients than DPP‐4 inhibitor‐ineffective patients. Insulin resistance evaluated by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA‐IR) was significantly higher in DPP‐4 inhibitor‐effective patients than DPP‐4 inhibitor‐ineffective patients. In receiver operating characteristic analyses, the cut‐off values for predicting the efficacy of DPP‐4 inhibitors were 0.07 for II, 1.5 ng/mL for F‐CPR, 1.0 for CPI, 23.0 kg/m2 for BMI, 1.3 for HOMA‐IR and 67.5 years for age.
Dipeptidyl peptidase‐4 inhibitors were effective in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients with sustained endogenous insulin‐secreting capacity, a higher BMI and insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC4019274  PMID: 24843651
Dipeptidyl peptidase‐4 inhibitor; Insulin secretion; Type 2 diabetes
10.  Efficacy of liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue, on body weight, eating behavior, and glycemic control, in Japanese obese type 2 diabetes 
We recently reported that short-term treatment with liraglutide (20.0 ± 6.4 days) reduced body weight and improved some scales of eating behavior in Japanese type 2 diabetes inpatients. However, it remained uncertain whether such liraglutide-induced improvement is maintained after discharge from the hospital. The aim of the present study was to determine the long-term effects of liraglutide on body weight, glycemic control, and eating behavior in Japanese obese type 2 diabetics.
Patients with obesity (body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m2) and type 2 diabetes were hospitalized at Osaka University Hospital between November 2010 and December 2011. BMI and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were examined on admission, at discharge and at 1, 3, and 6 months after discharge. For the liraglutide group (BMI; 31.3 ± 5.3 kg/m2, n = 29), patients were introduced to liraglutide after correction of hyperglycemic by insulin or oral glucose-lowering drugs and maintained on liraglutide after discharge. Eating behavior was assessed in patients treated with liraglutide using The Guideline For Obesity questionnaire issued by the Japan Society for the Study of Obesity, at admission, discharge, 3 and 6 months after discharge. For the insulin group (BMI; 29.1 ± 3.0 kg/m2, n = 28), each patient was treated with insulin during hospitalization and glycemic control maintained by insulin after discharge.
Liraglutide induced significant and persistent weight loss from admission up to 6 months after discharge, while no change in body weight after discharge was noted in the insulin group. Liraglutide produced significant improvements in all major scores of eating behavior questionnaire items and such effect was maintained at 6 months after discharge. Weight loss correlated significantly with the decrease in scores for recognition of weight and constitution, sense of hunger, and eating style.
Liraglutide produced meaningful long-term weight loss and significantly improved eating behavior in obese Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3459720  PMID: 22973968
Liraglutide; Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1); Obesity; Eating behavior; Diabetes; Incretin
11.  Chemerin regulates β-cell function in mice 
Scientific Reports  2011;1:123.
Although various function of chemerin have been suggested, its physiological role remains to be elucidated. Here we show that chemerin-deficient mice are glucose intolerant irrespective of exhibiting reduced macrophage accumulation in adipose tissue. The glucose intolerance was mainly due to increased hepatic glucose production and impaired insulin secretion. Chemerin and its receptor ChemR23 were expressed in β-cell. Studies using isolated islets and perfused pancreas revealed impaired glucose-dependent insulin secretion (GSIS) in chemerin-deficient mice. Conversely, chemerin transgenic mice revealed enhanced GSIS and improved glucose tolerance. Expression of MafA, a pivotal transcriptional factor for β-cell function, was downregulated in chemerin-deficient islets and a chemerin-ablated β-cell line and rescue of MafA expression restored GSIS, indicating that chemerin regulates β-cell function via maintaining MafA expression. These results indicate that chemerin regulates β-cell function and plays an important role in glucose homeostasis in a tissue-dependent manner.
PMCID: PMC3216604  PMID: 22355640
12.  Adult combined GH, prolactin, and TSH deficiency associated with circulating PIT-1 antibody in humans 
The pituitary-specific transcriptional factor-1 (PIT-1, also known as POU1F1), is an essential factor for multiple hormone-secreting cell types. A genetic defect in the PIT-1 gene results in congenital growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) deficiency. Here, we investigated 3 cases of adult-onset combined GH, PRL, and TSH deficiencies and found that the endocrinological phenotype in each was linked to autoimmunity directed against the PIT-1 protein. We detected anti–PIT-1 antibody along with various autoantibodies in the patients’ sera. An ELISA-based screening revealed that this antibody was highly specific to the disease and absent in control subjects. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that PIT-1–, GH-, PRL-, and TSH-positive cells were absent in the pituitary of patient 2, who also had a range of autoimmune endocrinopathies. These clinical manifestations were compatible with the definition of autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome (APS). However, the main manifestations of APS-I — hypoparathyroidism and Candida infection — were not observed and the pituitary abnormalities were obviously different from the hypophysitis associated with APS. These data suggest that these patients define a unique “anti–PIT-1 antibody syndrome,” related to APS.
PMCID: PMC3007153  PMID: 21123951

Results 1-12 (12)