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1.  Accelerated renal disease is associated with the development of metabolic syndrome in a glucolipotoxic mouse model 
Disease Models & Mechanisms  2012;5(5):636-648.
SUMMARY
Individuals with metabolic syndrome are at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) through unclear pathogenic mechanisms. Obesity and diabetes are known to induce glucolipotoxic effects in metabolically relevant organs. However, the pathogenic role of glucolipotoxicity in the aetiology of diabetic nephropathy is debated. We generated a murine model, the POKO mouse, obtained by crossing the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma 2 (PPARγ2) knockout (KO) mouse into a genetically obese ob/ob background. We have previously shown that the POKO mice showed: hyperphagia, insulin resistance, hyperglycaemia and dyslipidaemia as early as 4 weeks of age, and developed a complete loss of normal β-cell function by 16 weeks of age. Metabolic phenotyping of the POKO model has led to investigation of the structural and functional changes in the kidney and changes in blood pressure in these mice. Here we demonstrate that the POKO mouse is a model of renal disease that is accelerated by high levels of glucose and lipid accumulation. Similar to ob/ob mice, at 4 weeks of age these animals exhibited an increased urinary albumin:creatinine ratio and significantly increased blood pressure, but in contrast showed a significant increase in the renal hypertrophy index and an associated increase in p27Kip1 expression compared with their obese littermates. Moreover, at 4 weeks of age POKO mice showed insulin resistance, an alteration of lipid metabolism and glomeruli damage associated with increased transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) and parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) expression. At this age, levels of proinflammatory molecules, such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and fibrotic factors were also increased at the glomerular level compared with levels in ob/ob mice. At 12 weeks of age, renal damage was fully established. These data suggest an accelerated lesion through glucolipotoxic effects in the renal pathogenesis in POKO mice.
doi:10.1242/dmm.009266
PMCID: PMC3424461  PMID: 22773754
2.  Early peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma regulated genes involved in expansion of pancreatic beta cell mass 
BMC Medical Genomics  2011;4:86.
Background
The progression towards type 2 diabetes depends on the allostatic response of pancreatic beta cells to synthesise and secrete enough insulin to compensate for insulin resistance. The endocrine pancreas is a plastic tissue able to expand or regress in response to the requirements imposed by physiological and pathophysiological states associated to insulin resistance such as pregnancy, obesity or ageing, but the mechanisms mediating beta cell mass expansion in these scenarios are not well defined. We have recently shown that ob/ob mice with genetic ablation of PPARγ2, a mouse model known as the POKO mouse failed to expand its beta cell mass. This phenotype contrasted with the appropriate expansion of the beta cell mass observed in their obese littermate ob/ob mice. Thus, comparison of these models islets particularly at early ages could provide some new insights on early PPARγ dependent transcriptional responses involved in the process of beta cell mass expansion
Results
Here we have investigated PPARγ dependent transcriptional responses occurring during the early stages of beta cell adaptation to insulin resistance in wild type, ob/ob, PPARγ2 KO and POKO mice. We have identified genes known to regulate both the rate of proliferation and the survival signals of beta cells. Moreover we have also identified new pathways induced in ob/ob islets that remained unchanged in POKO islets, suggesting an important role for PPARγ in maintenance/activation of mechanisms essential for the continued function of the beta cell.
Conclusions
Our data suggest that the expansion of beta cell mass observed in ob/ob islets is associated with the activation of an immune response that fails to occur in POKO islets. We have also indentified other PPARγ dependent differentially regulated pathways including cholesterol biosynthesis, apoptosis through TGF-β signaling and decreased oxidative phosphorylation.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-4-86
PMCID: PMC3315430  PMID: 22208362

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