Fat and physical inactivity are the most evident factors in the pathogenesis of obesity, and fat quality seems to play a crucial role for measures of glucose homeostasis. However, the impact of dietary fat quality on brain function, behavior, and sleep is basically unknown. In this study, mice were fed a diet supplemented with either monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) or saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and their impact on glucose homeostasis, locomotion, brain activity, and sleep behavior was evaluated. MUFAs and SFAs led to a significant increase in fat mass but only feeding of SFAs was accompanied by glucose intolerance in mice. Radiotelemetry revealed a significant decrease in cortical activity in SFA-mice whereas MUFAs even improved activity. SFAs decreased wakefulness and increased non–rapid eye movement sleep. An intracerebroventricular application of insulin promoted locomotor activity in MUFA-fed mice, whereas SFA-mice were resistant. In humans, SFA-enriched diet led to a decrease in hippocampal and cortical activity determined by functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques. Together, dietary intake of MUFAs promoted insulin action in the brain with its beneficial effects for cortical activity, locomotion, and sleep, whereas a comparable intake of SFAs acted as a negative modulator of brain activity in mice and humans.
B-cell failure at the onset of type 2 diabetes is caused by a decline in β-cell function in the postprandial state and loss of pancreatic β-cell mass. Recently, we showed an association between increased insulin secretion and a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), SNP rs12686676, in the NR4A3 gene locus encoding the nuclear receptor Nor-1. Nor-1 is expressed in β-cells, however, not much is known about its function with regard to insulin gene expression and insulin secretion. Nor-1 is induced in a glucose-/incretin-dependent manner via the PKA pathway and directly induces insulin gene expression. Additionally, it stimulates insulin secretion possibly via regulation of potentially important genes in insulin exocytosis. Moreover, we show that the minor allele of NR4A3 SNP rs12686676 fully rescues incretin resistance provoked by a well-described polymorphism in TCF7L2. Thus, Nor-1 represents a promising new target for pharmacological intervention to fight diabetes.
Nor-1; Insulin gene expression; Insulin secretion; Incretin resistance; TCF7L2
Congenital leptin deficiency, caused by a very rare mutation in the gene encoding leptin, leads to severe obesity, hyperphagia and impaired satiety. The only systemic treatment is the substitution with metreleptin leading to weight reduction based on hormonal changes. Several studies have also shown alterations in brain function after metreleptin therapy. In a previous study, we were able to show changes in homeostatic (hypothalamus) and reward-related brain areas (striatum, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area, amygdala) 3 days and 6 months after therapy start in a leptin-deficient adolescent girl. To further access the time course of functional brain activation changes, we followed the patient for 2 years after initiation of the therapy.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging during visual stimulation with food (high- and low-caloric) and non-food pictures was performed 1 and 2 years after therapy start in the previously described patient.
The comparison of ‘food vs. non-food’ pictures showed a stabilization of the long-term effects in the amygdala and in the OFC. Therefore, no significant differences were observed between 6 months compared to 12 and 24 months in these regions. Additionally, a reduction of the frontopolar cortex activity over the whole time span was observed. For the comparison of high- and low-caloric pictures, long-term effects in the hypothalamus showed an assimilating pattern for the response to the food categories whereas only acute effects after 3 months were observed in hedonic brain regions.
This follow-up study shows that the long lasting benefit of metreleptin therapy is also associated with activation changes in homeostatic, hedonic and frontal control regions in congenital leptin deficiency.
The microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTTP) is encoded by the MTTP gene that is regulated by cholesterol in humans. Previous studies investigating the effect of MTTP on ischemic heart disease have produced inconsistent results. Therefore, we have tested the hypothesis that the rare allele of the -164T > C polymorphism in MTTP alters the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), depending on the cholesterol levels.
The -164T > C polymorphism was genotyped in a case-cohort study (193 incident myocardial infarction (MI) and 131 incident ischemic stroke (IS) cases and 1 978 non-cases) nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)–Potsdam study, comprising 27 548 middle-aged subjects. The Heinz Nixdorf Recall study (30 CVD cases and 1 188 controls) was used to replicate our findings.
Genotype frequencies were not different between CVD and CVD free subjects (P = 0.79). We observed an interaction between the -164T > C polymorphism and total cholesterol levels in relation to future CVD. Corresponding stratified analyses showed a significant increased risk of CVD (HRadditve = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.07 to 1.78) for individuals with cholesterol levels <200 mg/dL in the EPIC-Potsdam study. HRadditive was 1.06, 95% CI: 0.33 to 3.40 for individuals in the Heinz Nixdorf Recall study. A borderline significant decrease in CVD risk was observed in subjects with cholesterol levels ≥200 mg/dL (HRadditve = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.58 to 1.03) in the EPIC-Potsdam study. A similar trend was observed in the independent cohort (HRadditve = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.29 to 1.25).
Our study suggests an interaction between MTTP -164T > C functional polymorphism with total cholesterol levels. Thereby risk allele carriers with low cholesterol levels may be predisposed to an increased risk of developing CVD, which seems to be abolished among risk allele carriers with high cholesterol levels.
Epidemiology; Genetics; Myocardial infarction; Ischemic stroke; Cholesterol; Additive interaction
The bone mineral density (BMD) of retrieved cancellous bone samples is compared to the BMD measured in vivo in the respective osteoarthritic patients. Furthermore, mechanical properties, in terms of structural modulus (Es) and ultimate compression strength (σmax) of the bone samples, are correlated to BMD data. Human femoral heads were retrieved from 13 osteoarthritic patients undergoing total hip replacement. Subsequently, the BMD of each bone sample was analysed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as well as ashing. Furthermore, BMDs of the proximal femur were analysed preoperatively in the respective patients by DXA. BMDs of the femoral neck and head showed a wide variation, from 1016 ± 166 mg/cm2 to 1376 ± 404 mg/cm2. BMDs of the bone samples measured by DXA and ashing yielded values of 315 ± 199 mg/cm2 and 347 ± 113 mg/cm3, respectively. Es and σmax amounted to 232 ± 151 N/mm2 and 6.4 ± 3.7 N/mm2. Significant correlation was found between the DXA and ashing data on the bone samples and the DXA data from the patients at the femoral head (r = 0.85 and 0.79, resp.). Es correlated significantly with BMD in the patients and bone samples as well as the ashing data (r = 0.79, r = 0.82, and r = 0.8, resp.).
Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase 4 (MAP4K4) is expressed in all diabetes-relevant tissues and mediates cytokine-induced insulin resistance. We investigated whether common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the MAP4K4 locus associate with glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, impaired insulin release, or elevated plasma cytokines. The best hit was tested for association with type 2 diabetes. Subjects (N = 1,769) were recruited from the Tübingen Family (TÜF) study for type 2 diabetes and genotyped for tagging SNPs. In a subgroup, cytokines were measured. Association with type 2 diabetes was tested in a prospective case-cohort study (N = 2,971) derived from the EPIC-Potsdam study. Three SNPs (rs6543087, rs17801985, rs1003376) revealed nominal and two SNPs (rs11674694, rs11678405) significant associations with 2-hour glucose levels. SNPs rs6543087 and rs11674694 were also nominally associated with decreased insulin sensitivity. Another two SNPs (rs2236936, rs2236935) showed associations with reduced insulin release, driven by effects in lean subjects only. Three SNPs (rs11674694, rs13003883, rs2236936) revealed nominal associations with IL-6 levels. SNP rs11674694 was significantly associated with type 2 diabetes. In conclusion, common variation in MAP4K4 is associated with insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction, possibly via this gene’s role in inflammatory signalling. This variation’s impact on insulin sensitivity may be more important since its effect on insulin release vanishes with increasing BMI.
Polypyrimidine tract-binding protein 1 (PTBP1) promotes stability and translation of mRNAs coding for insulin secretion granule proteins and thereby plays a role in β-cells function. We studied whether common genetic variations within the PTBP1 locus influence insulin secretion, and/or proinsulin conversion.
We genotyped 1,502 healthy German subjects for four tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the PTBP1 locus (rs351974, rs11085226, rs736926, and rs123698) covering 100% of genetic variation with an r2≥0.8. The subjects were metabolically characterized by an oral glucose tolerance test with insulin, proinsulin, and C-peptide measurements. A subgroup of 320 subjects also underwent an IVGTT.
PTBP1 SNP rs11085226 was nominally associated with lower insulinogenic index and lower cleared insulin response in the OGTT (p≤0.04). The other tested SNPs did not show any association with the analyzed OGTT-derived secretion parameters. In the IVGTT subgroup, SNP rs11085226 was accordingly associated with lower insulin levels within the first ten minutes following glucose injection (p = 0.0103). Furthermore, SNP rs351974 was associated with insulin levels in the IVGTT (p = 0.0108). Upon interrogation of MAGIC HOMA-B data, our rs11085226 result was replicated (MAGIC p = 0.018), but the rs351974 was not.
We conclude that common genetic variation in PTBP1 influences glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. This underlines the importance of PTBP1 for beta cell function in vivo.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in approximately 40 genes have been associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in genome-wide association studies. It is not known whether a similar genetic impact on the risk of prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance [IGT] or impaired fasting glycemia [IFG]) exists.
In our cohort of 1442 non-diabetic subjects of European origin (normal glucose tolerance [NGT] n = 1046, isolated IFG n = 142, isolated IGT n = 140, IFG+IGT n = 114), an impact on glucose homeostasis has been shown for 9 SNPs in previous studies in this specific cohort. We analyzed these SNPs (within or in the vicinity of the genes TCF7L2, KCNJ11, HHEX, SLC30A8, WFS1, KCNQ1, MTNR1B, FTO, PPARG) for association with prediabetes.
The genetic risk load was significantly associated with the risk for IGT (p = 0.0006) in a model including gender, age, BMI and insulin sensitivity. To further evaluate potential confounding effects, we stratified the population on gender, BMI and insulin sensitivity. The association of the risk score with IGT was present in female participants (p = 0.008), but not in male participants. The risk score was significantly associated with IGT (p = 0.008) in subjects with a body mass index higher than 30 kg/m2 but not in non-obese individuals. Furthermore, only in insulin resistant subjects a significant association between the genetic load and the risk for IGT (p = 0.01) was found.
We found that T2D genetic risk alleles cause an increased risk for IGT. This effect was not present in male, lean and insulin sensitive subjects, suggesting a protective role of beneficial environmental factors on the genetic risk.
The use of finite element analysis (FEA) has grown to a more and more important method in the field of biomedical engineering and biomechanics. Although increased computational performance allows new ways to generate more complex biomechanical models, in the area of orthopaedic surgery, solid modelling of screws and drill holes represent a limitation of their use for individual cases and an increase of computational costs. To cope with these requirements, different methods for numerical screw modelling have therefore been investigated to improve its application diversity. Exemplarily, fixation was performed for stabilization of a large segmental femoral bone defect by an osteosynthesis plate. Three different numerical modelling techniques for implant fixation were used in this study, i.e. without screw modelling, screws as solid elements as well as screws as structural elements. The latter one offers the possibility to implement automatically generated screws with variable geometry on arbitrary FE models. Structural screws were parametrically generated by a Python script for the automatic generation in the FE-software Abaqus/CAE on both a tetrahedral and a hexahedral meshed femur. Accuracy of the FE models was confirmed by experimental testing using a composite femur with a segmental defect and an identical osteosynthesis plate for primary stabilisation with titanium screws. Both deflection of the femoral head and the gap alteration were measured with an optical measuring system with an accuracy of approximately 3 µm. For both screw modelling techniques a sufficient correlation of approximately 95% between numerical and experimental analysis was found. Furthermore, using structural elements for screw modelling the computational time could be reduced by 85% using hexahedral elements instead of tetrahedral elements for femur meshing. The automatically generated screw modelling offers a realistic simulation of the osteosynthesis fixation with screws in the adjacent bone stock and can be used for further investigations.
Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) belongs to the serpin family of peptidase inhibitors (serpin F1) and is among the most abundant glycoproteins secreted by adipocytes. In vitro and mouse in vivo data revealed PEDF as a candidate mediator of obesity-induced insulin resistance. Therefore, we assessed whether common genetic variation within the SERPINF1 locus contributes to adipose tissue-related prediabetic phenotypes in humans.
A population of 1,974 White European individuals at increased risk for type 2 diabetes was characterized by an oral glucose tolerance test with glucose and insulin measurements (1,409 leptin measurements) and genotyped for five tagging SNPs covering 100% of common genetic variation (minor allele frequency ≥0.05) in the SERPINF1 locus. In addition, a subgroup of 486 subjects underwent a hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp and a subgroup of 340 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS).
After adjustment for gender and age and Bonferroni correction for the number of SNPs tested, SNP rs12603825 revealed significant association with MRI-derived total adipose tissue mass (p = 0.0094) and fasting leptin concentrations (p = 0.0035) as well as nominal associations with bioelectrical impedance-derived percentage of body fat (p = 0.0182) and clamp-derived insulin sensitivity (p = 0.0251). The association with insulin sensitivity was completely abolished by additional adjustment for body fat (p = 0.8). Moreover, the fat mass-increasing allele of SNP rs12603825 was significantly associated with elevated fasting PEDF concentrations (p = 0.0436), and the PEDF levels were robustly and positively associated with all body fat parameters measured and with fasting leptin concentrations (p<0.0001, all).
In humans at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, a functional common genetic variant in the gene locus encoding PEDF contributes to overall body adiposity, obesity-related insulin resistance, and circulating leptin levels.
To examine the association of red meat and whole-grain bread consumption with plasma levels of biomarkers related to glucose metabolism, oxidative stress, inflammation and obesity.
Our cross-sectional study was based on 2,198 men and women who were selected as a sub-cohort for an investigation of biological predictors of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study. Circulating levels of glycated hemoglobin, adiponectin, hs-CRP, gamma-glutamyltransferase, alanine-aminotransferase, fetuin-A, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides were measured from random blood samples. Diet and lifestyle data were assessed by questionnaires, and anthropometric data were measured.
After multivariable adjustment, higher consumption of whole-grain bread was significantly (P trend <0.05) associated with lower levels of GGT, ALT and hs-CRP, whereas higher consumption of red meat was significantly associated with higher levels of GGT and hs-CRP when adjusted for potential confounding factors related to lifestyle and diet. Further adjustment for body mass index and waist circumference attenuated the association between red meat and hs-CRP (P = 0.19).
The results of this study suggest that high consumption of whole-grain bread is related to lower levels of GGT, ALT and hs-CRP, whereas high consumption of red meat is associated with higher circulating levels of GGT and hs-CRP.
Red meat; Whole grain; Biomarkers; Glucose metabolism
The objective of this study was to analyse retrieved human femoral bone samples using three different test
methods, to elucidate the relationship between bone mineral density and mechanical properties. Human femoral heads
were retrieved from 22 donors undergoing primary total hip replacement due to hip osteoarthritis and stored for a
maximum of 24 hours postoperatively at + 6 °C to 8 °C.
Analysis revealed an average structural modulus of 232±130 N/mm2 and ultimate compression strength of 6.1±3.3 N/mm2 with high standard deviations. Bone mineral densities of 385±133 mg/cm2 and 353±172 mg/cm3 were measured using thedual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and quantitative computed tomography (QCT), respectively. Ashing resulted in a bone mineral density of 323±97 mg/cm3. In particular, significant linear correlations were found between DXA and ashing with r = 0.89 (p < 0.01, n = 22) and between structural modulus and ashing with r = 0.76 (p < 0.01, n = 22).
Thus, we demonstrated a significant relationship between mechanical properties and bone density. The correlations found can help to determine the mechanical load capacity of individual patients undergoing surgical treatments by means of noninvasive bone density measurements.
Human trabecular bone; femoral head; bone mineral density; mechanical properties.
Recent data suggested that sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG) levels decrease when fat accumulates in the liver and that circulating SHBG may be causally involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes in humans. In the present study, we investigated mechanisms by which high SHBG may prevent development to diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Before and during a 9-month lifestyle intervention, total body and visceral fat were precisely measured by magnetic resonance (MR) tomography and liver fat was measured by 1H-MR spectroscopy in 225 subjects. Insulin sensitivity was estimated from a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (ISOGTT) and measured by a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp (ISclamp, n = 172). Insulin secretion was measured during the OGTT and an ivGTT (n = 172).
SHBG levels correlated positively with insulin sensitivity (ISOGTT, P = 0.037; ISclamp, P = 0.057), independently of age, sex, and total body fat. In a multivariate model, these relationships were also significant after additional adjustment for levels of the adipokine adiponectin and the hepatokine fetuin-A (ISOGTT, P = 0.0096; ISclamp, P = 0.029). Adjustment of circulating SHBG for liver fat abolished the relationships of SHBG with insulin sensitivity. In contrast, circulating SHBG correlated negatively with fasting glycemia, before (r = −0.17, P = 0.009) and after (r = −0.14, P = 0.04) adjustment for liver fat. No correlation of circulating SHBG with adjusted insulin secretion was observed (OGTT, P = 0.16; ivGTT, P = 0.35). The SNP rs1799941 in SHBG was associated with circulating SHBG (P ≤ 0.025) but not with metabolic characteristics (all P > 0.18).
Possible mechanisms by which high circulating SHBG prevents the development of type 2 diabetes involve regulation of fasting glycemia but not alteration of insulin secretory function.
Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in diabetes risk genes reduce glucose- and/or incretin-induced insulin secretion. Here, we investigated interactions between glycemia and such diabetes risk polymorphisms.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Insulin secretion was assessed by insulinogenic index and areas under the curve of C-peptide/glucose in 1,576 subjects using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Participants were genotyped for 10 diabetes risk SNPs associated with β-cell dysfunction: rs5215 (KCNJ11), rs13266634 (SLC30A8), rs7754840 (CDKAL1), rs10811661 (CDKN2A/2B), rs10830963 (MTNR1B), rs7903146 (TCF7L2), rs10010131 (WFS1), rs7923837 (HHEX), rs151290 (KCNQ1), and rs4402960 (IGF2BP2).
Furthermore, the impact of the interaction between genetic variation in TCF7L2 and glycemia on changes in insulin secretion was tested in 315 individuals taking part in a lifestyle intervention study.
For the SNPs in TCF7L2 and WFS1, we found a significant interaction between glucose control and insulin secretion (all P ≤ 0.0018 for glucose × genotype). When plotting insulin secretion against glucose at 120 min OGTT, the compromising SNP effects on insulin secretion are most apparent under high glucose. In the longitudinal study, rs7903146 in TCF7L2 showed a significant interaction with baseline glucose tolerance upon change in insulin secretion (P = 0.0027). Increased glucose levels at baseline predicted an increase in insulin secretion upon improvement of glycemia by lifestyle intervention only in carriers of the risk alleles.
For the diabetes risk genes TCF7L2 and WFS1, which are associated with impaired incretin signaling, the level of glycemia determines SNP effects on insulin secretion. This indicates the increasing relevance of these SNPs during the progression of prediabetes stages toward clinically overt type 2 diabetes.
Visceral obesity and fatty liver have been related to high synthesis and low absorption of cholesterol. This study aimed to investigate the associations of cholesterol metabolism with liver and visceral fat content in healthy humans. Another objective was to explore the effects of very-high-fructose and very-high-glucose diets on cholesterol homeostasis. We report on a cohort of 20 people (12 males, 8 females; age 30.5 ± 2.0 years; body mass index 25.9 ± 0.5 kg/m2) who completed a four-week dietary intervention study. Between the baseline and the followup examination the study participants in addition to a balanced weight-maintaining diet received 150 g of either fructose or glucose per day. Visceral and liver fat were measured with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and 1H-MR spectroscopy, respectively. Cholesterol absorption and synthesis were estimated from the serum noncholesterol sterol concentrations. Performing cross-sectional analyses the lanosterol and desmosterol to cholesterol ratios were positively correlated with visceral and liver fat content (all P < .03). The lathosterol to cholesterol ratio decreased in response to high-fructose diet (P = .006) but not in response to high-glucose diet. To conclude, visceral and liver fat content are associated with cholesterol synthesis in healthy humans. Furthermore, cholesterol synthesis appears to be dependent on fructose/glucose intake.
New developments of antimicrobial implant surfaces doped with copper (Cu) ions may minimize the risk of implant-associated infections. However, experimental evaluation of the Cu release is influenced by various test parameters. The aim of our study was to evaluate the Cu release characteristics in vitro according to the storage fluid and surface roughness. Plasma immersion ion implantation of Cu (Cu-PIII) and pulsed magnetron sputtering process of a titanium copper film (Ti-Cu) were applied to titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) samples with different surface finishing of the implant material (polished, hydroxyapatite and corundum blasted). The samples were submersed into either double-distilled water, human serum, or cell culture medium. Subsequently, the Cu concentration in the supernatant was measured using atomic absorption spectrometry. The test fluid as well as the surface roughness can alter the Cu release significantly, whereby the highest Cu release was determined for samples with corundum-blasted surfaces stored in cell medium.
Recent meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies revealed new genetic loci associated with fasting glycemia. For several of these loci, the mechanism of action in glucose homeostasis is unclear. The objective of the study was to establish metabolic phenotypes for these genetic variants to deliver clues to their pathomechanism.
In this cross-sectional study 1782 non-diabetic volunteers at increased risk for type 2 diabetes underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Insulin, C-peptide and proinsulin were measured and genotyping was performed for 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in or near the genes GCK (rs4607517), DGKB (rs2191349), GCKR (rs780094), ADCY5 (rs11708067), MADD (rs7944584), ADRA2A (rs10885122), FADS1 (rs174550), CRY2 (rs11605924), SLC2A2 (rs11920090), PROX1 (rs340874), GLIS3 (rs7034200) and C2CD4B (rs11071657). Parameters of insulin secretion (AUC Insulin0–30/AUC Glucose0–30, AUC C-peptide0–120/AUC Glucose0–120), proinsulin-to-insulin conversion (fasting proinsulin, fasting proinsulin/insulin, AUC Proinsulin0–120/AUCInsulin0–120) and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR, Matsuda-Index) were assessed.
After adjustment for confounding variables, the effect alleles of the ADCY5 and MADD SNPs were associated with an impaired proinsulin-to-insulin conversion (p = 0.002 and p = 0.0001, respectively). GLIS3 was nominally associated with impaired proinsulin-to-insulin conversion and insulin secretion. The diabetogenic alleles of DGKB and PROX1 were nominally associated with reduced insulin secretion. Nominally significant effects on insulin sensitivity could be found for MADD and PROX1.
By examining parameters of glucose-stimulated proinsulin-to-insulin conversion during an OGTT, we show that the SNP in ADCY5 is implicated in defective proinsulin-to-insulin conversion. In addition, we confirmed previous findings on the role of a genetic variant in MADD on proinsulin-to-insulin conversion. These effects may also be related to neighboring regions of the genome.
In the human brain, there are at least as many astrocytes as neurons. Astrocytes are known to modulate neuronal function in several ways. Thus, they may also contribute to cerebral insulin actions. Therefore, we examined whether primary human astrocytes are insulin-responsive and whether their metabolic functions are affected by the hormone.
Commercially available Normal Human Astrocytes were grown in the recommended medium. Major players in the insulin signaling pathway were detected by real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting. Phosphorylation events were detected by phospho-specific antibodies. Glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis were assessed using radio-labeled glucose. Glycogen content was assessed by histochemistry. Lactate levels were measured enzymatically. Cell proliferation was assessed by WST-1 assay.
We detected expression of key proteins for insulin signaling, such as insulin receptor β-subunit, insulin receptor substrat-1, Akt/protein kinase B and glycogen synthase kinase 3, in human astrocytes. Akt was phosphorylated and PI-3 kinase activity increased following insulin stimulation in a dose-dependent manner. Neither increased glucose uptake nor lactate secretion after insulin stimulation could be evidenced in this cell type. However, we found increased insulin-dependent glucose incorporation into glycogen. Furthermore, cell numbers increased dose-dependently upon insulin treatment.
This study demonstrated that human astrocytes are insulin-responsive at the molecular level. We identified glycogen synthesis and cell proliferation as biological responses of insulin signaling in these brain cells. Hence, this cell type may contribute to the effects of insulin in the human brain.
Activation of melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) by insulin sensitive neurons is a central mechanism in body weight regulation, and genetic variants in the MC4R gene (e.g., rs17782313) are associated with obesity. By using magnetoencephalography, we addressed whether rs17782313 affects the cerebrocortical insulin response. We measured the cerebrocortical insulin response by using magnetoencephalography in a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp (versus placebo) in 51 nondiabetic humans (26 f/25 m, age 35 ± 3 years, BMI 28 ± 1 kg/m2). The C-allele of rs17782313 was minor allele (frequency 23%), and the genotype distribution (TT 30, TC 19, CC 2) was in Hardy-Weinberg-Equilibrium. Insulin-stimulated cerebrocortical theta activity was decreased in the presence of the C-allele (TT 33 ± 16 fT; TC/CC −27 ± 20 fT; P = .023), and this effect remained significant after adjusting for BMI and peripheral insulin sensitivity (P = .047). Cerebrocortical theta activity was impaired in carriers of the obesity risk allele. Therefore, cerebral insulin resistance may contribute to the obesity effect of rs17782313.
Insulin is an anorexigenic hormone that contributes to the termination of food intake in the postprandial state. An alteration in insulin action in the brain, named “cerebral insulin resistance”, is responsible for overeating and the development of obesity.
To analyze the direct effect of insulin on food-related neuronal activity we tested 10 lean and 10 obese subjects. We conducted a magnetencephalography study during a visual working memory task in both the basal state and after applying insulin or placebo spray intranasally to bypass the blood brain barrier. Food and non-food pictures were presented and subjects had to determine whether or not two consecutive pictures belonged to the same category.
Intranasal insulin displayed no effect on blood glucose, insulin or C-peptide concentrations in the periphery; however, it led to an increase in the components of evoked fields related to identification and categorization of pictures (at around 170 ms post stimuli in the visual ventral stream) in lean subjects when food pictures were presented. In contrast, insulin did not modulate food-related brain activity in obese subjects.
We demonstrated that intranasal insulin increases the cerebral processing of food pictures in lean whereas this was absent in obese subjects. This study further substantiates the presence of a “cerebral insulin resistance” in obese subjects and might be relevant in the pathogenesis of obesity.
The impact of the diabetes risk gene transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) on body weight is unclear. As TCF7L2 is expressed in adipose tissue and involved in Wnt-dependent regulation of adipogenesis, we studied the impact of TCF7L2 variants on body composition and weight loss during lifestyle intervention.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We genotyped 309 German subjects at increased risk for type 2 diabetes for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs7903146, rs12255372, rs11196205, and rs7895340 in TCF7L2 and performed oral glucose tolerance tests before and after a 9-month lifestyle intervention. Fat distribution was quantified using whole-body magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy in a subgroup of 210 subjects.
After adjustment for confounding variables, we observed a negative impact of the type 2 diabetes allele of SNP rs7903146 on change in BMI (P = 0.0034) and on changes in nonvisceral (P = 0.0032) and visceral fat (P = 0.0165) during lifestyle intervention. An association of rs7903146 with lifestyle intervention-induced changes in insulin secretion, glucose concentrations, liver fat, or insulin sensitivity were not detected (all P > 0.2). Essentially the same results were obtained with SNP rs1255372. In contrast, we found no effects of SNPs rs11196205 and rs7895340 on change in BMI (all P ≥ 0.5).
Our data reveal that diabetes-associated alleles of TCF7L2 are associated with less weight loss in response to lifestyle intervention. Thus, diabetes-associated TCF7L2 gene variation predicts the success of lifestyle intervention in terms of weight loss and determines individual susceptibility toward environmental factors.
We investigated whether palmitoleate, which prevents insulin resistance in mice, predicts insulin sensitivity in humans.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The fasting fatty acid pattern in the plasma free fatty acid (FFA) fraction was determined in 100 subjects at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Insulin sensitivity was estimated during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at baseline and after 9 months of lifestyle intervention and measured during the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp (n = 79).
Circulating palmitoleate (OGTT:F ratio = 8.2, P = 0.005; clamp:F ratio = 7.8, P = 0.007) but not total FFAs (OGTT:F ratio = 0.6, P = 0.42; clamp:F ratio = 0.7, P = 0.40) correlated positively with insulin sensitivity, independently of age, sex, and adiposity. High baseline palmitoleate predicted a larger increase in insulin sensitivity. For 1-SD increase in palmitoleate, the odds ratio for being in the highest versus the lowest tertile of adjusted change in insulin sensitivity was 2.35 (95% CI 1.16–5.35).
Circulating palmitoleate strongly and independently predicts insulin sensitivity, suggesting that it plays an important role in the pathophysiology of insulin resistance in humans.
At least 20 type 2 diabetes loci have now been identified, and several of these are associated with altered β-cell function. In this study, we have investigated the combined effects of eight known β-cell loci on insulin secretion stimulated by three different secretagogues during hyperglycemic clamps.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A total of 447 subjects originating from four independent studies in the Netherlands and Germany (256 with normal glucose tolerance [NGT]/191 with impaired glucose tolerance [IGT]) underwent a hyperglycemic clamp. A subset had an extended clamp with additional glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and arginine (n = 224). We next genotyped single nucleotide polymorphisms in TCF7L2, KCNJ11, CDKAL1, IGF2BP2, HHEX/IDE, CDKN2A/B, SLC30A8, and MTNR1B and calculated a risk allele score by risk allele counting.
The risk allele score was associated with lower first-phase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) (P = 7.1 × 10−6). The effect size was equal in subjects with NGT and IGT. We also noted an inverse correlation with the disposition index (P = 1.6 × 10−3). When we stratified the study population according to the number of risk alleles into three groups, those with a medium- or high-risk allele score had 9 and 23% lower first-phase GSIS. Second-phase GSIS, insulin sensitivity index and GLP-1, or arginine-stimulated insulin release were not significantly different.
A combined risk allele score for eight known β-cell genes is associated with the rapid first-phase GSIS and the disposition index. The slower second-phase GSIS, GLP-1, and arginine-stimulated insulin secretion are not associated, suggesting that especially processes involved in rapid granule recruitment and exocytosis are affected in the majority of risk loci.
To date, fasting state- and different oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)-derived measures are used to estimate insulin release with reasonable effort in large human cohorts required, e.g., for genetic studies. Here, we evaluated twelve common (or recently introduced) fasting state-/OGTT-derived indices for their suitability to detect genetically determined β-cell dysfunction.
A cohort of 1364 White European individuals at increased risk for type 2 diabetes was characterized by OGTT with glucose, insulin, and C-peptide measurements and genotyped for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) known to affect glucose- and incretin-stimulated insulin secretion. One fasting state- and eleven OGTT-derived indices were calculated and statistically evaluated. After adjustment for confounding variables, all tested SNPs were significantly associated with at least two insulin secretion measures (p≤0.05). The indices were ranked according to their associations' statistical power, and the ranks an index obtained for its associations with all the tested SNPs (or a subset) were summed up resulting in a final ranking. This approach revealed area under the curve (AUC)Insulin(0-30)/AUCGlucose(0-30) as the best-ranked index to detect SNP-dependent differences in insulin release. Moreover, AUCInsulin(0-30)/AUCGlucose(0-30), corrected insulin response (CIR), AUCC-Peptide(0-30)/AUCGlucose(0-30), AUCC-Peptide(0-120)/AUCGlucose(0-120), two different formulas for the incremental insulin response from 0–30 min, i.e., the insulinogenic indices (IGI)2 and IGI1, and insulin 30 min were significantly higher-ranked than homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function (HOMA-B; p<0.05). AUCC-Peptide(0-120)/AUCGlucose(0-120) was best-ranked for the detection of SNPs involved in incretin-stimulated insulin secretion. In all analyses, HOMA-β displayed the highest rank sums and, thus, scored last.
With AUCInsulin(0-30)/AUCGlucose(0-30), CIR, AUCC-Peptide(0-30)/AUCGlucose(0-30), AUCC-Peptide(0-120)/AUCGlucose(0-120), IGI2, IGI1, and insulin 30 min, dynamic measures of insulin secretion based on early insulin and C-peptide responses to oral glucose represent measures which are more appropriate to assess genetically determined β-cell dysfunction than fasting measures, i.e., HOMA-B. Genes predominantly influencing the incretin axis may possibly be best detected by AUCC-Peptide(0-120)/AUCGlucose(0-120).