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1.  Transcriptomic Identification of ADH1B as a Novel Candidate Gene for Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Human Adipose Tissue in Mexican Americans from the Veterans Administration Genetic Epidemiology Study (VAGES) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0119941.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a complex metabolic disease that is more prevalent in ethnic groups such as Mexican Americans, and is strongly associated with the risk factors obesity and insulin resistance. The goal of this study was to perform whole genome gene expression profiling in adipose tissue to detect common patterns of gene regulation associated with obesity and insulin resistance. We used phenotypic and genotypic data from 308 Mexican American participants from the Veterans Administration Genetic Epidemiology Study (VAGES). Basal fasting RNA was extracted from adipose tissue biopsies from a subset of 75 unrelated individuals, and gene expression data generated on the Illumina BeadArray platform. The number of gene probes with significant expression above baseline was approximately 31,000. We performed multiple regression analysis of all probes with 15 metabolic traits. Adipose tissue had 3,012 genes significantly associated with the traits of interest (false discovery rate, FDR ≤ 0.05). The significance of gene expression changes was used to select 52 genes with significant (FDR ≤ 10-4) gene expression changes across multiple traits. Gene sets/Pathways analysis identified one gene, alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) that was significantly enriched (P < 10-60) as a prime candidate for involvement in multiple relevant metabolic pathways. Illumina BeadChip derived ADH1B expression data was consistent with quantitative real time PCR data. We observed significant inverse correlations with waist circumference (2.8 x 10-9), BMI (5.4 x 10-6), and fasting plasma insulin (P < 0.001). These findings are consistent with a central role for ADH1B in obesity and insulin resistance and provide evidence for a novel genetic regulatory mechanism for human metabolic diseases related to these traits.
PMCID: PMC4382323  PMID: 25830378
3.  Dapagliflozin improves muscle insulin sensitivity but enhances endogenous glucose production 
Chronic hyperglycemia impairs insulin action, resulting in glucotoxicity, which can be ameliorated in animal models by inducing glucosuria with renal glucose transport inhibitors. Here, we examined whether reduction of plasma glucose with a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor could improve insulin-mediated tissue glucose disposal in patients with type 2 diabetes. Eighteen diabetic men were randomized to receive either dapagliflozin (n = 12) or placebo (n = 6) for 2 weeks. We measured insulin-mediated whole body glucose uptake and endogenous glucose production (EGP) at baseline and 2 weeks after treatment using the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp technique. Dapagliflozin treatment induced glucosuria and markedly lowered fasting plasma glucose. Insulin-mediated tissue glucose disposal increased by approximately 18% after 2 weeks of dapagliflozin treatment, while placebo-treated subjects had no change in insulin sensitivity. Surprisingly, following dapagliflozin treatment, EGP increased substantially and was accompanied by an increase in fasting plasma glucagon concentration. Together, our data indicate that reduction of plasma glucose with an agent that works specifically on the kidney to induce glucosuria improves muscle insulin sensitivity. However, glucosuria induction following SGLT2 inhibition is associated with a paradoxical increase in EGP. These results provide support for the glucotoxicity hypothesis, which suggests that chronic hyperglycemia impairs insulin action in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3904617  PMID: 24463448
4.  Circulating Fibroblast Growth Factor-21 Is Elevated in Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Type 2 Diabetes and Correlates With Muscle and Hepatic Insulin Resistance 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(8):1542-1546.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-21 is highly expressed in the liver and regulates hepatic glucose production and lipid metabolism in rodents. However, its role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes in humans remains to be defined. The aim of this study was to quantitate circulating plasma FGF-21 levels and examine their relationship with insulin sensitivity in subjects with varying degrees of obesity and glucose tolerance.
Forty-one subjects (8 lean with normal glucose tolerance [NGT], 9 obese with NGT, 12 with impaired fasting glucose [IFG]/impaired glucose tolerance [IGT], and 12 type 2 diabetic subjects) received an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp (80 mU/m2 per min) combined with 3-[3H] glucose infusion.
Subjects with type 2 diabetes, subjects with IGT, and obese subjects with NGT were insulin resistant compared with lean subjects with NGT. Plasma FGF-21 levels progressively increased from 3.9 ± 0.3 ng/ml in lean subjects with NGT to 4.9 ± 0.2 in obese subjects with NGT to 5.2 ± 0.2 in subjects with IGT and to 5.3 ± 0.2 in type 2 diabetic subjects. FGF-21 levels correlated inversely with whole-body (primarily reflects muscle) insulin sensitivity (r = −0.421, P = 0.007) and directly with the hepatic insulin resistance index (r = 0.344, P = 0.034). FGF-21 levels also correlated with measures of glycemia (fasting plasma glucose [r = 0.312, P = 0.05], 2-h plasma glucose [r = 0.414, P = 0.01], and A1C [r = 0.325, P = 0.04]).
Plasma FGF-21 levels are increased in insulin-resistant states and correlate with hepatic and whole-body (muscle) insulin resistance. FGF-21 may play a role in pathogenesis of hepatic and whole-body insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2713625  PMID: 19487637

Results 1-4 (4)