Hepatic steatosis is a core feature of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes and leads to hepatic insulin resistance. Malonyl-CoA, generated by acetyl-CoA carboxylases 1 and 2 (Acc1 and Acc2), is a key regulator of both mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and fat synthesis. We used a diet-induced rat model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatic insulin resistance to explore the impact of suppressing Acc1, Acc2, or both Acc1 and Acc2 on hepatic lipid levels and insulin sensitivity. While suppression of Acc1 or Acc2 expression with antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) increased fat oxidation in rat hepatocytes, suppression of both enzymes with a single ASO was significantly more effective in promoting fat oxidation. Suppression of Acc1 also inhibited lipogenesis whereas Acc2 reduction had no effect on lipogenesis. In rats with NAFLD, suppression of both enzymes with a single ASO was required to significantly reduce hepatic malonyl-CoA levels in vivo, lower hepatic lipids (long-chain acyl-CoAs, diacylglycerol, and triglycerides), and improve hepatic insulin sensitivity. Plasma ketones were significantly elevated compared with controls in the fed state but not in the fasting state, indicating that lowering Acc1 and -2 expression increases hepatic fat oxidation specifically in the fed state. These studies suggest that pharmacological inhibition of Acc1 and -2 may be a novel approach in the treatment of NAFLD and hepatic insulin resistance.
David B. Savage, Cheol Soo Choi, Varman T. Samuel, Zhen-Xiang Liu, Dongyan Zhang, Amy Wang, Xian-Man Zhang, Gary W. Cline, Xing Xian Yu, John G. Geisler, Sanjay Bhanot, Brett P. Monia, Gerald I. Shulman
Developmental exposure to appropriate levels of thyroid hormones (THs) in a timely manner is critical to normal development in vertebrates. Among the factors potentially affecting perinatal exposure of tissues to THs is type 3 deiodinase (D3). This enzyme degrades THs and is highly expressed in the pregnant uterus, placenta, and fetal and neonatal tissues. To determine the physiological role of D3, we have generated a mouse D3 knockout model (D3KO) by a targeted inactivating mutation of the Dio3 gene in mouse ES cells. Early in life, D3KO mice exhibit delayed 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) clearance, a markedly elevated serum T3 level, and overexpression of T3-inducible genes in the brain. From postnatal day 15 to adulthood, D3KO mice demonstrate central hypothyroidism, with low serum levels of 3,5,3′,5′-tetraiodothyronine (T4) and T3, and modest or no increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentration. Peripheral tissues are also hypothyroid. Hypothalamic T3 content is decreased while thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) expression is elevated. Our results demonstrate that the lack of D3 function results in neonatal thyrotoxicosis followed later by central hypothyroidism that persists throughout life. These mice provide a new model of central hypothyroidism and reveal a critical role for D3 in the maturation and function of the thyroid axis.
Arturo Hernandez, M. Elena Martinez, Steven Fiering, Valerie Anne Galton, Donald St. Germain
Null mutations of the proopiomelanocortin gene (Pomc–/–) cause obesity in humans and rodents, but the contributions of central versus pituitary POMC deficiency are not fully established. To elucidate these roles, we introduced a POMC transgene (Tg) that selectively restored peripheral melanocortin and corticosterone secretion in Pomc–/– mice. Rather than improving energy balance, the genetic replacement of pituitary POMC in Pomc–/–Tg+ mice aggravated their metabolic syndrome with increased caloric intake and feed efficiency, reduced oxygen consumption, increased subcutaneous, visceral, and hepatic fat, and severe insulin resistance. Pair-feeding of Pomc–/–Tg+ mice to the daily intake of lean controls normalized their rate of weight gain but did not abolish obesity, indicating that hyperphagia is a major but not sole determinant of the phenotype. Replacement of corticosterone in the drinking water of Pomc–/– mice recapitulated the hyperphagia, excess weight gain and fat accumulation, and hyperleptinemia characteristic of genetically rescued Pomc–/–Tg+ mice. These data demonstrate that CNS POMC peptides play a critical role in energy homeostasis that is not substituted by peripheral POMC. Restoration of pituitary POMC expression to create a de facto neuronal POMC deficiency exacerbated the development of obesity, largely via glucocorticoid modulation of appetite, metabolism, and energy partitioning.
James L. Smart, Virginie Tolle, Malcolm J. Low
Diabetes can result in loss of enteric neurons and subsequent gastrointestinal complications. The mechanism of enteric neuronal loss in diabetes is not known. We examined the effects of hyperglycemia on enteric neuronal survival and the effects of glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) on modulating this survival. Exposure of primary enteric neurons to 20 mM glucose (hyperglycemia) for 24 hours resulted in a significant increase in apoptosis compared with 5 mM glucose (normoglycemia). Exposure to 20 mM glucose resulted in decreased Akt phosphorylation and enhanced nuclear translocation of forkhead box O3a (FOXO3a). Treatment of enteric neurons with GDNF ameliorated these changes. In streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, there was evidence of myenteric neuronal apoptosis and reduced Akt phosphorylation. Diabetic mice had loss of NADPH diaphorase–stained myenteric neurons, delayed gastric emptying, and increased intestinal transit time. The pathophysiological effects of hyperglycemia (apoptosis, reduced Akt phosphorylation, loss of inhibitory neurons, motility changes) were reversed in diabetic glial fibrillary acidic protein–GDNF (GFAP-GDNF) Tg mice. In conclusion, we demonstrate that hyperglycemia induces neuronal loss through a reduction in Akt-mediated survival signaling and that these effects are reversed by GDNF. GDNF may be a potential therapeutic target for the gastrointestinal motility disorders related to diabetes.
Mallappa Anitha, Chetan Gondha, Roy Sutliff, Alexander Parsadanian, Simon Mwangi, Shanthi V. Sitaraman, Shanthi Srinivasan
Insulin inhibits glucose production through both direct and indirect effects on the liver; however, considerable controversy exists regarding the relative importance of these effects. The first aim of this study was to determine which of these processes dominates the acute control of hepatic glucose production (HGP). Somatostatin and portal vein infusions of insulin and glucagon were used to clamp the pancreatic hormones at basal levels in the nondiabetic dog. After a basal sampling period, insulin infusion was switched from the portal vein to a peripheral vein. As a result, the arterial insulin level doubled and the hepatic sinusoidal insulin level was reduced by half. While the arterial plasma FFA level and net hepatic FFA uptake fell by 40–50%, net hepatic glucose output increased more than 2-fold and remained elevated compared with that in the control group. The second aim of this study was to determine the effect of a 4-fold rise in head insulin on HGP during peripheral hyperinsulinemia and hepatic insulin deficiency. Sensitivity of the liver was not enhanced by increased insulin delivery to the head. Thus, this study demonstrates that the direct effects of insulin dominate the acute regulation of HGP in the normal dog.
Dale S. Edgerton, Margaret Lautz, Melanie Scott, Carrie A. Everett, Kathryn M. Stettler, Doss W. Neal, Chang A. Chu, Alan D. Cherrington
Thyroid hormone (TH) action is mediated by TH receptors (TRs), which are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. In vitro studies have demonstrated that TR activity is regulated by interactions with corepressor and coactivator proteins (CoRs and CoAs, respectively). TH stimulation is thought to involve dissociation of CoRs and recruitment of CoAs to the liganded TR. In contrast, negative regulation by TH is thought to occur via recruitment of CoRs to the liganded TR. The physiological role of CoAs bound to TRs, however, has yet to be defined. In this study, we used gene-targeting techniques to mutate the TR-β locus within its activation function–2 (AF-2) domain (E457A). This mutation was chosen because it completely abolished CoA recruitment in vitro, while preserving normal triiodothyronine (T3) binding and CoR interactions. As expected, TH-stimulated gene expression was reduced in homozygous E457A mice. However, these animals also displayed abnormal regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. Serum thyroxine, T3, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels and pituitary Tshb mRNA levels were inappropriately elevated compared with those of WT animals, and L-T3 treatment failed to suppress serum TSH and pituitary Tshb mRNA levels. Therefore, the AF-2 domain of TR-β is required for positive and, paradoxically, for negative regulation by TH in vivo.
Tania M. Ortiga-Carvalho, Nobuyuki Shibusawa, Amisra Nikrodhanond, Karen J. Oliveira, Danielle S. Machado, Xiao-Hui Liao, Ronald N. Cohen, Samuel Refetoff, Fredric E. Wondisford
The relative roles of the types 1 and 2 iodothyronine deiodinases (D1 and D2) in extrathyroidal 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) production in humans are unknown. We calculated the rate of thyroxine (T4) to T3 conversion by intact cells transiently expressing D1 or D2 at low (2 pM), normal (20 pM), and high (200 pM) free T4 concentrations. Deiodinase activities were then assayed in cell sonicates. The ratio of T3 production in cell sonicates (catalytic efficiency) was multiplied by the tissue activities reported in human liver (D1) and skeletal muscle (D2). From these calculations, we predict that in euthyroid humans, D2-generated T3 is 29 nmol/d, while that of D1-generated T3 is 15 nmol/d, from these major deiodinase-expressing tissues. The total estimated extrathyroidal T3 production, 44 nmol/d, is in close agreement with the 40 nmol T3/d based on previous kinetic studies. D2-generated T3 production accounts for approximately 71% of the peripheral T3 production in hypothyroidism, but D1 for approximately 67% in thyrotoxic patients. We also show that the intracellular D2-generated T3 has a greater effect on T3-dependent gene transcription than that from D1, which indicates that generation of nuclear T3 is an intrinsic property of the D2 protein. We suggest that impairment of D2-generated T3 is the major cause of the reduced T3 production in the euthyroid sick syndrome.
Ana Luiza Maia, Brian W. Kim, Stephen A. Huang, John W. Harney, P. Reed Larsen
The vascular endothelium controls vasomotor tone and microvascular flow and regulates trafficking of nutrients and biologically active molecules. When endothelial activation is excessive, compromised microcirculation and subsequent cellular hypoxia contribute to the risk of organ failure. We hypothesized that strict blood glucose control with insulin during critical illness protects the endothelium, mediating prevention of organ failure and death. In this preplanned subanalysis of a large, randomized controlled study, intensive insulin therapy lowered circulating levels of ICAM-1 and tended to reduce E-selectin levels in patients with prolonged critical illness, which reflects reduced endothelial activation. This effect was not brought about by altered levels of endothelial stimuli, such as cytokines or VEGF, or by upregulation of eNOS. In contrast, prevention of hyperglycemia by intensive insulin therapy suppressed iNOS gene expression in postmortem liver and skeletal muscle, possibly in part via reduced NF-κB activation, and lowered the elevated circulating NO levels in both survivors and nonsurvivors. These effects on the endothelium statistically explained a significant part of the improved patient outcome with intensive insulin therapy. In conclusion, maintaining normoglycemia with intensive insulin therapy during critical illness protects the endothelium, likely in part via inhibition of excessive iNOS-induced NO release, and thereby contributes to prevention of organ failure and death.
Lies Langouche, Ilse Vanhorebeek, Dirk Vlasselaers, Sarah Vander Perre, Pieter J. Wouters, Kristin Skogstrand, Troels K. Hansen, Greet Van den Berghe
The luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), mainly expressed in gonads, is essential for normal reproduction. However, numerous recent studies have also demonstrated LHR expression in multiple extragonadal reproductive and nonreproductive tissues. Although some effects of luteinizing hormone (LH) or its agonist, human chorionic gonadotropin, have been shown in extragonadal sites, their physiological significance remains open. In the present study, we have addressed the function of the extragonadal LHR using LHR-KO mice (LuRKO mice), in which the ovaries of prepubertal mice were orthotopically replaced with pieces of WT ovary using similarly transplanted WT mice as controls. Most ovarian transplants attained normal endocrine function in both groups of mice, as demonstrated by normal age at vaginal opening, estrous cycles, and sexual behavior. Both the LuRKO and WT mice repeatedly became pregnant (9/16 vs. 16/20 after first mating; difference not significant) and delivered similarly sized litters, which grew normally after birth, indicating normal lactation. In conclusion, fertility is restored in LuRKO mice by transplantation of WT ovarian tissue. This is achieved in the absence of extragonadal LHR expression, which indicates physiological redundancy for such receptor sites.
Tomi Pakarainen, Fu-Ping Zhang, Matti Poutanen, Ilpo Huhtaniemi
Mice deficient in SOCS2 display an excessive growth phenotype characterized by a 30–50% increase in mature body size. Here we show that the SOCS2–/– phenotype is dependent upon the presence of endogenous growth hormone (GH) and that treatment with exogenous GH induced excessive growth in mice lacking both endogenous GH and SOCS2. This was reflected in terms of overall body weight, body and bone lengths, and the weight of internal organs and tissues. A heightened response to GH was also measured by examining GH-responsive genes expressed in the liver after exogenous GH administration. To further understand the link between SOCS2 and the GH-signaling cascade, we investigated the nature of these interactions using structure/function and biochemical interaction studies. Analysis of the 3 structural motifs of the SOCS2 molecule revealed that each plays a crucial role in SOCS2 function, with the conserved SOCS-box motif being essential for all inhibitory function. SOCS2 was found to bind 2 phosphorylated tyrosines on the GH receptor, and mutational analysis of these amino acids showed that both were essential for SOCS2 function. Together, the data provide clear evidence that SOCS2 is a negative regulator of GH signaling.
Christopher J. Greenhalgh, Elizabeth Rico-Bautista, Mattias Lorentzon, Anne L. Thaus, Phillip O. Morgan, Tracy A. Willson, Panagiota Zervoudakis, Donald Metcalf, Ian Street, Nicos A. Nicola, Andrew D. Nash, Louis J. Fabri, Gunnar Norstedt, Claes Ohlsson, Amilcar Flores-Morales, Warren S. Alexander, Douglas J. Hilton