The bile acid receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR; NR1H4) is a central regulator of bile acid and lipid metabolism. We show here that FXR plays a key regulatory role in glucose homeostasis. FXR-null mice developed severe fatty liver and elevated circulating FFAs, which was associated with elevated serum glucose and impaired glucose and insulin tolerance. Their insulin resistance was confirmed by the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp, which showed attenuated inhibition of hepatic glucose production by insulin and reduced peripheral glucose disposal. In FXR–/– skeletal muscle and liver, multiple steps in the insulin signaling pathway were markedly blunted. In skeletal muscle, which does not express FXR, triglyceride and FFA levels were increased, and we propose that their inhibitory effects account for insulin resistance in that tissue. In contrast to the results in FXR–/– mice, bile acid activation of FXR in WT mice repressed expression of gluconeogenic genes and decreased serum glucose. The absence of this repression in both FXR–/– and small heterodimer partner–null (SHP–/–) mice demonstrated that the previously described FXR-SHP nuclear receptor cascade also targets glucose metabolism. Taken together, our results identify a link between lipid and glucose metabolism mediated by the FXR-SHP cascade.
Ke Ma, Pradip K. Saha, Lawrence Chan, David D. Moore
Vitamin D receptor (VDR) ligands are therapeutic agents for the treatment of psoriasis, osteoporosis, and secondary hyperparathyroidism. VDR ligands also show immense potential as therapeutic agents for autoimmune diseases and cancers of skin, prostate, colon, and breast as well as leukemia. However, the major side effect of VDR ligands that limits their expanded use and clinical development is hypercalcemia that develops as a result of the action of these compounds mainly on intestine. In order to discover VDR ligands with less hypercalcemia liability, we sought to identify tissue-selective VDR modulators (VDRMs) that act as agonists in some cell types and lack activity in others. Here, we describe LY2108491 and LY2109866 as nonsecosteroidal VDRMs that function as potent agonists in keratinocytes, osteoblasts, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells but show poor activity in intestinal cells. Finally, these nonsecosteroidal VDRMs were less calcemic in vivo, and LY2108491 exhibited more than 270-fold improved therapeutic index over the naturally occurring VDR ligand 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3] in an in vivo preclinical surrogate model of psoriasis.
Yanfei Ma, Berket Khalifa, Ying K. Yee, Jianfen Lu, Ai Memezawa, Rajesh S. Savkur, Yoko Yamamoto, Subba R. Chintalacharuvu, Kazuyoshi Yamaoka, Keith R. Stayrook, Kelli S. Bramlett, Qing Q. Zeng, Srinivasan Chandrasekhar, Xiao-Peng Yu, Jared H. Linebarger, Stephen J. Iturria, Thomas P. Burris, Shigeaki Kato, illiam W. Chin,, Sunil Nagpal
In humans, sexual differentiation of the external genitalia is established at 7–12 weeks post conception (wpc). During this period, maintaining the appropriate intrauterine hormone environment is critical. In contrast to other species, this regulation extends to the human fetal adrenal cortex, as evidenced by the virilization that is associated with various forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The mechanism underlying these clinical findings has remained elusive. Here we show that the human fetal adrenal cortex synthesized cortisol much earlier than previously documented, an effect associated with transient expression of the orphan nuclear receptor nerve growth factor IB-like (NGFI-B) and its regulatory target, the steroidogenic enzyme type 2 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B2). This cortisol biosynthesis was maximal at 8–9 wpc under the regulation of ACTH. Negative feedback was apparent at the anterior pituitary corticotrophs. ACTH also stimulated the adrenal gland to secrete androstenedione and testosterone. In concert, these data promote a distinctive mechanism for normal human development whereby cortisol production, determined by transient NGFI-B and HSD3B2 expression, provides feedback at the anterior pituitary to modulate androgen biosynthesis and safeguard normal female sexual differentiation.
Masahiro Goto, Karen Piper Hanley, Josep Marcos, Peter J. Wood, Sarah Wright, Anthony D. Postle, Iain T. Cameron, J. Ian Mason, David I. Wilson, Neil A. Hanley
Diabetes is associated with defective β cell function and altered β cell mass. The mechanisms regulating β cell mass and its adaptation to insulin resistance are unknown. It is unclear whether compensatory β cell hyperplasia is achieved via proliferation of existing β cells or neogenesis from progenitor cells embedded in duct epithelia. We have used transgenic mice expressing a mutant form of the forkhead-O1 transcription factor (FoxO1) in both pancreatic ductal and endocrine β cells to assess the contribution of these 2 compartments to islet expansion. We show that the mutant FoxO1 transgene prevents β cell replication in 2 models of β cell hyperplasia, 1 due to peripheral insulin resistance (Insulin receptor transgenic knockouts) and 1 due to ectopic local expression of IGF2 (Elastase-IGF2 transgenics), without affecting insulin secretion. In contrast, we failed to detect a specific effect of the FoxO1 transgene on the number of periductal β cells. We propose that β cell compensation to insulin resistance is a proliferative response of existing β cells to growth factor signaling and requires FoxO1 nuclear exclusion.
Haruka Okamoto, Marta Letizia Hribal, Hua V. Lin, William R. Bennett, ndrew Ward,, Domenico Accili
James L. Smart, Virginie Tolle, Malcolm J. Low
The growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor (GHSR) was cloned as the target of a family of synthetic molecules endowed with GH release properties. As shown recently through in vitro means, this receptor displays a constitutive activity whose clinical relevance is unknown. Although pharmacological studies have demonstrated that its endogenous ligand — ghrelin — stimulates, through the GHSR, GH secretion and appetite, the physiological importance of the GHSR-dependent pathways remains an open question that gives rise to much controversy. We report the identification of a GHSR missense mutation that segregates with short stature within 2 unrelated families. This mutation, which results in decreased cell-surface expression of the receptor, selectively impairs the constitutive activity of the GHSR, while preserving its ability to respond to ghrelin. This first description, to our knowledge, of a functionally significant GHSR mutation, which unveils the critical importance of the GHSR-associated constitutive activity, discloses an unusual pathogenic mechanism of growth failure in humans.
Jacques Pantel, Marie Legendre, Sylvie Cabrol, Latifa Hilal, Yassir Hajaji, Séverine Morisset, Sylvie Nivot, Marie-Pierre Vie-Luton, Dominique Grouselle, Marc de Kerdanet, Abdelkrim Kadiri, Jacques Epelbaum, Yves Le Bouc, Serge Amselem
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