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Glucose-Raising Polymorphisms in the Human Clock Gene Cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) Affect Hepatic Lipid Content. - PloS one
Circadian rhythms govern vital functions. Their disruption provokes metabolic imbalance favouring obesity and type-2 diabetes. The aim of the study was to assess the role of clock genes in human prediabetes. To this end, genotype-phenotype associations of 121 common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging ARNTL, ARNTL2, CLOCK, CRY1, CRY2, PER1, PER2, PER3, and TIMELESS were assessed in a study population of 1,715 non-diabetic individuals metabolically phenotyped by 5-point oral glucose tolerance tests. In subgroups, hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamps, intravenous glucose tolerance tests, and magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy were performed. None of the tested SNPs was associated with body fat content, insulin sensitivity, or insulin secretion. Four CRY2 SNPs were associated with fasting glycaemia, as reported earlier. Importantly, carriers of these SNPs' minor alleles revealed elevated fasting glycaemia and, concomitantly, reduced liver fat content. In human liver tissue samples, CRY2 mRNA expression was directly associated with hepatic triglyceride content. Our data may point to CRY2 as a novel switch in hepatic fuel metabolism promoting triglyceride storage and, concomitantly, limiting glucose production. The anti-steatotic effects of the glucose-raising CRY2 alleles may explain why these alleles do not increase type-2 diabetes risk.
Age-dependent association of serum prolactin with glycaemia and insulin sensitivity in humans. - Acta diabetologica
The dopamine agonist bromocriptine has been approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in the United States. Bromocriptine inhibits prolactin secretion, and patients with hyperprolactinaemia display impaired insulin sensitivity. We therefore hypothesized that low prolactin levels are associated with lower glycaemia and higher insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects. Prolactin levels were determined from fasting serum in participants without diabetes from the cross-sectional TÃ¼bingen family study for type 2 diabetes (m/f = 562/1,121, age = 40 Â± 13 years, BMI = 30 Â± 9 kg/m(2)). A 75 g oral glucose tolerance test was performed, and the area under the glucose curve (AUC(0-120)Glucose) and insulin sensitivity index were calculated. A subgroup (n = 494) underwent hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp tests. Prolactin associated positively with insulin sensitivity (p = 0.001, adjusted for gender, age, and BMI). Age strongly interacted (p < 0.0001) with the effect of prolactin on insulin sensitivity, inverting the positive relationship to a negative one in younger participants. Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and AUC(0-120)Glucose correlated negatively with prolactin, and an interaction with age was found as well. Higher prolactin levels are associated with improved insulin sensitivity and lower glucose in individuals without diabetes. This relationship turns to its opposite in younger persons. As prolactin is a proxy for the dopaminergic tone in the central nervous system, these associations may indicate an age-dependent influence of the brain on peripheral insulin sensitivity.
Circulating lysophosphatidylcholines are markers of a metabolically benign nonalcoholic fatty liver. - Diabetes care
Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) is thought to contribute to insulin resistance and its metabolic complications. However, some individuals with NAFL remain insulin sensitive. Mechanisms involved in the susceptibility to develop insulin resistance in humans with NAFL are largely unknown. We investigated circulating markers and mechanisms of a metabolically benign and malignant NAFL by applying a metabolomic approach.A total of 265 metabolites were analyzed before and after a 9-month lifestyle intervention in plasma from 20 insulin-sensitive and 20 insulin-resistant subjects with NAFL. The relevant plasma metabolites were then tested for relationships with insulin sensitivity in 17 subjects without NAFL and in plasma from 29 subjects with liver tissue samples.The best separation of the insulin-sensitive from the insulin-resistant NAFL group was achieved by a metabolite pattern including the branched-chain amino acids leucine and isoleucine, ornithine, the acylcarnitines C3:0-, C16:0-, and C18:0-carnitine, and lysophosphatidylcholine (lyso-PC) C16:0 (area under the ROC curve, 0.77 [P = 0.00023] at baseline and 0.80 [P = 0.000019] at follow-up). Among the individual metabolites, predominantly higher levels of lyso-PC C16:0, both at baseline (P = 0.0039) and at follow-up (P = 0.001), were found in the insulin-sensitive compared with the insulin-resistant subjects. In the non-NAFL groups, no differences in lyso-PC C16:0 levels were found between the insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant subjects, and these relationships were replicated in plasma from subjects with liver tissue samples.From a plasma metabolomic pattern, particularly lyso-PCs are able to separate metabolically benign from malignant NAFL in humans and may highlight important pathways in the pathogenesis of fatty liver-induced insulin resistance.
Insulin promotes glycogen storage and cell proliferation in primary human astrocytes. - PloS one
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 Î²-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.
Apelin serum levels are not associated with early atherosclerosis or fat distribution in young subjects with increased risk for type 2 diabetes. - Experimental and clinical endocrinology & diabetes : official journal, German Society of Endocrinology [and] German Diabetes Association
Apelin is proposed to possess protective cardiovascular properties and may furthermore promote favorable effects on glucose metabolism. First data in humans seem to support this hypothesis. Therefore we aimed to assess the meaning of apelin as an early risk indicator in young subjects prone to atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore we examined the association of apelin serum levels with insulin sensitivity/resistance and body fat distribution as probably dependent cardiovascular risk factors. We examined 344 individuals (f/m=216/128, mean age 46Â±1 years) with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Apelin-36 serum levels were measured via ELISA. Endothelial dysfunction and intima media thickness (IMT) were assessed using high resolution ultrasound. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) was measured with an axial T1-weighted fast spin echo technique with a 1.5â€‰T whole-body imager. According to the study population's age, FMD (6.4Â±0.2%) and IMT (0.56Â±0.01â€‰mm) were within the expected ranges. Gender or age had no influence on serum apelin levels. When looked at early stages of atherosclerosis, we could not detect a significant correlation between apelin serum levels and FMD or IMT. Blood pressure as well was unaffected by serum apelin levels. Furthermore, neither parameters of insulin sensitivity like insulin sensitivity index (ISI), nor fat distribution like BMI, grade of adiposity, total adipose tissue or VAT were associated with apelin serum levels. We conclude that apelin serum levels do not add further information on the cardiovascular-, or diabetes risk pattern in a diabetes prone population.Â© J. A. Barth Verlag in Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart Â· New York.
Inflammatory response of human coronary artery endothelial cells to saturated long-chain fatty acids. - Microvascular research
Saturated long-chain fatty acids (SFAs) exert unfavourable metabolic effects (lipotoxicity) and induce apoptotic cell death (lipoapoptosis) in certain cell-types. Their contribution to inflammatory cell responses is unclear. We studied the expression of 113 inflammatory genes in human coronary artery endothelial cells (hCAECs) and their regulation by SFAs and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids (UFAs). Gene regulation in hCAECs was assessed with macroarrays, real-time RT-PCR and immunoblotting. Participation of the transcription factor NFÎºB and the stress kinases JNK and p38 MAPK in gene-regulatory events was examined with pharmacological inhibitors. Based on macroarray data, 59 inflammatory genes were expressed in hCAECs, 14 were regulated by the SFA palmitate. SFA-triggered induction of IL1A, IL6, IL8, CXCL2, CXCL3, CCL20, SPP1 and CEBPB was confirmed by RT-PCR or immunoblotting. All gene inductions were SFA-specific. Using inhibitor SN50, palmitate-induced expression of IL8, CXCL3 and CCL20 was NFÎºB-dependent (all p<0.05). Furthermore, JNK was involved in palmitate-induced expression of IL1A, IL8, CXCL3, SPP1 and CEBPB as determined with inhibitor SP600125 (all p<0.05). Finally, the effectiveness of the tested fatty acids to induce inflammatory genes was closely reflected by their effectiveness to trigger endoplasmic reticulum stress. In conclusion, hCAECs express a large panel of inflammatory genes with a series of genes being regulated by palmitate and stearate, but not by UFAs. Thus, SFAs represent potential contributors to vascular inflammation.2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Relationships of circulating sex hormone-binding globulin with metabolic traits in humans. - Diabetes
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.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 (1)H-MR spectroscopy in 225 subjects. Insulin sensitivity was estimated from a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (IS(OGTT)) and measured by a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp (IS(clamp), n = 172). Insulin secretion was measured during the OGTT and an ivGTT (n = 172).SHBG levels correlated positively with insulin sensitivity (IS(OGTT), P = 0.037; IS(clamp), 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 (IS(OGTT), P = 0.0096; IS(clamp), 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 â‰¤ 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.
Enforced expression of protein kinase C in skeletal muscle causes physical inactivity, fatty liver and insulin resistance in the brain. - Journal of cellular and molecular medicine
Among the multitude of dysregulated signalling mechanisms that comprise insulin resistance in divergent organs, the primary events in the development of type 2 diabetes are not well established. As protein kinase C (PKC) activation is consistently present in skeletal muscle of obese and insulin resistant subjects, we generated a transgenic mouse model that overexpresses constitutively active PKC-beta(2) in skeletal muscle to test whether activation of PKC is sufficient to cause an aversive whole-body phenotype. Upon this genetic modification, increased serine phosphorylation in Irs1 was observed and followed by impaired (3)H-deoxy-glucose uptake and muscle glycogen content, and transgenic mice exhibited insulin and glucose intolerance as they age. Muscle histochemistry revealed an increase in lipid deposition (intramyocellular lipids), and transgenic mice displayed impaired expression of transcriptional regulators of genes involved in fatty acid oxidation (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, PGC-1beta, acyl-CoA oxidase) and lipolysis (hormone-sensitive lipase). In this regard, muscle of transgenic mice exhibited a reduced capacity to oxidize palmitate and contained less mitochondria as determined by citrate synthase activity. Moreover, the phenotype included a profound decrease in the daily running distance, intra-abdominal and hepatic fat accumulation and impaired insulin action in the brain. Together, our data suggest that activation of a classical PKC in skeletal muscle as present in the pre-diabetic state is sufficient to cause disturbances in whole-body glucose and lipid metabolism followed by profound alterations in oxidative capacity, ectopic fat deposition and physical activity.
Pancreatic fat is negatively associated with insulin secretion in individuals with impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance: a nuclear magnetic resonance study. - Diabetes/metabolism research and reviews
The pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction. Pancreatic fat load may add to the development of beta-cell dysfunction. The aim was to thoroughly quantify the fat content of pancreas sections (caput, corpus, and cauda) and to compare the impact of pancreatic, intrahepatic, and visceral fat on insulin secretion in humans.Fifty-one subjects were subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) with glucose, insulin, and C-peptide measurements [28 subjects displayed normal glucose tolerance, 23 impaired fasting glycemia (IFG)] and/or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)], and also to whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), pancreas MRI, and liver magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).After adjustment for gender and age, the mean pancreatic fat content was positively associated with body mass index (BMI), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and waist circumference (all p < or = 0.0013). The mean pancreatic fat content was negatively associated with OGTT-based measures of insulin secretion (all p < or = 0.03). Analysis of the subgroups of glucose tolerance showed that this was restricted to subjects with IGT and/or IFG. Visceral fat also represented a determinant of beta-cell function in individuals with IGT and/or IFG (all p < or = 0.02), whereas intrahepatic fat did not. In a stepwise multivariate regression analysis, pancreatic fat turned out to be a stronger determinant of impaired insulin secretion than visceral fat.Pancreatic fat is negatively associated with insulin secretion in subjects with IGT/IFG and, therefore, might represent an additional pathogenetic factor leading to beta-cell dysfunction.Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Individual stearoyl-coa desaturase 1 expression modulates endoplasmic reticulum stress and inflammation in human myotubes and is associated with skeletal muscle lipid storage and insulin sensitivity in vivo. - Diabetes
Increased plasma levels of free fatty acids occur in obesity and type 2 diabetes and contribute to the development of insulin resistance. Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) such as palmitate especially have lipotoxic effects leading to endoplasmatic reticulum (ER) stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) plays a key role in preventing lipotoxic effects, as it converts SFAs to less harmful monounsaturated fatty acids. Here, we tested the hypothesis that individual differences in the regulation of SCD1 expression by palmitate exist and influence insulin sensitivity and the cellular response to palmitate.Palmitate-induced gene expression was studied in primary human myotubes of 39 metabolically characterized individuals, as well as in an SCD1-overexpressing cell culture model.SCD1 mRNA expression and inducibility by palmitate in cultured myotubes showed a broad interindividual variation, presumably due to inheritable characteristics of the donors. Overexpression of SCD1 prevented the inflammatory and ER stress response to palmitate exposure. In primary human myotubes, high SCD1 inducibility was associated with a low inflammatory (interleukin [IL]-6, IL-8, and chemokine [CXC motif] ligand 3 [CXCL3]) and ER stress (CCAAT/enhancer binding protein [C/EBP] homologous protein, activating transcription factor 3 [ATF3], and X-box binding protein 1 [XBP1]) response to palmitate exposure. Finally, palmitate-stimulated SCD1 mRNA expression, positively correlated with intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) content of the donors, was measured by (1)H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy. After adjustment for IMCL, SCD1 expression and inducibility were positively correlated with insulin sensitivity.We hypothesize that myocellular SCD1 inducibility by palmitate is an individual characteristic that modulates lipid storage, palmitate-induced inflammation, ER stress, and insulin resistance. This may describe individuals with increased capability of innoxious free fatty acid handling and benign triglyceride storage.
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