BACKGROUND. Resting brain connectivity is a crucial component of human behavior demonstrated by disruptions in psychosexual and emotional disorders. Kisspeptin, a recently identified critical reproductive hormone, can alter activity in certain brain structures but its effects on resting brain connectivity and networks in humans remain elusive. METHODS. We determined the effects of kisspeptin on resting brain connectivity (using functional neuroimaging) and behavior (using psychometric analyses) in healthy men, in a randomized double-blinded 2-way placebo-controlled study. RESULTS. Kisspeptin’s modulation of the default mode network (DMN) correlated with increased limbic activity in response to sexual stimuli (globus pallidus r = 0.500, P = 0.005; cingulate r = 0.475, P = 0.009). Furthermore, kisspeptin’s DMN modulation was greater in men with less reward drive (r = –0.489, P = 0.008) and predicted reduced sexual aversion (r = –0.499, P = 0.006), providing key functional significance. Kisspeptin also enhanced key mood connections including between the amygdala-cingulate, hippocampus-cingulate, and hippocampus–globus pallidus (all P < 0.05). Consistent with this, kisspeptin’s enhancement of hippocampus–globus pallidus connectivity predicted increased responses to negative stimuli in limbic structures (including the thalamus and cingulate [all P < 0.01]). CONCLUSION. Taken together, our data demonstrate a previously unknown role for kisspeptin in the modulation of functional brain connectivity and networks, integrating these with reproductive hormones and behaviors. Our findings that kisspeptin modulates resting brain connectivity to enhance sexual and emotional processing and decrease sexual aversion, provide foundation for kisspeptin-based therapies for associated disorders of body and mind. FUNDING. NIHR, MRC, and Wellcome Trust.
Alexander N. Comninos, Lysia Demetriou, Matthew B. Wall, Amar J. Shah, Sophie A. Clarke, Shakunthala Narayanaswamy, Alexander Nesbitt, Chioma Izzi-Engbeaya, Julia K. Prague, Ali Abbara, Risheka Ratnasabapathy, Lisa Yang, Victoria Salem, Gurjinder M. Nijher, Channa N. Jayasena, Mark Tanner, Paul Bassett, Amrish Mehta, John McGonigle, Eugenii A. Rabiner, Stephen R. Bloom, Waljit S. Dhillo
Defects in genes mediating thyroid hormone biosynthesis result in dyshormonogenic congenital hypothyroidism (CH). Here, we report homozygous truncating mutations in SLC26A7 in 6 unrelated families with goitrous CH and show that goitrous hypothyroidism also occurs in Slc26a7-null mice. In both species, the gene is expressed predominantly in the thyroid gland, and loss of function is associated with impaired availability of iodine for thyroid hormone synthesis, partially corrected in mice by iodine supplementation. SLC26A7 is a member of the same transporter family as SLC26A4 (pendrin), an anion exchanger with affinity for iodide and chloride (among others), whose gene mutations cause congenital deafness and dyshormonogenic goiter. However, in contrast to pendrin, SLC26A7 does not mediate cellular iodide efflux and hearing in affected individuals is normal. We delineate a hitherto unrecognized role for SLC26A7 in thyroid hormone biosynthesis, for which the mechanism remains unclear.
Hakan Cangul, Xiao-Hui Liao, Erik Schoenmakers, Jukka Kero, Sharon Barone, Panudda Srichomkwun, Hideyuki Iwayama, Eva G. Serra, Halil Saglam, Erdal Eren, Omer Tarim, Adeline K. Nicholas, Ilona Zvetkova, Carl A. Anderson, Fiona E. Karet Frankl, Kristien Boelaert, Marja Ojaniemi, Jarmo Jääskeläinen, Konrad Patyra, Christoffer Löf, E. Dillwyn Williams, UK10K Consortium, Manoocher Soleimani, Timothy Barrett, Eamonn R. Maher, V. Krishna Chatterjee, Samuel Refetoff, Nadia Schoenmakers
Pituitary corticotroph somatostatin receptor subtype 5 (SSTR5) signals to inhibit adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) secretion. As ACTH deficiency results in attenuated adrenal cortisol production and an impaired stress response, we sought to clarify the role of SSTR5 in modifying the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal (HPA) axis. We generated Tg HP5 mice overexpressing SSTR5 in pituitary corticotrophs that produce the ACTH precursor proopiomelanocortin (POMC). Basal ACTH and corticosterone were similar in HP5 and WT mice, while HP5 mice showed attenuated ACTH and corticosterone responses to corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH). HP5 mice exhibited attenuated corticosterone responses upon a restraint stress test and inflammatory stress following LPS injection, as well as increased anxiety-like and depressive-like behavior on open field and forced swim tests. Pituitary corticotroph CRH receptor subtype 1 (CRHR1) mRNA expression and ACTH responses to CRH were also attenuated in HP5 mice. In AtT20 cells stably overexpressing SSTR5, CRHR1 expression and cAMP response to CRH were reduced, whereas both were increased after SSTR5 KO. In elucidating mechanisms for these observations, we show that SSTR5-induced miR-449c suppresses both CRHR1 expression and function. We conclude that corticotroph SSTR5 attenuates HPA axis responses via CRHR1 downregulation, suggesting a role for SSTR5 in the pathogenesis of secondary adrenal insufficiency.
Masaaki Yamamoto, Anat Ben-Shlomo, Hiraku Kameda, Hidenori Fukuoka, Nan Deng, Yan Ding, Shlomo Melmed
Offspring of women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at increased risk of developing metabolic disease, potentially mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. We recruited 608 GDM and 626 control offspring from the Danish National Birth Cohort, aged between 9 and 16 years. DNA methylation profiles were measured in peripheral blood of 93 GDM offspring and 95 controls using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. Pyrosequencing was performed for validation/replication of putative GDM-associated, differentially methylated CpGs in additional 905 offspring (462 GDM, 444 control offspring). We identified 76 differentially methylated CpGs in GDM offspring compared with controls in the discovery cohort (FDR, P < 0.05). Adjusting for offspring BMI did not affect the association between methylation levels and GDM status for any of the 76 CpGs. Most of these epigenetic changes were due to confounding by maternal prepregnancy BMI; however, 13 methylation changes were independently associated with maternal GDM. Three prepregnancy BMI–associated CpGs (cg00992687 and cg09452568 of ESM1 and cg14328641 of MS4A3) were validated in the replication cohort, while cg09109411 (PDE6A) was found to be associated with GDM status. The identified methylation changes may reflect developmental programming of organ disease mechanisms and/or may serve as disease biomarkers.
Line Hjort, David Martino, Louise Groth Grunnet, Haroon Naeem, Jovana Maksimovic, Anders Henrik Olsson, Cuilin Zhang, Charlotte Ling, Sjurdur Frodi Olsen, Richard Saffery, Allan Arthur Vaag
Metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is incurable and FDA-approved kinase inhibitors that include oncogenic RET as a target do not result in complete responses. Association studies of human MTCs and murine models suggest that the CDK/RB pathway may be an alternative target. The objective of this study was to determine if CDKs represent therapeutic targets for MTC and to define mechanisms of activity. Using human MTC cells that are either sensitive or resistant to vandetanib, we demonstrate that palbociclib (CDK4/6 inhibitor) is not cytotoxic to MTC cells but that they are highly sensitive to dinaciclib (CDK1/2/5/9 inhibitor) accompanied by reduced CDK9 and RET protein and mRNA levels. CDK9 protein was highly expressed in 83 of 83 human MTCs and array–comparative genomic hybridization had copy number gain in 11 of 30 tumors. RNA sequencing demonstrated that RNA polymerase II–dependent transcription was markedly reduced by dinaciclib. The CDK7 inhibitor THZ1 also demonstrated high potency and reduced RET and CDK9 levels. ChIP-sequencing using H3K27Ac antibody identified a superenhancer in intron 1 of RET. Finally, combined inhibition of dinaciclib with a RET kinase inhibitor was synergistic. In summary, we have identified what we believe is a novel mechanism of RET transcription regulation that potentially can be exploited to improve RET therapeutic targeting.
Anisley Valenciaga, Motoyasu Saji, Lianbo Yu, Xiaoli Zhang, Ceimoani Bumrah, Ayse S. Yilmaz, Christina M. Knippler, Wayne Miles, Thomas J. Giordano, Gilbert J. Cote, Matthew D. Ringel
Although the cause of hypertension among individuals with obesity and insulin resistance is unknown, increased plasma insulin, acting in the kidney to increase sodium reabsorption, has been proposed as a potential mechanism. Insulin may also stimulate glucose uptake, but the contributions of tubular insulin signaling to sodium or glucose transport in the setting of insulin resistance is unknown. To directly study the role of insulin signaling in the kidney, we generated inducible renal tubule–specific insulin receptor–KO mice and used high-fat feeding and mineralocorticoids to model obesity and insulin resistance. Insulin receptor deletion did not alter blood pressure or sodium excretion in mice on a high-fat diet alone, but it mildly attenuated the increase in blood pressure with mineralocorticoid supplementation. Under these conditions, KO mice developed profound glucosuria. Insulin receptor deletion significantly reduced SGLT2 expression and increased urinary glucose excretion and urine flow. These data demonstrate a direct role for insulin receptor–stimulated sodium and glucose transport and a functional interaction of insulin signaling with mineralocorticoids in vivo. These studies uncover a potential mechanistic link between preserved insulin sensitivity and renal glucose handling in obesity and insulin resistance.
Jonathan M. Nizar, Blythe D. Shepard, Vianna T. Vo, Vivek Bhalla
The human adaptive starvation response allows for survival during long-term caloric deprivation. Whether the physiology of starvation is adaptive or maladaptive is context dependent: activation of pathways by caloric restriction may promote longevity, yet in the context of caloric excess, the same pathways may contribute to obesity. Here, we performed plasma metabolite profiling of longitudinally collected samples during a 10-day, 0-calorie fast in humans. We identify classical milestones in adaptive starvation, including the early consumption of gluconeogenic amino acids and the subsequent surge in plasma nonesterified fatty acids that marks the shift from carbohydrate to lipid metabolism, and demonstrate findings, including (a) the preferential release of unsaturated fatty acids and an associated shift in plasma lipid species with high degrees of unsaturation and (b) evidence that acute, starvation-mediated hypoleptinemia may be a driver of the transition from glucose to lipid metabolism in humans.
Matthew L. Steinhauser, Benjamin A. Olenchock, John O’Keefe, Mingyue Lun, Kerry A. Pierce, Hang Lee, Lorena Pantano, Anne Klibanski, Gerald I. Shulman, Clary B. Clish, Pouneh K. Fazeli
BACKGROUND. The duration and patterns of β cell dysfunction during type 1 diabetes (T1D) development have not been fully defined. METHODS. Metabolic measures derived from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) were compared between autoantibody-positive (aAb+) individuals followed in the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention study who developed diabetes after 5 or more years or less than 5 years of longitudinal follow-up (Progressors≥5, n = 75; Progressors<5, n = 474) and 144 aAb-negative (aAb–) relatives. RESULTS. Mean age at study entry was 15.0 ± 12.6 years for Progressors≥5; 12.0 ± 9.1 for Progressors<5; and 16.3 ± 10.4 for aAb– relatives. At baseline, Progressors≥5 already exhibited significantly lower fasting C-peptide (P < 0.01), C-peptide AUC (P < 0.001), and early C-peptide responses (30- to 0-minute C-peptide; P < 0.001) compared with aAb– relatives, while 2-hour glucose (P = 0.03), glucose AUC (<0.001), and Index60 (<0.001) were all higher. Despite significant baseline impairment, metabolic measures in Progressors≥5 were relatively stable until 2 years prior to T1D diagnosis, when there was accelerated C-peptide decline and rising glycemia from 2 years until diabetes diagnosis. Remarkably, patterns of progression within 3 years of diagnosis were nearly identical between Progressors≥5 and Progressors<5. CONCLUSION. These data provide insight into the chronicity of β cell dysfunction in T1D and indicate that β cell dysfunction may precede diabetes diagnosis by more than 5 years in a subset of aAb+ individuals. Even among individuals with varying lengths of aAb positivity, our findings indicate that patterns of metabolic decline are uniform within the last 3 years of progression to T1D. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00097292. FUNDING. The Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group is a clinical trials network currently funded by the NIH through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Carmella Evans-Molina, Emily K. Sims, Linda A. DiMeglio, Heba M. Ismail, Andrea K. Steck, Jerry P. Palmer, Jeffrey P. Krischer, Susan Geyer, Ping Xu, Jay M. Sosenko, the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group
BACKGROUND. Exercise has profound pleiotropic health benefits, yet the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Endocrine FGF21, bile acids (BAs), and BA-induced FGF19 have emerged as metabolic signaling molecules. Here, we investigated if dissimilar modes of exercise, resistance exercise (RE) and endurance exercise (EE), regulate plasma BAs, FGF19, and FGF21 in humans. METHODS. Ten healthy, moderately trained males were enrolled in a randomized crossover study of 1 hour of bicycling at 70% of VO2peak (EE) and 1 hour of high-volume RE. Hormones and metabolites were measured in venous blood and sampled before and after exercise and at 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 minutes after exercise. RESULTS. We observed exercise mode–specific changes in plasma concentrations of FGF19 and FGF21. Whereas FGF19 decreased following RE (P < 0.001), FGF21 increased in response to EE (P < 0.001). Total plasma BAs decreased exclusively following RE (P < 0.05), but the composition of BAs changed in response to both types of exercise. Notably, circulating levels of the potent TGR5 receptor agonist, lithocholic acid, increased with both types of exercise (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION. This study reveals divergent effects of EE and RE on circulating concentrations of the BA species, FGF19, and FGF21. We identify temporal relationships between decreased BA and FGF19 following RE and a sharp disparity in FGF21 concentrations, with EE eliciting a clear increase parallel to that of glucagon. FUNDING. The Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF17OC0026114) and the Lundbeck Foundation (R238-2016-2859).
Thomas Morville, Ronni E. Sahl, Samuel A.J. Trammell, Jens S. Svenningsen, Matthew P. Gillum, Jørn W. Helge, Christoffer Clemmensen
Aldosterone synthase inhibitors (ASIs) should alleviate obesity-related cardiovascular and renal problems resulting partly from aldosterone excess, but their clinical use may have limitations. To improve knowledge for the use of ASIs, we investigated physiology in aldosterone synthase–knockout (ASKO) mice. On regular chow diet (CD), ASKO mice ate more and weighed less than WT mice, largely because they hyperventilated to eliminate acid as CO2. Replacing CD with high-fat diet (HFD) lessened the respiratory burden in ASKO mice, as did 12- to 15-hour fasting. The latter eliminated the genotype differences in respiratory workload and energy expenditure (EE). Thus, aldosterone deficiency burdened the organism more when the animals ate carbohydrate-rich chow than when they ate a HFD. Chronic HFD exposure further promoted hyperinsulinemia in ASKO mice that contributed to visceral fat accumulation accompanied by reduced lipolysis, thermogenic reprogramming, and the absence of weight-gain-related EE increases. Intracerebroventricular aldosterone supplementation in ASKO mice attenuated the HFD-induced hyperinsulinemia, but did not affect EE, suggesting that the presence of aldosterone increased the body’s energetic efficiency, thus counteracting the EE-increasing effect of low insulin. ASIs may therefore cause acid-overload-induced respiratory burden and promote obesity. Their use in patients with preexisting renal and cardiopulmonary diseases might be contraindicated.
Wan-Hui Liao, Claudia Suendermann, Andrea Eva Steuer, Gustavo Pacheco Lopez, Alex Odermatt, Nourdine Faresse, Maciej Henneberg, Wolfgang Langhans
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