Excess lipid accumulation is an early signature of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Although liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1) (encoded by NR5A2) is suppressed in human NAFLD, evidence linking this phospholipid-bound nuclear receptor to hepatic lipid metabolism is lacking. Here, we report an essential role for LRH-1 in hepatic lipid storage and phospholipid composition based on an acute hepatic KO of LRH-1 in adult mice (LRH-1AAV8-Cre mice). Indeed, LRH-1–deficient hepatocytes exhibited large cytosolic lipid droplets and increased triglycerides (TGs). LRH-1–deficient mice fed high-fat diet displayed macrovesicular steatosis, liver injury, and glucose intolerance, all of which were reversed or improved by expressing wild-type human LRH-1. While hepatic lipid synthesis decreased and lipid export remained unchanged in mutants, elevated circulating free fatty acid helped explain the lipid imbalance in LRH-1AAV8-Cre mice. Lipidomic and genomic analyses revealed that loss of LRH-1 disrupts hepatic phospholipid composition, leading to lowered arachidonoyl (AA) phospholipids due to repression of Elovl5 and Fads2, two critical genes in AA biosynthesis. Our findings reveal a role for the phospholipid sensor LRH-1 in maintaining adequate pools of hepatic AA phospholipids, further supporting the idea that phospholipid diversity is an important contributor to healthy hepatic lipid storage.
Diego A. Miranda, William C. Krause, Amaury Cazenave-Gassiot, Miyuki Suzawa, Hazel Escusa, Juat Chin Foo, Diyala S. Shihadih, Andreas Stahl, Mark Fitch, Edna Nyangau, Marc Hellerstein, Markus R. Wenk, David L. Silver, Holly A. Ingraham
Insulin resistance is associated with increased incidence and enhanced progression of cancers. However, little is known about strategies that can effectively ameliorate insulin resistance and consequently halt cancer progression. Herein, we propose that the transcription factor Nrf2 (also known as Nfe2l2) may be such a target, given its central role in disease prevention. To this end, we developed a mouse that overexpresses the Notch intracellular domain in adipocytes (AdNICD), leading to lipodystrophy-induced severe insulin resistance and subsequent development of sarcomas, as a model reflecting that Notch signaling is deregulated in cancers and shows positive associations with insulin resistance and fatty liver disease in humans. Nrf2 pathway activation was achieved by knocking down Keap1, a repressor of Nrf2, in the AdNICD background. Constitutively enhanced Nrf2 signaling in this setting led to prevention of hepatic steatosis, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance by repressing hepatic lipogenic pathways and restoration of the hepatic fatty acid profile to control levels. This protective effect of Nrf2 against diabetes extended to significant reduction and delay in sarcoma incidence and latency. Our study highlights that the Nrf2 pathway, which has been induced by small molecules in clinical trials, is a potential therapeutic target against insulin resistance and subsequent risk of cancer.
Dionysios V. Chartoumpekis, Yoko Yagishita, Marco Fazzari, Dushani L. Palliyaguru, Uma N.M. Rao, Apostolos Zaravinos, Nicholas K.H. Khoo, Francisco J. Schopfer, Kurt R. Weiss, George K. Michalopoulos, Ian Sipula, Robert M. O’Doherty, Thomas W. Kensler, Nobunao Wakabayashi
Neuregulins (NRGs) are emerging as an important family of signaling ligands that regulate glucose and lipid homeostasis. NRG1 lowers blood glucose levels in obese mice, whereas the brown fat–enriched secreted factor NRG4 protects mice from high-fat diet–induced insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. However, the therapeutic potential of NRGs remains elusive, given the poor plasma half-life of the native ligands. Here, we engineered a fusion protein using human NRG1 and the Fc domain of human IgG1 (NRG1-Fc) that exhibited extended half-life in circulation and improved potency in receptor signaling. We evaluated its efficacy in improving metabolic parameters and dissected the mechanisms of action. NRG1-Fc treatment triggered potent AKT activation in the liver, lowered blood glucose, improved insulin sensitivity, and suppressed food intake in obese mice. NRG1-Fc acted as a potent secretagogue for the metabolic hormone FGF21; however, the latter was largely dispensable for its metabolic effects. NRG1-Fc directly targeted the hypothalamic POMC neurons to promote membrane depolarization and increase firing rate. Together, NRG1-Fc exhibits improved pharmacokinetic properties and exerts metabolic benefits through dual inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis and caloric intake.
Peng Zhang, Henry Kuang, Yanlin He, Sharon O. Idiga, Siming Li, Zhimin Chen, Zhao Yang, Xing Cai, Kezhong Zhang, Matthew J. Potthoff, Yong Xu, Jiandie D. Lin
Current obesity interventions suffer from lack of durable effects and undesirable complications. Fumagillin, an inhibitor of methionine aminopeptidase-2, causes weight loss by reducing food intake, but with effects on weight that are superior to pair-feeding. Here, we show that feeding of rats on a high-fat diet supplemented with fumagillin (HF/FG) suppresses the aggressive feeding observed in pair-fed controls (HF/PF) and alters expression of circadian genes relative to the HF/PF group. Multiple indices of reduced energy expenditure are observed in HF/FG but not HF/PF rats. HF/FG rats also exhibit changes in gut hormones linked to food intake, increased energy harvest by gut microbiota, and caloric spilling in the urine. Studies in gnotobiotic mice reveal that effects of fumagillin on energy expenditure but not feeding behavior may be mediated by the gut microbiota. In sum, fumagillin engages weight loss–inducing behavioral and physiologic circuits distinct from those activated by simple caloric restriction.
Jie An, Liping Wang, Michael L. Patnode, Vanessa K. Ridaura, Jonathan M. Haldeman, Robert D. Stevens, Olga Ilkayeva, James R. Bain, Michael J. Muehlbauer, Erin L. Glynn, Steven Thomas, Deborah Muoio, Scott A. Summers, James E. Vath, Thomas E. Hughes, Jeffrey I. Gordon, Christopher B. Newgard
BACKGROUND. Subspecies of HDL contain apolipoprotein E (apoE) and/or apoCIII. Both proteins have properties that could affect HDL metabolism. The relation between HDL metabolism and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) is not well understood. METHODS. Eighteen participants were given a bolus infusion of [D3]L-leucine to label endogenous proteins on HDL. HDL was separated into subspecies containing apoE and/or apoCIII and then into 4 sizes. Metabolic rates for apoA-I in HDL subspecies and sizes were determined by interactive modeling. The concentrations of apoE in HDL that contain or lack apoCIII were measured in a prospective study in Denmark including 1,949 incident CHD cases during 9 years. RESULTS. HDL containing apoE but not apoCIII is disproportionately secreted into the circulation, actively expands while circulating, and is quickly cleared. These are key metabolic steps in reverse cholesterol transport, which may protect against atherosclerosis. ApoCIII on HDL strongly attenuates these metabolic actions of HDL apoE. In the epidemiological study, the relation between HDL apoE concentration and CHD significantly differed depending on whether apoCIII was present. HDL apoE was associated significantly with lower risk of CHD only in the HDL subspecies lacking apoCIII. CONCLUSIONS. ApoE and apoCIII on HDL interact to affect metabolism and CHD. ApoE promotes metabolic steps in reverse cholesterol transport and is associated with lower risk of CHD. ApoCIII, when coexisting with apoE on HDL, abolishes these benefits. Therefore, differences in metabolism of HDL subspecies pertaining to reverse cholesterol transport are reflected in differences in association with CHD. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01399632. FUNDING. This work was supported by NIH grant R01HL095964 to FMS and by a grant to the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (8UL1TR0001750) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science.
Allyson M. Morton, Manja Koch, Carlos O. Mendivil, Jeremy D. Furtado, Anne Tjønneland, Kim Overvad, Liyun Wang, Majken K. Jensen, Frank M. Sacks
BACKGROUND. Accumulation of diacylglycerol (DAG) and sphingolipids is thought to promote skeletal muscle insulin resistance by altering cellular signaling specific to their location. However,the subcellular localization of bioactive lipids in human skeletal muscle is largely unknown. METHODS. We evaluated subcellular localization of skeletal muscle DAGs and sphingolipids in lean individuals (n = 15), endurance-trained athletes (n = 16), and obese men and women with (n = 12) and without type 2 diabetes (n = 15). Muscle biopsies were fractionated into sarcolemmal, cytosolic, mitochondrial/ER, and nuclear compartments. Lipids were measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and insulin sensitivity was measured using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. RESULTS. Sarcolemmal 1,2-DAGs were not significantly related to insulin sensitivity. Sarcolemmal ceramides were inversely related to insulin sensitivity, with a significant relationship found for the C18:0 species. Sarcolemmal sphingomyelins were also inversely related to insulin sensitivity, with the strongest relationships found for the C18:1, C18:0, and C18:2 species. In the mitochondrial/ER and nuclear fractions, 1,2-DAGs were positively related to, while ceramides were inversely related to, insulin sensitivity. Cytosolic lipids as well as 1,3-DAG, dihydroceramides, and glucosylceramides in any compartment were not related to insulin sensitivity. All sphingolipids but only specific DAGs administered to isolated mitochondria decreased mitochondrial state 3 respiration. CONCLUSION. These data reveal previously unknown differences in subcellular localization of skeletal muscle DAGs and sphingolipids that relate to whole-body insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function in humans. These data suggest that whole-cell concentrations of lipids obscure meaningful differences in compartmentalization and suggest that subcellular localization of lipids should be considered when developing therapeutic interventions to treat insulin resistance. FUNDING. National Institutes of Health General Clinical Research Center (RR-00036), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (R01DK089170), NIDDK (T32 DK07658), and Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center (P30DK048520).
Leigh Perreault, Sean A. Newsom, Allison Strauss, Anna Kerege, Darcy E. Kahn, Kathleen A. Harrison, Janet K. Snell-Bergeon, Travis Nemkov, Angelo D’Alessandro, Matthew R. Jackman, Paul S. MacLean, Bryan C. Bergman
Skeletal muscle mass is regulated by a complex array of signaling pathways. TGF-β–activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is an important signaling protein, which regulates context-dependent activation of multiple intracellular pathways. However, the role of TAK1 in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass remains unknown. Here, we report that inducible inactivation of TAK1 causes severe muscle wasting, leading to kyphosis, in both young and adult mice.. Inactivation of TAK1 inhibits protein synthesis and induces proteolysis, potentially through upregulating the activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy. Phosphorylation and enzymatic activity of AMPK are increased, whereas levels of phosphorylated mTOR and p38 MAPK are diminished upon inducible inactivation of TAK1 in skeletal muscle. In addition, targeted inactivation of TAK1 leads to the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and oxidative stress in skeletal muscle of adult mice. Inhibition of TAK1 does not attenuate denervation-induced muscle wasting in adult mice. Finally, TAK1 activity is highly upregulated during overload-induced skeletal muscle growth, and inactivation of TAK1 prevents myofiber hypertrophy in response to functional overload. Overall, our study demonstrates that TAK1 is a key regulator of skeletal muscle mass and oxidative metabolism.
Sajedah M. Hindi, Shuichi Sato, Guangyan Xiong, Kyle R. Bohnert, Andrew A. Gibb, Yann S. Gallot, Joseph D. McMillan, Bradford G. Hill, Shizuka Uchida, Ashok Kumar
Membrane lipid composition is central to the highly specialized functions of neurological tissues. In the retina, abnormal lipid metabolism causes severe forms of blindness, often through poorly understood neuronal cell death. Here, we demonstrate that deleting the de novo lipogenic enzyme fatty acid synthase (FAS) from the neural retina, but not the vascular retina, results in progressive neurodegeneration and blindness with a temporal pattern resembling rodent models of retinitis pigmentosa. Blindness was not rescued by protection from light-evoked activity; by eating a diet enriched in palmitate, the product of the FAS reaction; or by treatment with the PPARα agonist fenofibrate. Vision loss was due to aberrant synaptic structure, blunted responsiveness to glial-derived neurotrophic factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor, and eventual apoptotic cell loss. This progressive neurodegeneration was associated with decreased membrane cholesterol content, as well as loss of discrete n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid– and saturated fatty acid–containing phospholipid species within specialized membrane microdomains. Neurotrophic signaling was restored by exogenous cholesterol delivery. These findings implicate de novo lipogenesis in neurotrophin-dependent cell survival by maintaining retinal membrane configuration and lipid composition, and they suggest that ongoing lipogenesis may be required to prevent cell death in many forms of retinopathy.
Rithwick Rajagopal, Sheng Zhang, Xiaochao Wei, Teresa Doggett, Sangeeta Adak, Jennifer Enright, Vaishali Shah, Guoyu Ling, Shiming Chen, Jun Yoshino, Fong-Fu Hsu, Clay F. Semenkovich
Hypoglycemia is commonly associated with insulin therapy, limiting both its safety and efficacy. The concept of modifying insulin to render its glucose-responsive release from an injection depot (of an insulin complexed exogenously with a recombinant lectin) was proposed approximately 4 decades ago but has been challenging to achieve. Data presented here demonstrate that mannosylated insulin analogs can undergo an additional route of clearance as result of their interaction with endogenous mannose receptor (MR), and this can occur in a glucose-dependent fashion, with increased binding to MR at low glucose. Yet, these analogs retain capacity for binding to the insulin receptor (IR). When the blood glucose level is elevated, as in individuals with diabetes mellitus, MR binding diminishes due to glucose competition, leading to reduced MR-mediated clearance and increased partitioning for IR binding and consequent glucose lowering. These studies demonstrate that a glucose-dependent locus of insulin clearance and, hence, insulin action can be achieved by targeting MR and IR concurrently.
Ruojing Yang, Margaret Wu, Songnian Lin, Ravi P. Nargund, Xinghai Li, Theresa Kelly, Lin Yan, Ge Dai, Ying Qian, Qing Dallas-yang, Paul A. Fischer, Yan Cui, Xiaolan Shen, Pei Huo, Danqing Dennis Feng, Mark D. Erion, David E. Kelley, James Mu
Many theories have been advanced to better understand why β cell function and structure relentlessly deteriorate during the course of type 2 diabetes (T2D). These theories include inflammation, apoptosis, replication, neogenesis, autophagy, differentiation, dedifferentiation, and decreased levels of insulin gene regulatory proteins. However, none of these have considered the possibility that endogenous self-repair of existing β cells may be an important factor. To examine this hypothesis, we conducted studies with female Zucker diabetic fatty rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 18, or 28 days, followed by a return to regular chow for 2–3 weeks. Repair was defined as reversal of elevated blood glucose and of inappropriately low blood insulin levels caused by a HFD, as well as reversal of structural damage visualized by imaging studies. We observed evidence of functional β cell damage after a 9-day exposure to a HFD and then repair after 2–3 weeks of being returned to normal chow (blood glucose [BG] = 348 ± 30 vs. 126 ± 3; mg/dl; days 9 vs. 23 day, P < 0.01). After 18- and 28-day exposure to a HFD, damage was more severe and repair was less evident. Insulin levels progressively diminished with 9-day exposure to a HFD; after returning to a regular diet, insulin levels rebounded toward, but did not reach, normal values. Increase in β cell mass was 4-fold after 9 days and 3-fold after 18 days, and there was no increase after 28 days of a HFD. Increases in β cell mass during a HFD were not different when comparing values before and after a return to regular diet within the 9-, 18-, or 28-day studies. No changes were observed in apoptosis or β cell replication. Formation of intracellular markers of oxidative stress, intranuclear translocation of Nrf2, and formation of intracellular antioxidant proteins indicated the participation of HFD/oxidative stress induction of the Nrf2/antioxidant pathway. Flow cytometry–based assessment of β cell volume, morphology, and insulin-specific immunoreactivity, as well as ultrastructural analysis by transmission electron microscopy, revealed that short-term exposure to a HFD produced significant changes in β cell morphology and function that are reversible after returning to regular chow. These results suggest that a possible mechanism mediating the ability of β cells to self-repair after a short-term exposure to a HFD is the activation of the Nrf2/antioxidant pathway.
Tsehay Abebe, Jana Mahadevan, Lindsey Bogachus, Stephanie Hahn, Michele Black, Elizabeth Oseid, Fumihiko Urano, Vincenzo Cirulli, R. Paul Robertson
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