The discovery of metabolite-phenotype associations may highlight candidate biomarkers and metabolic pathways altered in disease states. We sought to identify novel metabolites associated with obesity and one of its major complications, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), using a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method. In 997 individuals in Framingham Heart Study Generation 3 (FHS Gen 3), we identified an association between anandamide (AEA) and BMI. Further examination revealed that AEA was associated with radiographic hepatic steatosis. In a histologically defined NAFLD cohort, AEA was associated with NAFLD severity, the presence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and fibrosis. These data highlight AEA as a marker linking cardiometabolic disease and NAFLD severity.
W. Taylor Kimberly, John F. O’Sullivan, Anjali K. Nath, Michelle Keyes, Xu Shi, Martin G. Larson, Qiong Yang, Michelle T. Long, Ramachandran Vasan, Randall T. Peterson, Thomas J. Wang, Kathleen E. Corey, Robert E. Gerszten
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), characterized by an excess accumulation of hepatic triglycerides, is a growing health epidemic. While ER stress in the liver has been implicated in the development of NAFLD, the role of brain ER stress — which is emerging as a key contributor to a number of chronic diseases including obesity — in NAFLD remains unclear. These studies reveal that chemical induction of ER stress in the brain caused hepatomegaly and hepatic steatosis in mice. Conversely, pharmacological reductions in brain ER stress in diet-induced obese mice rescued NAFLD independent of body weight, food intake, and adiposity. Evaluation of brain regions involved revealed robust activation of ER stress biomarkers and ER ultrastructural abnormalities in the circumventricular subfornical organ (SFO), a nucleus situated outside of the blood-brain-barrier, in response to high-fat diet. Targeted reductions in SFO-ER stress in obese mice via SFO-specific supplementation of the ER chaperone 78-kDa glucose–regulated protein ameliorated hepatomegaly and hepatic steatosis without altering body weight, food intake, adiposity, or obesity-induced hypertension. Overall, these findings indicate a novel role for brain ER stress, notably within the SFO, in the pathogenesis of NAFLD.
Julie A. Horwath, Chansol Hurr, Scott D. Butler, Mallikarjun Guruju, Martin D. Cassell, Allyn L. Mark, Robin L. Davisson, Colin N. Young
β-Klotho (encoded by
Emmanuel Somm, Hugues Henry, Stephen J. Bruce, Sébastien Aeby, Marta Rosikiewicz, Gerasimos P. Sykiotis, Mohammed Asrih, François R. Jornayvaz, Pierre Damien Denechaud, Urs Albrecht, Moosa Mohammadi, Andrew Dwyer, James S. Acierno Jr., Kristina Schoonjans, Lluis Fajas, Gilbert Greub, Nelly Pitteloud
Accurate and high-quality curation of lipidomic datasets generated from plasma, cells, or tissues is becoming essential for cell biology investigations and biomarker discovery for personalized medicine. However, a major challenge lies in removing artifacts otherwise mistakenly interpreted as real lipids from large mass spectrometry files (>60 K features), while retaining genuine ions in the dataset. This requires powerful informatics tools; however, available workflows have not been tailored specifically for lipidomics, particularly discovery research. We designed LipidFinder, an open-source Python workflow. An algorithm is included that optimizes analysis based on users’ own data, and outputs are screened against online databases and categorized into LIPID MAPS classes. LipidFinder outperformed three widely used metabolomics packages using data from human platelets. We show a family of three 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid phosphoinositides (16:0/, 18:1/, 18:0/12-HETE-PI) generated by thrombin-activated platelets, indicating crosstalk between eicosanoid and phosphoinositide pathways in human cells. The software is available on GitHub (https://github.com/cjbrasher/LipidFinder), with full userguides.
Anne O’Connor, Christopher J. Brasher, David A. Slatter, Sven W. Meckelmann, Jade I. Hawksworth, Stuart M. Allen, Valerie B. O’Donnell
Insulin can inhibit hepatic glucose production (HGP) by acting directly on the liver as well as indirectly through effects on adipose tissue, pancreas, and brain. While insulin’s indirect effects are indisputable, their physiologic role in the suppression of HGP seen in response to increased insulin secretion is not clear. Likewise, the mechanisms by which insulin suppresses lipolysis and pancreatic α cell secretion under physiologic circumstances are also debated. In this study, insulin was infused into the hepatic portal vein to mimic increased insulin secretion, and insulin’s indirect liver effects were blocked either individually or collectively. During physiologic hyperinsulinemia, plasma free fatty acid (FFA) and glucagon levels were clamped at basal values and brain insulin action was blocked, but insulin’s direct effects on the liver were left intact. Insulin was equally effective at suppressing HGP when its indirect effects were absent as when they were present. In addition, the inhibition of lipolysis, as well as glucagon and insulin secretion, did not require CNS insulin action or decreased plasma FFA. This indicates that the rapid suppression of HGP is attributable to insulin’s direct effect on the liver and that its indirect effects are redundant in the context of a physiologic increase in insulin secretion.
Dale S. Edgerton, Guillaume Kraft, Marta Smith, Ben Farmer, Phillip E. Williams, Katie C. Coate, Richard L. Printz, Richard M. O’Brien, Alan D. Cherrington
Liver X receptors (LXRs) are transcription factors essential for cholesterol homeostasis and lipogenesis. LXRα has been implicated in regulating hepatic triglyceride (TG) accumulation upon both influx of adipose-derived fatty acids (FAs) during fasting and stimulation of de novo FA synthesis by chemical agonism of LXR. However, whether or not a convergent mechanism is employed to drive deposition of FAs from these 2 different sources in TGs is undetermined. Here, we report that the G0/G1 Switch Gene 2 (G0S2), a selective inhibitor of intracellular TG hydrolysis/lipolysis, is a direct target gene of LXRα. Transcriptional activation is conferred by LXRα binding to a direct repeat 4 (DR4) motif in the G0S2 promoter. While LXRα–/– mice exhibited decreased hepatic G0S2 expression, adenoviral expression of G0S2 was sufficient to restore fasting-induced TG storage and glycogen depletion in the liver of these mice. In response to LXR agonist T0901317, G0S2 ablation prevented hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia without affecting the beneficial effects on HDL. Thus, the LXRα-G0S2 axis plays a distinct role in regulating hepatic TG during both fasting and pharmacological activation of LXR.
Bradlee L. Heckmann, Xiaodong Zhang, Alicia M. Saarinen, Gabriele Schoiswohl, Erin E. Kershaw, Rudolf Zechner, Jun Liu
Visceral fat is considered the genuine and harmful white adipose tissue (WAT) that is associated to development of metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Here, we present a new concept to turn the harmful visceral fat into a beneficial energy consumption depot, which is beneficial for improvement of metabolic dysfunctions in obese mice. We show that low temperature–dependent browning of visceral fat caused decreased adipose weight, total body weight, and body mass index, despite increased food intake. In high-fat diet–fed mice, low temperature exposure improved browning of visceral fat, global metabolism via nonshivering thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and hepatic steatosis. Genome-wide expression profiling showed upregulation of WAT browning–related genes including
Xiaoyan Yang, Wenhai Sui, Meng Zhang, Mei Dong, Sharon Lim, Takahiro Seki, Ziheng Guo, Carina Fischer, Huixia Lu, Cheng Zhang, Jianmin Yang, Meng Zhang, Yangang Wang, Caixia Cao, Yanyan Gao, Xingguo Zhao, Meili Sun, Yuping Sun, Rujie Zhuang, Nilesh J. Samani, Yun Zhang, Yihai Cao
Fructose has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In contrast to glucose, CNS delivery of fructose in rodents promotes feeding behavior. However, because circulating plasma fructose levels are exceedingly low, it remains unclear to what extent fructose crosses the blood-brain barrier to exert CNS effects. To determine whether fructose can be endogenously generated from glucose via the polyol pathway (glucose → sorbitol → fructose) in human brain, 8 healthy subjects (4 women/4 men; age, 28.8 ± 6.2 years; BMI, 23.4 ± 2.6; HbA1C, 4.9% ± 0.2%) underwent 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy scanning to measure intracerebral glucose and fructose levels during a 4-hour hyperglycemic clamp (plasma glucose, 220 mg/dl). Using mixed-effects regression model analysis, intracerebral glucose rose significantly over time and differed from baseline at 20 to 230 minutes. Intracerebral fructose levels also rose over time, differing from baseline at 30 to 230 minutes. The changes in intracerebral fructose were related to changes in intracerebral glucose but not to plasma fructose levels. Our findings suggest that the polyol pathway contributes to endogenous CNS production of fructose and that the effects of fructose in the CNS may extend beyond its direct dietary consumption.
Janice J. Hwang, Lihong Jiang, Muhammad Hamza, Feng Dai, Renata Belfort-DeAguiar, Gary Cline, Douglas L. Rothman, Graeme Mason, Robert S. Sherwin
Tregs can adopt a catabolic metabolic program with increased capacity for fatty acid oxidation–fueled oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). It is unclear why this form of metabolism is favored in Tregs and, more specifically, whether this program represents an adaptation to the environment and developmental cues or is “hardwired” by Foxp3. Here we show, using metabolic analysis and an unbiased mass spectroscopy–based proteomics approach, that Foxp3 is both necessary and sufficient to program Treg-increased respiratory capacity and Tregs’ increased ability to utilize fatty acids to fuel oxidative phosphorylation. Foxp3 drives upregulation of components of all the electron transport complexes, increasing their activity and ATP generation by oxidative phosphorylation. Increased fatty acid β-oxidation also results in selective protection of Foxp3+ cells from fatty acid–induced cell death. This observation may provide novel targets for modulating Treg function or selection therapeutically.
Duncan Howie, Stephen Paul Cobbold, Elizabeth Adams, Annemieke Ten Bokum, Andra Stefania Necula, Wei Zhang, Honglei Huang, David J. Roberts, Benjamin Thomas, Svenja S. Hester, David J. Vaux, Alexander G. Betz, Herman Waldmann
The heme oxygenase-1 (
Hagir B. Suliman, Jeffrey E. Keenan, Claude A. Piantadosi
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