Physiology - Research Publications

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    Metabolic remodeling of dystrophic skeletal muscle reveals biological roles for dystrophin and utrophin in adaptation and plasticity
    Hardee, JP ; Martins, KJB ; Miotto, PM ; Ryall, JG ; Gehrig, SM ; Reljic, B ; Naim, T ; Chung, JD ; Trieu, J ; Swiderski, K ; Philp, AM ; Philp, A ; Watt, MJ ; Stroud, DA ; Koopman, R ; Steinberg, GR ; Lynch, GS (ELSEVIER, 2021-01-12)
    OBJECTIVES: Preferential damage to fast, glycolytic myofibers is common in many muscle-wasting diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Promoting an oxidative phenotype could protect muscles from damage and ameliorate the dystrophic pathology with therapeutic relevance, but developing efficacious strategies requires understanding currently unknown biological roles for dystrophin and utrophin in dystrophic muscle adaptation and plasticity. METHODS: Combining whole transcriptome RNA sequencing and mitochondrial proteomics with assessments of metabolic and contractile function, we investigated the roles of dystrophin and utrophin in fast-to-slow muscle remodeling with low-frequency electrical stimulation (LFS, 10 Hz, 12 h/d, 7 d/wk, 28 d) in mdx (dystrophin null) and dko (dystrophin/utrophin null) mice, two established preclinical models of DMD. RESULTS: Novel biological roles in adaptation were demonstrated by impaired transcriptional activation of estrogen-related receptor alpha-responsive genes supporting oxidative phosphorylation in dystrophic muscles. Further, utrophin expression in dystrophic muscles was required for LFS-induced remodeling of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, enhanced fiber respiration, and conferred protection from eccentric contraction-mediated damage. CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal novel roles for dystrophin and utrophin during LFS-induced metabolic remodeling of dystrophic muscle and highlight the therapeutic potential of LFS to ameliorate the dystrophic pathology and protect from contraction-induced injury with important implications for DMD and related muscle disorders.
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    Ceramides Contained in LDL Are Elevated in Type 2 Diabetes and Promote Inflammation and Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance
    Boon, J ; Hoy, AJ ; Stark, R ; Brown, RD ; Meex, RC ; Henstridge, DC ; Schenk, S ; Meikle, PJ ; Horowitz, JF ; Kingwell, BA ; Bruce, CR ; Watt, MJ (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2013-02-01)
    Dysregulated lipid metabolism and inflammation are linked to the development of insulin resistance in obesity, and the intracellular accumulation of the sphingolipid ceramide has been implicated in these processes. Here, we explored the role of circulating ceramide on the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Ceramide transported in LDL is elevated in the plasma of obese patients with type 2 diabetes and correlated with insulin resistance but not with the degree of obesity. Treating cultured myotubes with LDL containing ceramide promoted ceramide accrual in cells and was accompanied by reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, Akt phosphorylation, and GLUT4 translocation compared with LDL deficient in ceramide. LDL-ceramide induced a proinflammatory response in cultured macrophages via toll-like receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Finally, infusing LDL-ceramide into lean mice reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, and this was due to impaired insulin action specifically in skeletal muscle. These newly identified roles of LDL-ceramide suggest that strategies aimed at reducing hepatic ceramide production or reducing ceramide packaging into lipoproteins may improve skeletal muscle insulin action.
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    Overexpression of Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase-1 in Skeletal Muscle Is Sufficient to Enhance Fatty Acid Oxidation and Improve High-Fat Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance
    Bruce, CR ; Hoy, AJ ; Turner, N ; Watt, MJ ; Allen, TL ; Carpenter, K ; Cooney, GJ ; Febbraio, MA ; Kraegen, EW (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2009-03-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Skeletal muscle insulin resistance is associated with lipid accumulation, but whether insulin resistance is due to reduced or enhanced flux of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria is both controversial and unclear. We hypothesized that skeletal muscle-specific overexpression of the muscle isoform of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), the enzyme that controls the entry of long-chain fatty acyl CoA into mitochondria, would enhance rates of fatty acid oxidation and improve insulin action in muscle in high-fat diet insulin-resistant rats. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Rats were fed a standard (chow) or high-fat diet for 4 weeks. After 3 weeks, in vivo electrotransfer was used to overexpress the muscle isoform of CPT1 in the distal hindlimb muscles (tibialis anterior and extensor digitorum longus [EDL]). Skeletal muscle insulin action was examined in vivo during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. RESULTS: In vivo electrotransfer produced a physiologically relevant increase of approximately 20% in enzyme activity; and although the high-fat diet produced insulin resistance in the sham-treated muscle, insulin action was improved in the CPT1-overexpressing muscle. This improvement was associated with a reduction in triacylglycerol content, the membrane-to-cytosolic ratio of diacylglycerol, and protein kinase C theta activity. Importantly, overexpression of CPT1 did not affect markers of mitochondrial capacity or function, nor did it alter skeletal muscle acylcarnitine profiles irrespective of diet. CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide clear evidence that a physiological increase in the capacity of long-chain fatty acyl CoA entry into mitochondria is sufficient to ameliorate lipid-induced insulin resistance in muscle.
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    Estrogen receptor alpha drives proliferation in PTEN-deficient prostate carcinoma by stimulating survival signaling, MYC expression and altering glucose sensitivity
    Takizawa, I ; Lawrence, MG ; Balanathan, P ; Rebello, R ; Pearson, HB ; Garg, E ; Pedersen, J ; Pouliot, N ; Nadon, R ; Watt, MJ ; Taylor, RA ; Humbert, P ; Topisirovic, I ; Larsson, O ; Risbridger, GP ; Furic, L (IMPACT JOURNALS LLC, 2015-01-20)
    While high doses of estrogen, in combination with androgens, can initiate prostate cancer (PCa) via activation of the estrogen receptor α (ERα), the role of ERα in PCa cells within established tumors is largely unknown. Here we show that expression of ERα is increased in high grade human PCa. Similarly, ERα is elevated in mouse models of aggressive PCa driven by MYC overexpression or deletion of PTEN. Within the prostate of PTEN-deficient mice, there is a progressive pattern of ERα expression: low in benign glands, moderate in tumors within the dorsal, lateral and ventral lobes, and high in tumors within the anterior prostate. This expression significantly correlates with the proliferation marker Ki67. Furthermore, in vitro knockdown of ERα in cells derived from PTEN-deficient tumors causes a significant and sustained decrease in proliferation. Depletion of ERα also reduces the activity of the PI3K and MAPK pathways, both downstream targets of non-genomic ERα action. Finally, ERα knockdown reduces the levels of the MYC protein and lowers the sensitivity of cellular proliferation to glucose withdrawal, which correlates with decreased expression of the glucose transporter GLUT1. Collectively, these results demonstrate that ERα orchestrates proliferation and metabolism to promote the neoplastic growth of PCa cells.
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    Activating HSP72 in Rodent Skeletal Muscle Increases Mitochondrial Number and Oxidative Capacity and Decreases Insulin Resistance
    Henstridge, DC ; Bruce, CR ; Drew, BG ; Tory, K ; Kolonics, A ; Estevez, E ; Chung, J ; Watson, N ; Gardner, T ; Lee-Young, RS ; Connor, T ; Watt, MJ ; Carpenter, K ; Hargreaves, M ; McGee, SL ; Hevener, AL ; Febbraio, MA (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2014-06-01)
    Induction of heat shock protein (HSP)72 protects against obesity-induced insulin resistance, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we show that HSP72 plays a pivotal role in increasing skeletal muscle mitochondrial number and oxidative metabolism. Mice overexpressing HSP72 in skeletal muscle (HSP72Tg) and control wild-type (WT) mice were fed either a chow or high-fat diet (HFD). Despite a similar energy intake when HSP72Tg mice were compared with WT mice, the HFD increased body weight, intramuscular lipid accumulation (triacylglycerol and diacylglycerol but not ceramide), and severe glucose intolerance in WT mice alone. Whole-body VO2, fatty acid oxidation, and endurance running capacity were markedly increased in HSP72Tg mice. Moreover, HSP72Tg mice exhibited an increase in mitochondrial number. In addition, the HSP72 coinducer BGP-15, currently in human clinical trials for type 2 diabetes, also increased mitochondrial number and insulin sensitivity in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Together, these data identify a novel role for activation of HSP72 in skeletal muscle. Thus, the increased oxidative metabolism associated with activation of HSP72 has potential clinical implications not only for type 2 diabetes but also for other disorders where mitochondrial function is compromised.
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    Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor Regulates Lipid Metabolism via Adipose Triglyceride Lipase
    Borg, ML ; Andrews, ZB ; Duh, EJ ; Zechner, R ; Meikle, PJ ; Watt, MJ (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2011-05-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is an adipocyte-secreted factor involved in the development of insulin resistance in obesity. Previous studies have identified PEDF as a regulator of triacylglycerol metabolism in the liver that may act through adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL). We used ATGL(-/-) mice to determine the role of PEDF in regulating lipid and glucose metabolism. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Recombinant PEDF was administered to ATGL(-/-) and wild-type mice, and whole-body energy metabolism was studied by indirect calorimetry. Adipose tissue lipolysis and skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism was determined in isolated tissue preparations. Muscle lipids were assessed by electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. Whole-body insulin sensitivity and skeletal muscle glucose uptake were assessed. RESULTS: PEDF impaired the capacity to adjust substrate selection, resulting in a delayed diurnal decline in the respiratory exchange ratio, and suppressed daily fatty acid oxidation. PEDF enhanced adipocyte lipolysis and triacylglycerol lipase activity in skeletal muscle. Muscle fatty acid uptake and storage were unaffected, whereas fatty acid oxidation was impaired. These changes in lipid metabolism were abrogated in ATGL(-/-) mice and were not attributable to hypothalamic actions. ATGL(-/-) mice were also refractory to PEDF-mediated insulin resistance, but this was not related to changes in lipid species in skeletal muscle. CONCLUSIONS: The results are the first direct demonstration that 1) PEDF influences systemic fatty acid metabolism by promoting lipolysis in an ATGL-dependent manner and reducing fatty acid oxidation and 2) ATGL is required for the negative effects of PEDF on insulin action.
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    Obesity does not promote tumorigenesis of localized patient-derived prostate cancer xenografts
    Lo, JCY ; Clark, AK ; Ascui, N ; Frydenberg, M ; Risbridger, GP ; Taylor, RA ; Watt, MJ (IMPACT JOURNALS LLC, 2016-07-26)
    There are established epidemiological links between obesity and the severity of prostate cancer. We directly tested this relationship by assessing tumorigenicity of patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) of moderate-grade localized prostate cancer in lean and obese severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Mice were rendered obese and insulin resistant by high-fat feeding for 6 weeks prior to transplantation, and PDXs were assessed 10 weeks thereafter. Histological analysis of PDX grafts showed no differences in tumor pathology, prostate-specific antigen, androgen receptor and homeobox protein Nkx-3.1 expression, or proliferation index in lean versus obese mice. Whilst systemic obesity per se did not promote prostate tumorigenicity, we next asked whether the peri-prostatic adipose tissue (PPAT), which covers the prostate anteriorly, plays a role in prostate tumorigenesis. In vitro studies in a cellularized co-culture model of stromal and epithelial cells demonstrated that factors secreted from human PPAT are pro-tumorigenic. Accordingly, we recapitulated the prostate-PPAT spatial relationship by co-grafting human PPAT with prostate cancer in PDX grafts. PDX tissues were harvested 10 weeks after grafting, and histological analysis revealed no evidence of enhanced tumorigenesis with PPAT compared to prostate cancer grafts alone. Altogether, these data demonstrate that prostate cancer tumorigenicity is not accelerated in the setting of diet-induced obesity or in the presence of human PPAT, prompting the need for further work to define the at-risk populations of obesity-driven tumorigenesis and the biological factors linking obesity, adipose tissue and prostate cancer pathogenesis.
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    PLIN5 deletion remodels intracellular lipid composition and causes insulin resistance in muscle
    Mason, RR ; Mokhtar, R ; Matzaris, M ; Selathurai, A ; Kowalski, GM ; Mokbel, N ; Meikle, PJ ; Bruce, CR ; Watt, MJ (ELSEVIER, 2014-09-01)
    Defective control of lipid metabolism leading to lipotoxicity causes insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, a major factor leading to diabetes. Here, we demonstrate that perilipin (PLIN) 5 is required to couple intramyocellular triacylglycerol lipolysis with the metabolic demand for fatty acids. PLIN5 ablation depleted triacylglycerol stores but increased sphingolipids including ceramide, hydroxylceramides and sphingomyelin. We generated perilipin 5 (Plin5)(-/-) mice to determine the functional significance of PLIN5 in metabolic control and insulin action. Loss of PLIN5 had no effect on body weight, feeding or adiposity but increased whole-body carbohydrate oxidation. Plin5 (-/-) mice developed skeletal muscle insulin resistance, which was associated with ceramide accumulation. Liver insulin sensitivity was improved in Plin5 (-/-) mice, indicating tissue-specific effects of PLIN5 on insulin action. We conclude that PLIN5 plays a critical role in coordinating skeletal muscle triacylglycerol metabolism, which impacts sphingolipid metabolism, and is requisite for the maintenance of skeletal muscle insulin action.
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    Interleukin-18 Activates Skeletal Muscle AMPK and Reduces Weight Gain and Insulin Resistance in Mice
    Lindegaard, B ; Matthews, VB ; Brandt, C ; Hojman, P ; Allen, TL ; Estevez, E ; Watt, MJ ; Bruce, CR ; Mortensen, OH ; Syberg, S ; Rudnicka, C ; Abildgaard, J ; Pilegaard, H ; Hidalgo, J ; Ditlevsen, S ; Alsted, TJ ; Madsen, AN ; Pedersen, BK ; Febbraio, MA (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2013-09-01)
    Circulating interleukin (IL)-18 is elevated in obesity, but paradoxically causes hypophagia. We hypothesized that IL-18 may attenuate high-fat diet (HFD)-induced insulin resistance by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). We studied mice with a global deletion of the α-isoform of the IL-18 receptor (IL-18R(-/-)) fed a standard chow or HFD. We next performed gain-of-function experiments in skeletal muscle, in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo. We show that IL-18 is implicated in metabolic homeostasis, inflammation, and insulin resistance via mechanisms involving the activation of AMPK in skeletal muscle. IL-18R(-/-) mice display increased weight gain, ectopic lipid deposition, inflammation, and reduced AMPK signaling in skeletal muscle. Treating myotubes or skeletal muscle strips with IL-18 activated AMPK and increased fat oxidation. Moreover, in vivo electroporation of IL-18 into skeletal muscle activated AMPK and concomitantly inhibited HFD-induced weight gain. In summary, IL-18 enhances AMPK signaling and lipid oxidation in skeletal muscle implicating IL-18 in metabolic homeostasis.
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    Cellular Localization and Associations of the Major Lipolytic Proteins in Human Skeletal Muscle at Rest and during Exercise
    Mason, RR ; Meex, RCR ; Russell, AP ; Canny, BJ ; Watt, MJ ; Moro, C (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-07-23)
    Lipolysis involves the sequential breakdown of fatty acids from triacylglycerol and is increased during energy stress such as exercise. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is a key regulator of skeletal muscle lipolysis and perilipin (PLIN) 5 is postulated to be an important regulator of ATGL action of muscle lipolysis. Hence, we hypothesized that non-genomic regulation such as cellular localization and the interaction of these key proteins modulate muscle lipolysis during exercise. PLIN5, ATGL and CGI-58 were highly (>60%) colocated with Oil Red O (ORO) stained lipid droplets. PLIN5 was significantly colocated with ATGL, mitochondria and CGI-58, indicating a close association between the key lipolytic effectors in resting skeletal muscle. The colocation of the lipolytic proteins, their independent association with ORO and the PLIN5/ORO colocation were not altered after 60 min of moderate intensity exercise. Further experiments in cultured human myocytes showed that PLIN5 colocation with ORO or mitochondria is unaffected by pharmacological activation of lipolytic pathways. Together, these data suggest that the major lipolytic proteins are highly expressed at the lipid droplet and colocate in resting skeletal muscle, that their localization and interactions appear to remain unchanged during prolonged exercise, and, accordingly, that other post-translational mechanisms are likely regulators of skeletal muscle lipolysis.