Physiology - Research Publications

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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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    Androgen Receptor Copy Number Variation and Androgenetic Alopecia: A Case-Control Study
    Cobb, JE ; White, SJ ; Harrap, SB ; Ellis, JA ; Fairhead, C (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2009-04-02)
    BACKGROUND: The functional polymorphism that explains the established association of the androgen receptor (AR) with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) remains unidentified, but Copy Number Variation (CNV) might be relevant. CNV involves changes in copy number of large segments of DNA, leading to the altered dosage of gene regulators or genes themselves. Two recent reports indicate regions of CNV in and around AR, and these have not been studied in relation to AGA. The aim of this preliminary case-control study was to determine if AR CNV is associated with AGA, with the hypothesis that CNV is the functional AR variant contributing to this condition. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification was used to screen for CNV in five AR exons and a conserved, non-coding region upstream of AR in 85 men carefully selected as cases and controls for maximal phenotypic contrast. There was no evidence of CNV in AR in any of the cases or controls, and thus no evidence of significant association between AGA and AR CNV. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest this form of genomic variation at the AR locus is unlikely to predispose to AGA.
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    Combined effects of routine blood pressure lowering and intensive glucose control on macrovascular and microvascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes: New results from the ADVANCE trial.
    Zoungas, S ; de Galan, BE ; Ninomiya, T ; Grobbee, D ; Hamet, P ; Heller, S ; MacMahon, S ; Marre, M ; Neal, B ; Patel, A ; Woodward, M ; Chalmers, J ; ADVANCE Collaborative Group, ; Cass, A ; Glasziou, P ; Harrap, S ; Lisheng, L ; Mancia, G ; Pillai, A ; Poulter, N ; Perkovic, V ; Travert, F (American Diabetes Association, 2009-11)
    OBJECTIVE: To assess the magnitude and independence of the effects of routine blood pressure lowering and intensive glucose control on clinical outcomes in patients with long-standing type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This was a multicenter, factorial randomized trial of perindopril-indapamide versus placebo (double-blind comparison) and intensive glucose control with a gliclazide MR-based regimen (target A1C 0.1): the separate effects of the two interventions for the renal outcomes and death appeared to be additive on the log scale. Compared with neither intervention, combination treatment reduced the risk of new or worsening nephropathy by 33% (95% CI 12-50%, P = 0.005), new onset of macroalbuminuria by 54% (35-68%, P < 0.0001), and new onset of microalbuminuria by 26% (17-34%). Combination treatment was associated with an 18% reduction in the risk of all-cause death (1-32%, P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: The effects of routine blood pressure lowering and intensive glucose control were independent of one another. When combined, they produced additional reductions in clinically relevant outcomes.
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    Insulin Resistance and Altered Systemic Glucose Metabolism in Mice Lacking Nur77
    Chao, LC ; Wroblewski, K ; Zhang, Z ; Pei, L ; Vergnes, L ; Ilkayeva, OR ; Ding, SY ; Reue, K ; Watt, MJ ; Newgard, CB ; Pilch, PF ; Hevener, AL ; Tontonoz, P (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2009-12-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Nur77 is an orphan nuclear receptor with pleotropic functions. Previous studies have identified Nur77 as a transcriptional regulator of glucose utilization genes in skeletal muscle and gluconeogenesis in liver. However, the net functional impact of these pathways is unknown. To examine the consequence of Nur77 signaling for glucose metabolism in vivo, we challenged Nur77 null mice with high-fat feeding. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Wild-type and Nur77 null mice were fed a high-fat diet (60% calories from fat) for 3 months. We determined glucose tolerance, tissue-specific insulin sensitivity, oxygen consumption, muscle and liver lipid content, muscle insulin signaling, and expression of glucose and lipid metabolism genes. RESULTS: Mice with genetic deletion of Nur77 exhibited increased susceptibility to diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies revealed greater high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance in both skeletal muscle and liver of Nur77 null mice compared with controls. Loss of Nur77 expression in skeletal muscle impaired insulin signaling and markedly reduced GLUT4 protein expression. Muscles lacking Nur77 also exhibited increased triglyceride content and accumulation of multiple even-chained acylcarnitine species. In the liver, Nur77 deletion led to hepatic steatosis and enhanced expression of lipogenic genes, likely reflecting the lipogenic effect of hyperinsulinemia. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these data demonstrate that loss of Nur77 influences systemic glucose metabolism and highlight the physiological contribution of muscle Nur77 to this regulatory pathway.
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    Fat Partitioning and Insulin Sensitivity Robbing Peter to Pay Paul?
    Watt, MJ ; Kraegen, EW (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2009-01-01)
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    SLC2A9 Is a High-Capacity Urate Transporter in Humans
    Caulfield, MJ ; Munroe, PB ; O'Neill, D ; Witkowska, K ; Charchar, FJ ; Doblado, M ; Evans, S ; Eyheramendy, S ; Onipinla, A ; Howard, P ; Shaw-Hawkins, S ; Dobson, RJ ; Wallace, C ; Newhouse, SJ ; Brown, M ; Connell, JM ; Dominiczak, A ; Farrall, M ; Lathrop, GM ; Samani, NJ ; Kumari, M ; Marmot, M ; Brunner, E ; Chambers, J ; Elliott, P ; Kooner, J ; Laan, M ; Org, E ; Veldre, G ; Viigimaa, M ; Cappuccio, FP ; Ji, C ; Iacone, R ; Strazzullo, P ; Moley, KH ; Cheeseman, C ; Hattersley, A (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-10-01)
    BACKGROUND: Serum uric acid levels in humans are influenced by diet, cellular breakdown, and renal elimination, and correlate with blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, gout, and cardiovascular disease. Recent genome-wide association scans have found common genetic variants of SLC2A9 to be associated with increased serum urate level and gout. The SLC2A9 gene encodes a facilitative glucose transporter, and it has two splice variants that are highly expressed in the proximal nephron, a key site for urate handling in the kidney. We investigated whether SLC2A9 is a functional urate transporter that contributes to the longstanding association between urate and blood pressure in man. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We expressed both SLC2A9 splice variants in Xenopus laevis oocytes and found both isoforms mediate rapid urate fluxes at concentration ranges similar to physiological serum levels (200-500 microM). Because SLC2A9 is a known facilitative glucose transporter, we also tested whether glucose or fructose influenced urate transport. We found that urate is transported by SLC2A9 at rates 45- to 60-fold faster than glucose, and demonstrated that SLC2A9-mediated urate transport is facilitated by glucose and, to a lesser extent, fructose. In addition, transport is inhibited by the uricosuric benzbromarone in a dose-dependent manner (Ki = 27 microM). Furthermore, we found urate uptake was at least 2-fold greater in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells overexpressing SLC2A9 splice variants than nontransfected kidney cells. To confirm that our findings were due to SLC2A9, and not another urate transporter, we showed that urate transport was diminished by SLC2A9-targeted siRNA in a second mammalian cell line. In a cohort of men we showed that genetic variants of SLC2A9 are associated with reduced urinary urate clearance, which fits with common variation at SLC2A9 leading to increased serum urate. We found no evidence of association with hypertension (odds ratio 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9 to 1.05, p > 0.33) by meta-analysis of an SLC2A9 variant in six case-control studies including 11,897 participants. In a separate meta-analysis of four population studies including 11,629 participants we found no association of SLC2A9 with systolic (effect size -0.12 mm Hg, 95% CI -0.68 to 0.43, p = 0.664) or diastolic blood pressure (effect size -0.03 mm Hg, 95% CI -0.39 to 0.31, p = 0.82). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that SLC2A9 splice variants act as high-capacity urate transporters and is one of the first functional characterisations of findings from genome-wide association scans. We did not find an association of the SLC2A9 gene with blood pressure in this study. Our findings suggest potential pathogenic mechanisms that could offer a new drug target for gout.
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    Feeding Induced by Cannabinoids Is Mediated Independently of the Melanocortin System
    Sinnayah, P ; Jobst, EE ; Rathner, JA ; Caldera-Siu, AD ; Tonelli-Lemos, L ; Eusterbrock, AJ ; Enriori, PJ ; Pothos, EN ; Grove, KL ; Cowley, MA ; Verdejo García, A (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-05-21)
    BACKGROUND: Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, stimulate appetite, and cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1-R) antagonists suppress appetite and promote weight loss. Little is known about how CB1-R antagonists affect the central neurocircuitry, specifically the melanocortin system that regulates energy balance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we show that peripherally administered CB1-R antagonist (AM251) or agonist equally suppressed or stimulated feeding respectively in A(y) , which lack a functional melanocortin system, and wildtype mice, demonstrating that cannabinoid effects on feeding do not require melanocortin circuitry. CB1-R antagonist or agonist administered into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) equally suppressed or stimulated feeding respectively, in both genotypes. In addition, peripheral and central cannabinoid administration similarly induced c-Fos activation in brain sites suggesting mediation via motivational dopaminergic circuitry. Amperometry-detected increases in evoked dopamine (DA) release by the CB1-R antagonist in nucleus accumbens slices indicates that AM251 modulates DA release from VTA terminals. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrate that the effects of cannabinoids on energy balance are independent of hypothalamic melanocortin circuitry and is primarily driven by the reward system.
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    Fgf receptor 3 activation promotes selective growth and expansion of occipitotemporal cortex.
    Thomson, RE ; Kind, PC ; Graham, NA ; Etherson, ML ; Kennedy, J ; Fernandes, AC ; Marques, CS ; Hevner, RF ; Iwata, T (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2009-02-03)
    BACKGROUND: Fibroblast growth factors (Fgfs) are important regulators of cerebral cortex development. Fgf2, Fgf8 and Fgf17 promote growth and specification of rostromedial (frontoparietal) cortical areas. Recently, the function of Fgf15 in antagonizing Fgf8 in the rostral signaling center was also reported. However, regulation of caudal area formation by Fgf signaling remains unknown. RESULTS: In mutant mice with constitutive activation of Fgf receptor 3 (Fgfr3) in the forebrain, surface area of the caudolateral cortex was markedly expanded at early postnatal stage, while rostromedial surface area remained normal. Cortical thickness was also increased in caudal regions. The expression domain and levels of Fgf8, as well as overall patterning, were unchanged. In contrast, the changes in caudolateral surface area were associated with accelerated cell cycle in early stages of neurogenesis without an alteration of cell cycle exit. Moreover, a marked overproduction of intermediate neuronal progenitors was observed in later stages, indicating prolongation of neurogenesis. CONCLUSION: Activation of Fgfr3 selectively promotes growth of caudolateral (occipitotemporal) cortex. These observations support the 'radial unit' and 'radial amplification' hypotheses and may explain premature sulcation of the occipitotemporal cortex in thanatophoric dysplasia, a human FGFR3 disorder. Together with previous work, this study suggests that formation of rostral and caudal areas are differentially regulated by Fgf signaling in the cerebral cortex.
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    Expression profiling of skeletal muscle following acute and chronic beta(2)-adrenergic stimulation: implications for hypertrophy, metabolism and circadian rhythm
    Pearen, MA ; Ryall, JG ; Lynch, GS ; Muscat, GEO (BMC, 2009-09-23)
    BACKGROUND: Systemic administration of beta-adrenoceptor (beta-AR) agonists has been found to induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy and significant metabolic changes. In the context of energy homeostasis, the importance of beta-AR signaling has been highlighted by the inability of beta(1-3)-AR-deficient mice to regulate energy expenditure and susceptibility to diet induced obesity. However, the molecular pathways and gene expression changes that initiate and maintain these phenotypic modulations are poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify differential changes in gene expression in murine skeletal muscle associated with systemic (acute and chronic) administration of the beta(2)-AR agonist formoterol. RESULTS: Skeletal muscle gene expression (from murine tibialis anterior) was profiled at both 1 and 4 hours following systemic administration of the beta(2)-AR agonist formoterol, using Illumina 46K mouse BeadArrays. Illumina expression profiling revealed significant expression changes in genes associated with skeletal muscle hypertrophy, myoblast differentiation, metabolism, circadian rhythm, transcription, histones, and oxidative stress. Differentially expressed genes relevant to the regulation of muscle mass and metabolism (in the context of the hypertrophic phenotype) were further validated by quantitative RT-PCR to examine gene expression in response to both acute (1-24 h) and chronic administration (1-28 days) of formoterol at multiple timepoints. In terms of skeletal muscle hypertrophy, attenuation of myostatin signaling (including differential expression of myostatin, activin receptor IIB, phospho-Smad3 etc) was observed following acute and chronic administration of formoterol. Acute (but not chronic) administration of formoterol also significantly induced the expression of genes involved in oxidative metabolism, including hexokinase 2, sorbin and SH3 domain containing 1, and uncoupling protein 3. Interestingly, formoterol administration also appeared to influence some genes associated with the peripheral regulation of circadian rhythm (including nuclear factor interleukin 3 regulated, D site albumin promoter binding protein, and cryptochrome 2). CONCLUSION: This is the first study to utilize gene expression profiling to examine global gene expression in response to acute beta(2)-AR agonist treatment of skeletal muscle. In summary, systemic administration of a beta(2)-AR agonist had a profound effect on global gene expression in skeletal muscle. In terms of hypertrophy, beta(2)-AR agonist treatment altered the expression of several genes associated with myostatin signaling, a previously unreported effect of beta-AR signaling in skeletal muscle. This study also demonstrates a beta(2)-AR agonist regulation of circadian rhythm genes, indicating crosstalk between beta-AR signaling and circadian cycling in skeletal muscle. Gene expression alterations discovered in this study provides insight into many of the underlying changes in gene expression that mediate beta-AR induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy and altered metabolism.
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    Sub region-specific modulation of synchronous neuronal burst firing after a kainic acid insult in organotypic hippocampal cultures
    Reid, CA ; Adams, BEL ; Myers, D ; O'Brien, TJ ; Williams, DA (BMC, 2008-07-02)
    BACKGROUND: Excitotoxicity occurs in a number of pathogenic states including stroke and epilepsy. The adaptations of neuronal circuits in response to such insults may be expected to play an underlying role in pathogenesis. Synchronous neuronal firing can be induced in isolated hippocampal slices and involves all regions of this structure, thereby providing a measure of circuit activity. The effect of an excitotoxic insult (kainic acid, KA) on Mg2+-free-induced synchronized neuronal firing was tested in organotypic hippocampal culture by measuring extracellular field activity in CA1 and CA3. RESULTS: Within 24 hrs of the insult regional specific changes in neuronal firing patterns were evident as: (i) a dramatic reduction in the ability of CA3 to generate firing; and (ii) a contrasting increase in the frequency and duration of synchronized neuronal firing events in CA1. Two distinct processes underlie the increased propensity of CA1 to generate synchronized burst firing; a lack of ability of the CA3 region to 'pace' CA1 resulting in an increased frequency of synchronized events; and a change in the 'intrinsic' properties limited to the CA1 region, which is responsible for increased event duration. Neuronal quantification using NeuN immunoflurescent staining and stereological confocal microscopy revealed no significant cell loss in hippocampal sub regions, suggesting that changes in the properties of neurons within this region were responsible for the KA-mediated excitability changes. CONCLUSION: These results provide novel insight into adaptation of hippocampal circuits following excitotoxic injury. KA-mediated disruption of the interplay between CA3 and CA1 clearly increases the propensity to synchronized firing in CA1.