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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    Fat Partitioning and Insulin Sensitivity Robbing Peter to Pay Paul?
    Watt, MJ ; Kraegen, EW (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2009-01-01)
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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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    Discrete network models of interacting nephrons
    MOSS, R ; KAZMIERCZAK, E ; KIRLEY, M ; HARRIS, P (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2009-11-15)
    The kidney is one of the major organs involved in whole-body homeostasis, and aexhibits many of the properties of a complex system. The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron, a complex, segmented tube into which blood plasma is filtered and its composition adjusted. Although the behaviour of individual nephrons can fluctuate widely and even chaotically, the behaviour of the kidney remains stable. In this paper, we investigate how the filtration rate of a multi-nephron system is affected by interactions between nephrons. We introduce a discrete-time multi-nephron network model. The tubular mechanisms that have the greatest effect on filtration rate are the transport of sodium and water, consequently our model attempts to capture these mechanisms. Multi-nephron systems also incorporate two competing coupling mechanisms-vascular and hemodynamic-that enforce in-phase and anti-phase synchronisations respectively. Using a two-nephron model, we demonstrate how changing the strength of the hemodynamic coupling mechanism and changing the arterial blood pressure have equivalent effects on the system. The same two-nephron system is then used to demonstrate the interactions that arise between the two coupling mechanisms. We conclude by arguing that our approach is scalable to large numbers of nephrons, based on the performance characteristics of the model.
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    A computational model for emergent dynamics in the kidney
    Moss, R ; Kazmierczak, E ; Kirley, M ; Harris, P (ROYAL SOC, 2009-06-13)
    In this paper, concepts from network automata are adapted and extended to model complex biological systems. Specifically, systems of nephrons, the operational units of the kidney, are modelled and the dynamics of such systems are explored. Nephron behaviour can fluctuate widely and, under certain conditions, become chaotic. However, the behaviour of the whole kidney remains remarkably stable and blood solute levels are maintained under a wide range of conditions even when many nephrons are damaged or lost. A network model is used to investigate the stability of systems of nephrons and interactions between nephrons. More sophisticated dynamics are explored including the observed oscillations in single nephron filtration rates and the development of stable ionic and osmotic gradients in the inner medulla which contribute to the countercurrent exchange mechanism. We have used the model to explore the effects of changes in input parameters including hydrostatic and osmotic pressures and concentrations of ions, such as sodium and chloride. The intrinsic nephron control, tubuloglomerular feedback, is included and the effects of coupling between nephrons are explored in two-, eight- and 72-nephron models.
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    Cross talk of signals between EGFR and IL-6R through JAK2/STAT3 mediate epithelial-mesenchymal transition in ovarian carcinomas
    Colomiere, M ; Ward, AC ; Riley, C ; Trenerry, MK ; Cameron-Smith, D ; Findlay, J ; Ackland, L ; Ahmed, N (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2009-01-13)
    Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in ovarian carcinomas, with direct or indirect activation of EGFR able to trigger tumour growth. We demonstrate significant activation of both signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 and its upstream activator Janus kinase (JAK)2, in high-grade ovarian carcinomas compared with normal ovaries and benign tumours. The association between STAT3 activation and migratory phenotype of ovarian cancer cells was investigated by EGF-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in OVCA 433 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines. Ligand activation of EGFR induced a fibroblast-like morphology and migratory phenotype, consistent with the upregulation of mesenchyme-associated N-cadherin, vimentin and nuclear translocation of beta-catenin. This occurred concomitantly with activation of the downstream JAK2/STAT3 pathway. Both cell lines expressed interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R), and treatment with EGF within 1 h resulted in a several-fold enhancement of mRNA expression of IL-6. Consistent with that, EGF treatment of both OVCA 433 and SKOV3 cell lines resulted in enhanced IL-6 production in the serum-free medium. Exogenous addition of IL-6 to OVCA 433 cells stimulated STAT3 activation and enhanced migration. Blocking antibodies against IL-6R inhibited IL-6 production and EGF- and IL-6-induced migration. Specific inhibition of STAT3 activation by JAK2-specific inhibitor AG490 blocked STAT3 phosphorylation, cell motility, induction of N-cadherin and vimentin expression and IL6 production. These data suggest that the activated status of STAT3 in high-grade ovarian carcinomas may occur directly through activation of EGFR or IL-6R or indirectly through induction of IL-6R signalling. Such activation of STAT3 suggests a rationale for a combination of anti-STAT3 and EGFR/IL-6R therapy to suppress the peritoneal spread of ovarian cancer.
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    5-HT antagonists NAN-190 and SB 269970 block alpha(2)-adrenoceptors in the guinea pig
    Foong, JPP ; Bornstein, JC (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2009-02-18)
    Serotonin (5-HT) plays a significant role in the regulation of intestinal secretion of water and electrolytes. The initial aim of this study was to use intracellular recording and specific antagonists to identify roles of 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 receptors of submucosal noncholinergic secretomotor neurons of guinea pig ileum, in vitro. However, it was found that the widely used 5-HT receptor antagonists NAN-190 (5-HT1A) and SB 269970 (5-HT7) both blocked alpha2-adrenoceptors, and hence depressed inhibitory synaptic potentials and hyperpolarizations evoked by noradrenaline, in these neurons. Both compounds enhanced neurally evoked contractions of the guinea pig vas deferens, an effect characteristic of blockade of alpha2-adrenoceptors. These results raise significant concerns about studies using NAN-190 and SB 269970 as specific antagonists of serotonin receptors.