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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Cross-talk between SIRT1 and endocrine factors: effects on energy homeostasis.
Mol. Cell. Endocrinol.
PUBLISHED: 08-07-2014
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The mammalian sirtuins (SIRT1-7) are a family of highly conserved nicotine adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+))-dependent deacetylases that act as cellular sensors to detect energy availability. SIRT1 is a multifaceted protein that is involved in a wide variety of cellular processes. SIRT1 is activated in response to caloric restriction, acting on multiple targets in a wide range of tissues. SIRT1 regulates the role of multiple hormones implicated in energy balance, including glucose and lipid metabolism. Here, we review the relevant role of SIRT1 as a mediator of endocrine function of several hormones to modulate energy balance. In addition, we analyze the potential of targeting SIRT1 for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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Hypothalamic KLF4 mediates leptin's effects on food intake via AgRP.
Mol Metab
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2014
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Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is a zinc-finger-type transcription factor expressed in a range of tissues that plays multiple functions. We report that hypothalamic KLF4 represents a new transcription factor specifically modulating agouti-related protein (AgRP) expression in vivo. Hypothalamic KLF4 colocalizes with AgRP neurons and is modulated by nutritional status and leptin. Over-expression of KLF4 in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) induces food intake and increases body weight through the specific stimulation of AgRP, as well as blunting leptin sensitivity in lean rats independent of forkhead box protein 01 (FoxO1). Down-regulation of KLF4 in the ARC inhibits fasting-induced food intake in both lean and diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Silencing KLF4, however, does not, on its own, enhance peripheral leptin sensitivity in DIO rats.
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The brain and brown fat.
Ann. Med.
PUBLISHED: 06-11-2014
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Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a specialized organ responsible for thermogenesis, a process required for maintaining body temperature. BAT is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which activates lipolysis and mitochondrial uncoupling in brown adipocytes. For many years, BAT was considered to be important only in small mammals and newborn humans, but recent data have shown that BAT is also functional in adult humans. On the basis of this evidence, extensive research has been focused on BAT function, where new molecules, such as irisin and bone morphogenetic proteins, particularly BMP7 and BMP8B, as well as novel central factors and new regulatory mechanisms, such as orexins and the canonical ventomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) AMP- activated protein kinase (AMPK)-SNS-BAT axis, have been discovered and emerged as potential drug targets to combat obesity. In this review we provide an overview of the complex central regulation of BAT and how different neuronal cell populations co-ordinately work to maintain energy homeostasis.
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GLP-1 agonism stimulates brown adipose tissue thermogenesis and browning through hypothalamic AMPK.
Diabetes
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2014
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GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) is widely located throughout the brain, but the precise molecular mechanisms mediating the actions of GLP-1 and its long-acting analogs on adipose tissue as well as the brain areas responsible for these interactions remain largely unknown. We found that central injection of a clinically used GLP-1R agonist, liraglutide, in mice stimulates brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis and adipocyte browning independent of nutrient intake. The mechanism controlling these actions is located in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMH), and the activation of AMPK in this area is sufficient to blunt both central liraglutide-induced thermogenesis and adipocyte browning. The decreased body weight caused by the central injection of liraglutide in other hypothalamic sites was sufficiently explained by the suppression of food intake. In a longitudinal study involving obese type 2 diabetic patients treated for 1 year with GLP-1R agonists, both exenatide and liraglutide increased energy expenditure. Although the results do not exclude the possibility that extrahypothalamic areas are also modulating the effects of GLP-1R agonists, the data indicate that long-acting GLP-1R agonists influence body weight by regulating either food intake or energy expenditure through various hypothalamic sites and that these mechanisms might be clinically relevant.
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Hypothalamic effects of thyroid hormones on metabolism.
Best Pract. Res. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2014
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Over the past few decades, obesity and its related metabolic disorders have increased at an epidemic rate in the developed and developing world. New signals and factors involved in the modulation of energy balance and metabolism are continuously being discovered, providing potential novel drug targets for the treatment of metabolic disease. A parallel strategy is to better understand how hormonal signals, with an already established role in energy metabolism, work, and how manipulation of the pathways involved may lead to amelioration of metabolic dysfunction. The thyroid hormones belong to the latter category, with dysregulation of the thyroid axis leading to marked alterations in energy balance. The potential of thyroid hormones in the treatment of obesity has been known for decades, but their therapeutic use has been hampered because of side-effects. Data gleaned over the past few years, however, have uncovered new features at the mechanisms of action involved in thyroid hormones. Sophisticated neurobiological approaches have allowed the identification of specific energy sensors, such as AMP-activated protein kinase and mechanistic target of rapamycin, acting in specific groups of hypothalamic neurons, mediating many of the effects of thyroid hormones on food intake, energy expenditure, glucose, lipid metabolism, and cardiovascular function. More extensive knowledge about these molecular mechanisms will be of great relevance for the treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
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Estradiol regulates brown adipose tissue thermogenesis via hypothalamic AMPK.
Cell Metab.
PUBLISHED: 02-16-2014
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Estrogens play a major role in the modulation of energy balance through central and peripheral actions. Here, we demonstrate that central action of estradiol (E2) inhibits AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) through estrogen receptor alpha (ER?) selectively in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH), leading to activation of thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) through the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) in a feeding-independent manner. Genetic activation of AMPK in the VMH prevented E2-induced increase in BAT-mediated thermogenesis and weight loss. Notably, fluctuations in E2 levels during estrous cycle also modulate this integrated physiological network. Together, these findings demonstrate that E2 regulation of the VMH AMPK-SNS-BAT axis is an important determinant of energy balance and suggest that dysregulation in this axis may account for the common changes in energy homeostasis and obesity linked to dysfunction of the female gonadal axis.
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Central Ceramide-Induced Hypothalamic Lipotoxicity and ER Stress Regulate Energy Balance.
Cell Rep
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2014
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Hypothalamic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a key mechanism leading to obesity. Here, we demonstrate that ceramides induce lipotoxicity and hypothalamic ER stress, leading to sympathetic inhibition, reduced brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis, and weight gain. Genetic overexpression of the chaperone GRP78/BiP (glucose-regulated protein 78 kDa/binding immunoglobulin protein) in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) abolishes ceramide action by reducing hypothalamic ER stress and increasing BAT thermogenesis, which leads to weight loss and improved glucose homeostasis. The pathophysiological relevance of this mechanism is demonstrated in obese Zucker rats, which show increased hypothalamic ceramide levels and ER stress. Overexpression of GRP78 in the VMH of these animals reduced body weight by increasing BAT thermogenesis as well as decreasing leptin and insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. Overall, these data identify a triangulated signaling network involving central ceramides, hypothalamic lipotoxicity/ER stress, and BAT thermogenesis as a pathophysiological mechanism of obesity.
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Nicotine improves obesity and hepatic steatosis and ER stress in diet-induced obese male rats.
Endocrinology
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2014
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Nicotine, the main addictive component of tobacco, promotes body weight reduction in humans and rodents. Recent evidence has suggested that nicotine acts in the central nervous system to modulate energy balance. Specifically, nicotine modulates hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase to decrease feeding and to increase brown adipose tissue thermogenesis through the sympathetic nervous system, leading to weight loss. Of note, most of this evidence has been obtained in animal models fed with normal diet or low-fat diet (LFD). However, its effectiveness in obese models remains elusive. Because obesity causes resistance towards many factors involved in energy homeostasis, the aim of this study has been to compare the effect of nicotine in a diet-induced obese (DIO) model, namely rats fed a high-fat diet, with rats fed a LFD. Our data show that chronic peripheral nicotine treatment reduced body weight by decreasing food intake and increasing brown adipose tissue thermogenesis in both LFD and DIO rats. This overall negative energy balance was associated to decreased activation of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase in both models. Furthermore, nicotine improved serum lipid profile, decreased insulin serum levels, as well as reduced steatosis, inflammation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in the liver of DIO rats but not in LFD rats. Overall, this evidence suggests that nicotine diminishes body weight and improves metabolic disorders linked to DIO and might offer a clear-cut strategy to develop new therapeutic approaches against obesity and its metabolic complications.
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Regulation of NucB2/Nesfatin-1 throughout rat pregnancy.
Physiol. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2014
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Nesfatin-1 is an anorexigenic neuropeptide derived by post-translational cleavage from the N-terminus region DNA binding/EF-hand/acidic amino acid rich region (NEFA)/nucleobindin2 (NucB2) protein through proteolytic prohormone convertases. This neuropeptide was originally localized in different appetite controlling areas such as the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, arcuate nucleus, supraoptic nucleus, lateral hypothalamic area, and nucleus tractus solitarius. The objective of this study was to determine the expression and the changes that occur to mRNA and protein of NucB2 and Nesfatin-1 serum levels during gestation. This study utilized molecular and immunological approaches to investigate the expression and regulation of NucB2/Nesfatin-1 protein throughout gestation in rat fed under ad libitum and food restricted conditions (30% nutrient restriction). NucB2 was immunolocalized in the amnion and decidua of the rat placenta. Nesfatin-1 serum levels were measured by radioimmunoassay on gestational days 12, 16, 19 and 21, showing a significant (p<0.01) decrease in serum levels after day 12 until the end of gestation in rats fed ad libitum. These results were correlated with the analysis of NucB2 mRNA, with a significant (p<0.01) reduction observed in both the mRNA and protein of NucB2 during the gestational days 12, 16 and 21. It was also observed that food restriction decreases Nesfatin-1 serum levels and NucB2 placental expression at day 16 of gestation when compared to pregnant rats fed ad libitum. This study illustrates for the first time through molecular and immunological approaches the NucB2 expression and regulation on rat placenta and that this peptide is regulated throughout pregnancy. Consistent with previous reports, our results provide additional evidence supporting the role of NucB2 protein as an anorexigenic peptide that may contribute to the regulation of feeding behavior and energy homeostasis. NucB2/Nesfatin-1 might play an important metabolic role during pregnancy and fetal development and its energy balance mediating role should be studied in various physiological and pathological conditions throughout gestation.
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Review of novel aspects of the regulation of ghrelin secretion.
Curr. Drug Metab.
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2014
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The role of ghrelin in regulating metabolism and energy balance has been a subject of intense focus ever since its discovery. Ghrelin regulates energy balance in the short term by induction of appetite and in the longer term by increasing body weight and adiposity. It is the only known peripheral orexigenic hormone and one of the most potent endogenous orexigenic factors discovered to date. However, whilst extensively studied, the mechanism of ghrelin secretion is not well understood. A better understanding of the pathways controlling ghrelin secretion could be useful in the development of new therapeutic approaches to appetite-related disorders. Here, we discuss current knowledge of the processes that control ghrelin secretion, focusing on neural, chemical and hormonal stimuli. In addition, we share our view on the potential of targeting ghrelin for the treatment of eating disorders such as obesity, anorexia nervosa and cachexia.
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Oleoylethanolamide enhances ?-adrenergic-mediated thermogenesis and white-to-brown adipocyte phenotype in epididymal white adipose tissue in rat.
Dis Model Mech
PUBLISHED: 10-23-2013
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?-adrenergic receptor activation promotes brown adipose tissue (BAT) ?-oxidation and thermogenesis by burning fatty acids during uncoupling respiration. Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) can inhibit feeding and stimulate lipolysis by activating the peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-? (PPAR?) in the white adipose tissue (WAT). Here we explore whether PPAR? activation potentiates the effect of ?3-adrenergic stimulation on energy balance mediated by the respective agonists OEA and CL316243. The effect of this pharmacological association was monitored on feeding, thermogenesis, ?-oxidation and lipid/cholesterol metabolism in epididymal (e)WAT. CL316243 (1 mg/kg) and OEA (5 mg/kg) co-administration over 6 days enhanced the reduction of food intake and body weight gain, increased the energy expenditure and reduced the respiratory quotient (VCO2/VO2). This negative energy balance agreed with decreased fat mass and increased BAT weight and temperature, as well as lowered plasma levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, NEFAs and the adipokines leptin and TNF-?. Regarding eWAT, CL316243 and OEA treatment elevated the thermogenic factors PPAR? and UCP1, reduced p38-MAPK phosphorylation, and promoted brown-like features in the white adipocytes, as the mitochondrial (Cox4i1, Cox4i2) and BAT (Fgf21, Prdm16) genes were over-expressed in eWAT. The enhancement of the fatty acid ?-oxidation factors Cpt1b and Acox1 in eWAT was accompanied with an up-regulation of de novo lipogenesis and a reduction of the unsaturated fatty acid synthesis enzyme Scd1. We propose that the combination of ?-adrenergic and PPAR? receptor agonists promote therapeutic adipocyte remodelling in eWAT that confer a potential clinical utility for the treatment of obesity.
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The orexigenic effect of orexin-A revisited: dependence of an intact growth hormone axis.
Endocrinology
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2013
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Fifteen years ago orexins were identified as central regulators of energy homeostasis. Since then, that concept has evolved considerably and orexins are currently considered, besides orexigenic neuropeptides, key modulators of sleep-wake cycle and neuroendocrine function. Little is known, however, about the effect of the neuroendocrine milieu on orexins effects on energy balance. We therefore investigated whether hypothalamic-pituitary axes have a role in the central orexigenic action of orexin A (OX-A) by centrally injecting hypophysectomized, adrenalectomized, gonadectomized (male and female), hypothyroid, and GH-deficient dwarf rats with OX-A. Our data showed that the orexigenic effect of OX-A is fully maintained in adrenalectomized and gonadectomized (females and males) rats, slightly reduced in hypothyroid rats, and totally abolished in hypophysectomized and dwarf rats when compared with their respective vehicle-treated controls. Of note, loss of the OX-A effect on feeding was associated with a blunted OX-A-induced increase in the expression of either neuropeptide Y or its putative regulator, the transcription factor cAMP response-element binding protein, as well as its phosphorylated form, in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus of hypophysectomized and dwarf rats. Overall, this evidence suggests that the orexigenic action of OX-A depends on an intact GH axis and that this neuroendocrine feedback loop may be of interest in the understanding of orexins action on energy balance and GH deficiency.
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Ghrelin requires p53 to stimulate lipid storage in fat and liver.
Endocrinology
PUBLISHED: 07-05-2013
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Ghrelin, a stomach-derived peptide, stimulates feeding behavior and adiposity. For its orexigenic action, ghrelin triggers a central SIRT1/p53/AMPK pathway. The tumor suppressor p53 also plays an important role in white adipose tissue (WAT), where it is up-regulated in the adipocytes of obese mice. It is not known, however, whether p53 has any role in mediating the peripheral action of ghrelin. In the present study, chronic peripheral ghrelin treatment resulted in increased body weight and fat-mass gain in wild-type mice. Correspondingly, mRNA levels of several adipogenic and fat-storage-promoting enzymes were up-regulated in WAT, whereas hepatic triglyceride content and lipogenic enzymes were also increased in wild-type mice following ghrelin treatment. In contrast, mice lacking p53 failed to respond to ghrelin treatment, with their body weight, fat mass, and adipocyte and hepatic metabolism remaining unchanged. Thus, our results show that p53 is necessary for the actions of ghrelin on WAT and liver, leading to changes in expression levels of lipogenic and adipogenic genes, and modifying body weight.
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Regulation of GPR55 in rat white adipose tissue and serum LPI by nutritional status, gestation, gender and pituitary factors.
Mol. Cell. Endocrinol.
PUBLISHED: 06-13-2013
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The G protein-coupled receptor GPR55 has been proposed as a new cannabinoid receptor associated with obesity in humans. We have investigated the regulation of GPR55 in rat white adipose tissue (WAT) in different physiological and pathophysiological settings involved in energy balance. We compared GPR55 expression with Cannabinoid Receptor type 1 (CB1), which mediates the metabolic actions of endocannabinoids, by real time PCR and western blotting. Circulating levels of lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI), the endogenous ligand of GPR55, were measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Both WAT CB1 and GPR55 levels were increased after fasting and recovered after leptin treatment. Their expression was decreased during gestation and increased throughout lifespan. Orchidectomy diminished WAT CB1 and GPR55 expression whereas ovariectomized rats showed increased GPR55 but decreased CB1 levels. Alterations in pituitary functions also modified WAT CB1 and GPR55 levels. Serum LPI levels were inversely regulated by fasting and gonadectomy in comparison to WAT GPR55. Our findings indicate that GPR55 and LPI are regulated by different physiological and pathophysiological settings known to be associated with marked alterations in energy status.
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Chronic sympathoexcitation through loss of Vav3, a Rac1 activator, results in divergent effects on metabolic syndrome and obesity depending on diet.
Cell Metab.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2013
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The role of the sympathetic nervous system, stress, and hypertension in metabolic syndrome and obesity remains unclear. To clarify this issue, we utilized genetically engineered mice showing chronic sympathoexcitation and hypertension due to lack of Vav3, a Rac1 activator. Here, we report that these animals develop metabolic syndrome under chow diet. However, they show protection from metabolic syndrome and obesity under fatty diets. These effects are elicited by ?1-adrenergic- and diet-dependent metabolic changes in liver and the ?1/?3 adrenergic-mediated stimulation of brown adipocyte thermogenesis. These responses seem to be engaged by the local action of noradrenaline in target tissues rather than by long-range effects of adrenaline. By contrast, they are not triggered by low parasympathetic drive or the hypertensive state present in Vav3-deficient mice. These results indicate that the sympathetic system plays divergent roles in the etiology of metabolic diseases depending on food regimen, sympathoexcitation source, and disease stage.
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Central manipulation of dopamine receptors attenuates the orexigenic action of ghrelin.
Psychopharmacology (Berl.)
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2013
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Recent evidence suggests that ghrelin, a peptidic hormone stimulating food intake, interacts with the dopamine signaling. This interaction has been demonstrated to modulate several effects of ghrelin, such as locomotor activity, memory, and food intake. Ghrelin increases dopamine levels in the shell of the nucleus accumbens stimulating food intake, while ablation of the ghrelin receptor attenuates the hypophagia caused by the activation of dopamine receptor 2. However, it is not known whether the orexigenic action of ghrelin is due to changes in central dopamine receptors.
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Mitofusin 2 in POMC neurons connects ER stress with leptin resistance and energy imbalance.
Cell
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2013
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Mitofusin 2 (MFN2) plays critical roles in both mitochondrial fusion and the establishment of mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) interactions. Hypothalamic ER stress has emerged as a causative factor for the development of leptin resistance, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we show that mitochondria-ER contacts in anorexigenic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the hypothalamus are decreased in diet-induced obesity. POMC-specific ablation of Mfn2 resulted in loss of mitochondria-ER contacts, defective POMC processing, ER stress-induced leptin resistance, hyperphagia, reduced energy expenditure, and obesity. Pharmacological relieve of hypothalamic ER stress reversed these metabolic alterations. Our data establish MFN2 in POMC neurons as an essential regulator of systemic energy balance by fine-tuning the mitochondrial-ER axis homeostasis and function. This previously unrecognized role for MFN2 argues for a crucial involvement in mediating ER stress-induced leptin resistance.
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Energy balance regulation by thyroid hormones at central level.
Trends Mol Med
PUBLISHED: 02-15-2013
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Classically, medical textbooks taught that most effects of thyroid hormones (THs) on energy homeostasis are directly exerted in peripheral tissues. However, current evidence is changing (and challenging) our perspective about the role of THs from a peripheral to a central vision, implying that they affect food intake, energy expenditure, and metabolism by acting, to a large extent, at the central level. Interestingly, effects of THs are interrelated with global energy sensors in the central nervous system (CNS), such as uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK; the AMPK-BAT axis), and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). Here, we review what is currently known about THs and their regulation of energy balance and metabolism in both peripheral and central tissues.
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Hypothalamic ?-opioid receptor modulates the orexigenic effect of ghrelin.
Neuropsychopharmacology
PUBLISHED: 01-24-2013
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The opioid system is well recognized as an important regulator of appetite and energy balance. We now hypothesized that the hypothalamic opioid system might modulate the orexigenic effect of ghrelin. Using pharmacological and gene silencing approaches, we demonstrate that ghrelin utilizes a hypothalamic ?-opioid receptor (KOR) pathway to increase food intake in rats. Pharmacological blockade of KOR decreases the acute orexigenic effect of ghrelin. Inhibition of KOR expression in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus is sufficient to blunt ghrelin-induced food intake. By contrast, the specific inhibition of KOR expression in the ventral tegmental area does not affect central ghrelin-induced feeding. This new pathway is independent of ghrelin-induced AMP-activated protein kinase activation, but modulates the levels of the transcription factors and orexigenic neuropeptides triggered by ghrelin to finally stimulate feeding. Our novel data implicate hypothalamic KOR signaling in the orexigenic action of ghrelin.
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Heterozygous deficiency of endoglin decreases insulin and hepatic triglyceride levels during high fat diet.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2013
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Endoglin is a transmembrane auxiliary receptor for transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) that is predominantly expressed on proliferating endothelial cells. It plays a wide range of physiological roles but its importance on energy balance or insulin sensitivity has been unexplored. Endoglin deficient mice die during midgestation due to cardiovascular defects. Here we report for first time that heterozygous endoglin deficiency in mice decreases high fat diet-induced hepatic triglyceride content and insulin levels. Importantly, these effects are independent of changes in body weight or adiposity. At molecular level, we failed to detect relevant changes in the insulin signalling pathway at basal levels in liver, muscle or adipose tissues that could explain the insulin-dependent effect. However, we found decreased triglyceride content in the liver of endoglin heterozygous mice fed a high fat diet in comparison to their wild type littermates. Overall, our findings indicate that endoglin is a potentially important physiological mediator of insulin levels and hepatic lipid metabolism.
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Female Nur77-deficient mice show increased susceptibility to diet-induced obesity.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2013
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Adipose tissue is essential in the regulation of body weight. The key process in fat catabolism and the provision of energy substrate during times of nutrient deprivation or enhanced energy demand is the hydrolysis of triglycerides and the release of fatty acids and glycerol. Nur77 is a member of the NR4A subfamily of nuclear receptors that plays an important metabolic role, modulating hepatic glucose metabolism and lipolysis in muscle. However, its endogenous role on white adipose tissue, as well as the gender dependency of these mechanisms, remains largely unknown. Male and female wild type and Nur77 deficient mice were fed with a high fat diet (45% calories from fat) for 4 months. Mice were analyzed in vivo with the indirect calorimetry system, and tissues were analyzed by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. Female, but not male Nur77 deficient mice, gained more weight and fat mass when compared to wild type mice fed with high fat diet, which can be explained by decreased energy expenditure. The lack of Nur77 also led to a decreased pHSL/HSL ratio in white adipose tissue and increased expression of CIDEA in brown adipose tissue of female Nur77 deficient mice. Overall, these findings suggest that Nur77 is an important physiological modulator of lipid metabolism in adipose tissue and that there are gender differences in the sensitivity to deletion of the Nur77 signaling. The decreased energy expenditure and the actions of Nur77 on liver, muscle, brown and white adipose tissue contribute to the increased susceptibility to diet-induced obesity in females lacking Nur77.
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Serum chemerin levels during normal human pregnancy.
Peptides
PUBLISHED: 01-02-2013
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During gestation there are important changes in maternal metabolism and an increase in insulin resistance, coinciding with an increase in adiposity. Chemerin is an adipocytokine which is expressed and secreted in various tissues, including placenta, and may play an important role in metabolic regulation during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to determine serum levels of chemerin during gestation and compare them to other indicators of insulin resistance. A cross-sectional study was carried out analyzing serum chemerin levels of 20 pregnant women during three gestational periods, early, middle, and late (between the 10th and 14th, the 23rd and 26th, and the 34th and 37th week) and 20 non-pregnant women were used as a control group. An analysis of chemerin levels during the menstrual cycle was performed in an eumenorrheic group (n=16) in the early follicular (cycle day 4±1) and the midluteal phase (cycle day 22±1), demonstrating that serum chemerin levels did not fluctuate significantly. Serum levels of chemerin were significantly elevated during late gestation when compared to early (P<0.001) and middle (P=0.001) gestation and a negative correlation between serum chemerin and adiponectin levels (r=-0.1643) became more significant when the non-pregnant group was included in the calculations (r=-0.2471). There was no significant association of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, insulin, and HOMA levels with chemerin. Although chemerin rose significantly and is negatively associated with adiponectin levels, it is not correlated with other markers of insulin sensitivity, suggesting that more study is needed to determine whether chemerin is useful in predicting insulin resistance during gestation.
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The L-?-lysophosphatidylinositol/GPR55 system and its potential role in human obesity.
Diabetes
PUBLISHED: 12-16-2011
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GPR55 is a putative cannabinoid receptor, and l-?-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) is its only known endogenous ligand. We investigated 1) whether GPR55 is expressed in fat and liver; 2) the correlation of both GPR55 and LPI with several metabolic parameters; and 3) the actions of LPI on human adipocytes. We analyzed CB1, CB2, and GPR55 gene expression and circulating LPI levels in two independent cohorts of obese and lean subjects, with both normal or impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes. Ex vivo experiments were used to measure intracellular calcium and lipid accumulation. GPR55 levels were augmented in the adipose tissue of obese subjects and further so in obese patients with type 2 diabetes when compared with nonobese subjects. Visceral adipose tissue GPR55 correlated positively with weight, BMI, and percent fat mass, particularly in women. Hepatic GPR55 gene expression was similar in obese and type 2 diabetic subjects. Circulating LPI levels were increased in obese patients and correlated with fat percentage and BMI in women. LPI increased the expression of lipogenic genes in visceral adipose tissue explants and intracellular calcium in differentiated visceral adipocytes. These findings indicate that the LPI/GPR55 system is positively associated with obesity in humans.
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The SHP-1 protein tyrosine phosphatase negatively modulates Akt signaling in the ghrelin/GHSR1a system.
Mol. Biol. Cell
PUBLISHED: 09-07-2011
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The aim of the present study was to identify the signaling mechanism(s) responsible for the modulation of growth hormone secretagogue receptor type 1a (GHSR1a)-associated Akt activity. Ghrelin leads to the activation of Akt through the interplay of distinct signaling mechanisms: an early G(i/o) protein-dependent pathway and a late pathway mediated by ?-arrestins. We found that the Src homology 2-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP-1) was an essential molecule in both G(i/o) protein-dependent and ?-arrestin-mediated pathways. More specifically, the role of SHP-1 in the G(i/o) protein-dependent pathway was demonstrated by the fact that the overexpression of a catalytically defective SHP-1 augments tyrosine phosphorylation of the PI3K regulatory subunit p85, leading to an increase in the phosphorylation of cSrc and phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1, and finally activating Akt. The presence of SHP-1 in the ?-arrestin-scaffolded complex and its attenuating effect on the cSrc and Akt activities verified that SHP-1 regulates not only the G(i/o) protein-dependent pathway but also the ?-arrestin-mediated pathway. Assays performed in preadipocyte and adipocyte 3T3-L1 cells showed SHP-1 expression. According to our results in HEK-GHSR1a cells, ghrelin stimulated SHP-1 phosphorylation in 3T3-L1 cells. The increase in ghrelin-induced Akt activity was enhanced by small interfering RNA of SHP-1 in preadipocyte 3T3-L1 cells. These results were reproduced in white adipose tissue obtained from mice, in which SHP-1 exhibited higher expression in omental than in subcutaneous tissue. Furthermore, this pattern of expression was inverted in mice fed a high-fat diet, suggesting a role for SHP-1 in controlling ghrelin sensitivity in adipose tissue. Indeed, SHP-1 deficiency was associated with augmented ghrelin-evoked Akt phosphorylation in omental tissue, as well as decreased phosphorylation under overexpression of SHP-1 in subcutaneous tissue. These findings showed a novel role for SHP-1 in the regulation of Akt activity through the modulation of the ghrelin/GHSR1a system signaling.
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A role for the putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 in the islets of Langerhans.
J. Endocrinol.
PUBLISHED: 09-01-2011
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The cannabinoid CB1 receptor is a well-known player in energy homeostasis and its specific antagonism has been used in clinical practice for the treatment of obesity. The G protein-coupled receptor GPR55 has been recently proposed as a new cannabinoid receptor and, by contrast, its pharmacology is still enigmatic and its physiological role is largely unexplored, with no reports investigating its putative role in metabolism. Thus, we aim to investigate in rats the presence, distribution and putative physiological role of GPR55 in a key metabolic tissue, the endocrine pancreas. We found high Gpr55 mRNA content in pancreatic islets and considerable protein distribution in insulin-secreting ?-cells. Activation of GPR55 by the agonist O-1602 increased calcium transients (P<0.01) and insulin secretion (P<0.001) stimulated by glucose. This latter effect was blunted in Gpr55 KO mice suggesting that O-1602 is acting, at least in part, through GPR55. Indeed, acute in vivo experiments showed that GPR55 activation increases glucose tolerance (P<0.05) and plasma insulin levels (P<0.05), suggesting an in vivo physiological relevance of GPR55 systemic stimulation. Taken together, these results reveal the expression of GPR55 receptors in the endocrine pancreas as well as its function at stimulus-secretion coupling of insulin secretion, suggesting a role in glucose homeostasis. In this context, it may also represent a new target for consideration in the management of type 2 diabetes and related diseases.
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The HPA axis modulates the CNS melanocortin control of liver triacylglyceride metabolism.
Physiol. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 06-30-2011
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The central melanocortin system regulates lipid metabolism in peripheral tissues such as white adipose tissue. Alterations in the activity of sympathetic nerves connecting hypothalamic cells expressing melanocortin 3/4 receptors (MC3/4R) with white adipocytes have been shown to partly mediate these effects. Interestingly, hypothalamic neurons producing corticotropin-releasing hormone and thyrotropin-releasing hormone co-express MC4R. Therefore we hypothesized that regulation of hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamo-pituitary thyroid (HPT) axes activity by the central melanocortin system could contribute to its control of peripheral lipid metabolism. To test this hypothesis, we chronically infused rats intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) either with an MC3/4R antagonist (SHU9119), an MC3/4R agonist (MTII) or saline. Rats had been previously adrenalectomized (ADX) and supplemented daily with 1mg/kg corticosterone (s.c.), thyroidectomized (TDX) and supplemented daily with 10 ?g/kgL-thyroxin (s.c.), or sham operated (SO). Blockade of MC3/4R signaling with SHU9119 increased food intake and body mass, irrespective of gland surgery. The increase in body mass was accompanied by higher epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT) weight and higher mRNA content of lipogenic enzymes in eWAT. SHU9119 infusion increased triglyceride content in the liver of SO and TDX rats, but not in those of ADX rats. Concomitantly, mRNA expression of lipogenic enzymes in liver was increased in SO and TDX, but not in ADX rats. We conclude that the HPA and HPT axes do not play an essential role in mediating central melanocortinergic effects on white adipose tissue and liver lipid metabolism. However, while basal hepatic lipid metabolism does not depend on a functional HPA axis, the induction of hepatic lipogenesis due to central melanocortin system blockade does require a functional HPA axis.
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Leptin and fasting regulate rat gastric glucose-regulated protein 58.
Int J Pept
PUBLISHED: 06-23-2011
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The stomach secretes a wide range of peptides with essential metabolic functions, and thereby plays an important role in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Disulfide isomerase glucose-regulated protein 58 (GRp58) is a molecular chaperone member of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signaling pathway, which is a marker for human gastric cancer. Since GRp58 seems to be regulated by a phosphorylation/dephosphorylation pattern shift, we used the 2DE gel methodology and peptide mass fingerprinting-protein identification by means of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. We show that gastric mucosa GRp58 is dephosphorylated by fasting, and this effect is blunted when fasted rats are treated with leptin. Furthermore, we assessed the gene expression of GRp58 under different physiological settings known to be associated with energy homeostasis (fasting, leptin treatment and leptin deficiency). We found that intraperitoneal administration of leptin increases whereas leptin deficiency decreases GRp58 mRNA levels. However, GRp58 expression remains unchanged after fasting, indicating that leptin actions on GRp58 are no direct sensitivity to fasting. Dissection of the molecular pathways mediating the interactions between ER stress-related factors and nutrient availability, as well as their target genes, may open a new avenue for the study of obesity and other metabolic disorders.
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Preproghrelin expression is a key target for insulin action on adipogenesis.
J. Endocrinol.
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2011
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This study aimed to investigate the role of preproghrelin-derived peptides in adipogenesis. Immunocytochemical analysis of 3T3-L1 adipocyte cells showed stronger preproghrelin expression compared with that observed in 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cells. Insulin promoted this expression throughout adipogenesis identifying mTORC1 as a critical downstream substrate for this profile. The role of preproghrelin-derived peptides on the differentiation process was supported by preproghrelin knockdown experiments, which revealed its contribution to adipogenesis. Neutralization of endogenous O-acyl ghrelin (acylated ghrelin), unacylated ghrelin, and obestatin by specific antibodies supported their adipogenic potential. Furthermore, a parallel increase in the expression of ghrelin-associated enzymatic machinery, prohormone convertase 1/3 (PC1/3) and membrane-bound O-acyltransferase 4 (MBOAT4), was dependent on the expression of preproghrelin in the course of insulin-induced adipogenesis. The coexpression of preproghrelin system and their receptors, GHSR1a and GPR39, during adipogenesis supports an autocrine/paracrine role for these peptides. Preproghrelin, PC1/3, and MBOAT4 exhibited dissimilar expression depending on the white fat depot, revealing their regulation in a positive energy balance situation in mice. The results underscore a key role for preproghrelin-derived peptides on adipogenesis through an autocrine/paracrine mechanism.
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Ghrelin, peptide YY and their hypothalamic targets differentially regulate spontaneous physical activity.
Physiol. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 04-15-2011
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Recent studies suggest that spontaneous physical activity (SPA) may be under the non-conscious control of neuroendocrine circuits that are known to control food intake. To further elucidate endocrine gut-brain communication as a component of such circuitry, we here analyzed long-term and acute effects of the gastrointestinal hormones ghrelin and PYY 3-36 as well as their hypothalamic neuropeptide targets NPY, AgRP and POMC (alpha-MSH), on locomotor activity and home cage behaviors in rats. For the analysis of SPA, we used an automated infrared beam break activity measuring system, combined with a novel automated video-based behavior analysis system (HomeCageScan (HCS)). Chronic (one-month) peripheral infusion of ghrelin potently increased body weight and fat mass in rats. Such positive energy balance was intriguingly not due to an overall increased caloric ingestion, but was predominantly associated with a decrease in SPA. Chronic intracerebroventricular infusion (7 days) of ghrelin corroborated the decrease in SPA and suggested a centrally mediated mechanism. Central administration of AgRP and NPY increased food intake as expected. AgRP administration led to a delayed decrease in SPA, while NPY acutely (but transiently) increased SPA. Behavioral dissection using HCS corroborated the observed acute and transient increases of food intake and SPA by central NPY infusion. Acute central administration of alpha-MSH rapidly decreased food intake but did not change SPA. Central administration of the NPY receptor agonist PYY 3-36 transiently increased SPA. Our data suggest that the control of spontaneous physical activity by gut hormones or their neuropeptide targets may represent an important mechanistic component of energy balance regulation.
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Hypothalamic control of lipid metabolism: focus on leptin, ghrelin and melanocortins.
Neuroendocrinology
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2011
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The hypothalamus plays a crucial role in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. One of the main regulatory factors within the hypothalamus is AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is involved in a large number of biological actions including the modulation of energy balance. Leptin and ghrelin-induced changes in hypothalamic AMPK lead to important alterations in hypothalamic fatty acid metabolism. Furthermore, it is well known that the hypothalamus controls peripheral lipid metabolism through the sympathetic nervous system, and those actions are independent of food intake. In this short review, we highlight the main molecular pathways triggered by leptin and ghrelin altering both central and peripheral lipid metabolism and, therefore, controlling feeding behavior and energy expenditure.
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The central Sirtuin 1/p53 pathway is essential for the orexigenic action of ghrelin.
Diabetes
PUBLISHED: 03-08-2011
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Ghrelin is a stomach-derived peptide that increases food intake through the activation of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). However, the molecular mechanisms initiated by the activation of the ghrelin receptor, which in turn lead to AMPK activation, remain unclear. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is a deacetylase activated in response to calorie restriction that acts through the tumor suppressor gene p53. We tested the hypothesis that the central SIRT1/p53 pathway might be mediating the orexigenic action of ghrelin.
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Olanzapine-induced hyperphagia and weight gain associate with orexigenic hypothalamic neuropeptide signaling without concomitant AMPK phosphorylation.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-25-2011
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The success of antipsychotic drug treatment in patients with schizophrenia is limited by the propensity of these drugs to induce hyperphagia, weight gain and other metabolic disturbances, particularly evident for olanzapine and clozapine. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in antipsychotic-induced hyperphagia remain unclear. Here, we investigate the effect of olanzapine administration on the regulation of hypothalamic mechanisms controlling food intake, namely neuropeptide expression and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation in rats. Our results show that subchronic exposure to olanzapine upregulates neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti related protein (AgRP) and downregulates proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC). This effect was evident both in rats fed ad libitum and in pair-fed rats. Of note, despite weight gain and increased expression of orexigenic neuropeptides, subchronic administration of olanzapine decreased AMPK phosphorylation levels. This reduction in AMPK was not observed after acute administration of either olanzapine or clozapine. Overall, our data suggest that olanzapine-induced hyperphagia is mediated through appropriate changes in hypothalamic neuropeptides, and that this effect does not require concomitant AMPK activation. Our data shed new light on the hypothalamic mechanism underlying antipsychotic-induced hyperphagia and weight gain, and provide the basis for alternative targets to control energy balance.
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Regulation of lipin1 by nutritional status, adiponectin, sex and pituitary function in rat white adipose tissue.
Physiol. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 02-07-2011
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Lipin1 is a member of the lipin protein family that plays an important role in the regulation of lipid metabolism. The endogenous role of lipin1 was demonstrated by the fact that mutations in lipin1 caused lipodystrophy and metabolic disorders. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of nutritional status, pregnancy, insulin-sensitizers and pituitary hormones on lipin1 mRNA levels in adipose tissue of rats. Lipin1 gene expression was induced in conditions of hypoleptinemia (fasting) and leptin resistance (high fat diet), whereas it was decreased by high circulating leptin levels (leptin administration, pregnancy) and in leptin-deficient mice. Lipin1 mRNA levels were also decreased in adiponectin-deficient mice. Lipin1 mRNA levels are influenced by age in female rats, with peak expression at 25th day of life and decreasing thereafter. Consistently, ovariectomy increased lipin1 expression indicating that estrogens modulate lipin1. Finally, lipin1 was also regulated by pituitary hormones, since its expression was modified by thyroid status and growth hormone deficiency. Our observations indicate that: a) gWAT lipin1 mRNA levels are regulated by nutritional status, and leptin plays an important role in this regard, b) lipin1 is modulated by adiponectin, c) lipin1 is influenced by age and sex, and d) alterations in pituitary function modify lipin1 mRNA levels. To dissect the complicated interactions between key regulators of lipid metabolism like lipin1, may be important for the development of new therapies for the treatment and prevention of obesity and its associated disorders.
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Ghrelin and lipid metabolism: key partners in energy balance.
J. Mol. Endocrinol.
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2011
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Ghrelin, the endogenous ligand of the GH secretagogue receptor, has a pleiotropic role in the modulation of energy balance. Recent evidence has demonstrated that besides its orexigenic role, ghrelin regulates central and peripheral lipid metabolism through specific control of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a critical metabolic gauge regulating both cellular and whole-body energy homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the new milestones of ghrelins actions on energy balance, with particular focus on its molecular interaction with hypothalamic AMPK and fatty acid metabolism. Understanding this new metabolic pathway can provide new therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
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Central GLP-1 actions on energy metabolism.
Vitam. Horm.
PUBLISHED: 11-25-2010
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Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is secreted mainly by the intestine in a nutrient-dependent manner and stimulates glucose-induced insulin secretion, inhibits gastric emptying, food intake, and glucagon secretion. All these beneficial effects make GLP-1 as a promising, and currently in the market, drug candidate for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. More recently, it has been also demonstrated that within the central nervous system, GLP-1 also exerts important metabolic actions inhibiting food intake, increasing insulin secretion, and modulating behavioral responses. In this review, we will focus on the metabolic actions and mechanisms of the central GLP-1 system: modulation of energy intake, glucose metabolism, and fatty acid metabolism.
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Ghrelin: new molecular pathways modulating appetite and adiposity.
Obes Facts
PUBLISHED: 10-04-2010
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Ghrelin is a unique endogenous peptidic hormone regulating both hunger and adiposity. Many of the actions of ghrelin are modulated specifically by the central nervous system. A number of molecular events triggered via the activation of the ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1a), leading to increased levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agoutirelated peptide (AgRP) and ultimately responsible for the orexigenic effect of ghrelin have been characterized. Moreover, the discovery of ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT), the enzyme responsible for the octanoylation of ghrelin, provides a mechanism allowing specific targeting of the ghrelin/GHS-R1a system without affecting the role of des-acyl-ghrelin in other pathways involved in the regulation of energy balance. This review aims to summarize novel roles of ghrelin in energy balance, focusing particularly on both the newly identified neuronal pathways mediating the effects of ghrelin and on peripheral mechanisms leading to increased adiposity.
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New insights in ghrelin orexigenic effect.
Front Horm Res
PUBLISHED: 07-05-2010
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Ghrelin, a peptide hormone first discovered as the endogenous ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), is predominantly produced and released into the circulation by ghrelin cells (X/A-like) of the stomach fundus cells. Ghrelin has multiple actions in multiple tissues. In particular, it is the most potent known endogenous orexigenic peptide, and plays a significant role in glucose homeostasis: deletion of the genes encoding ghrelin and/or its receptor prevents high-fat diet from inducing obesity, increases insulin levels, enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and improves peripheral insulin sensitivity. In addition to its already mentioned roles, ghrelin has other activities including stimulation of pituitary hormones secretion, regulation of gastric and pancreatic activity, modulation of fatty acid metabolism via specific control of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and cardiovascular and hemodynamic activities. In addition, modulation of cartilage and bone homeostasis, sleep and behavioral influences, and modulation of the immune system, as well as effects on cell proliferation, are other relevant actions of ghrelin. In this review, we summarize several aspects of ghrelin effects at hypothalamic level and their implications in the control of food intake and energy balance.
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Hypothalamic AMPK and fatty acid metabolism mediate thyroid regulation of energy balance.
Nat. Med.
PUBLISHED: 06-11-2010
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Thyroid hormones have widespread cellular effects; however it is unclear whether their effects on the central nervous system (CNS) contribute to global energy balance. Here we demonstrate that either whole-body hyperthyroidism or central administration of triiodothyronine (T3) decreases the activity of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), increases sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity and upregulates thermogenic markers in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Inhibition of the lipogenic pathway in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) prevents CNS-mediated activation of BAT by thyroid hormone and reverses the weight loss associated with hyperthyroidism. Similarly, inhibition of thyroid hormone receptors in the VMH reverses the weight loss associated with hyperthyroidism. This regulatory mechanism depends on AMPK inactivation, as genetic inhibition of this enzyme in the VMH of euthyroid rats induces feeding-independent weight loss and increases expression of thermogenic markers in BAT. These effects are reversed by pharmacological blockade of the SNS. Thus, thyroid hormone-induced modulation of AMPK activity and lipid metabolism in the hypothalamus is a major regulator of whole-body energy homeostasis.
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CNS leptin action modulates immune response and survival in sepsis.
J. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 04-30-2010
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Sepsis describes a complex clinical syndrome that results from an infection, setting off a cascade of systemic inflammatory responses that can lead to multiple organ failure and death. Leptin is a 16 kDa adipokine that, among its multiple known effects, is involved in regulating immune function. Here we demonstrate that leptin deficiency in ob/ob mice leads to higher mortality and more severe organ damage in a standard model of sepsis in mice [cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)]. Moreover, systemic leptin replacement improved the immune response to CLP. Based on the molecular mechanisms of leptin regulation of energy metabolism and reproductive function, we hypothesized that leptin acts in the CNS to efficiently coordinate peripheral immune defense in sepsis. We now report that leptin signaling in the brain increases survival during sepsis in leptin-deficient as well as in wild-type mice and that endogenous CNS leptin action is required for an adequate systemic immune response. These findings reveal the existence of a relevant neuroendocrine control of systemic immune defense and suggest a possible therapeutic potential for leptin analogs in infectious disease.
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GOAT: the master switch for the ghrelin system?
Eur. J. Endocrinol.
PUBLISHED: 04-26-2010
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The ghrelin-ghrelin receptor system is one of the most important mechanisms regulating energy balance and metabolism. Among other actions, central and peripheral administration of ghrelin increases food intake and adiposity. During the last years, many efforts have been made in the investigation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms modulating the effects of ghrelin. One particularity of this peptide hormone is its acylation at serine-3 with an eight-carbon fatty acid (octanoate), which confers its biological activity. Recent reports have demonstrated that the ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) is the enzyme that catalyzes ghrelin octanoylation. Therefore, all questions concerning the posttranslational acylation of ghrelin are of great interest for the complete understanding of this system. In this review, we summarize the discovery and characterization of GOAT, and remark the importance of GOAT as a novel and potential target that regulates the biological actions of ghrelin, revealing several therapeutical possibilities for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome.
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PKCzeta-regulated inflammation in the nonhematopoietic compartment is critical for obesity-induced glucose intolerance.
Cell Metab.
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2010
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Obesity-induced inflammation is critical for the development of insulin resistance. Here, we show that genetic inactivation of PKCzeta in vivo leads to a hyperinflammatory state in obese mice that correlates with a higher glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Previous studies implicated PKCzeta in the regulation of type 2 inflammatory responses in T cells. By using ex vivo and in vivo experiments, we demonstrate that although PKCzeta is involved in the alternative (M2) activation of macrophages, surprisingly, PKCzeta ablation in the nonhematopoietic compartment but not in the hematopoietic system is sufficient to drive inflammation and IL-6 synthesis in the adipose tissue, as well as insulin resistance. Experiments using PKCzeta/IL-6 double-knockout mice demonstrated that IL-6 production accounts for obesity-associated glucose intolerance induced by PKCzeta deficiency. These results establish PKCzeta as a critical negative regulator of IL-6 in the control of obesity-induced inflammation in adipocytes.
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Action profile of the antiobesity drug candidate oleoyl-estrone in rats.
Obesity (Silver Spring)
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2010
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Oleoyl-estrone (OE) has been presented as a potential antiobesity therapeutic, but the published series of studies from one laboratory has not yet been independently confirmed, and the exact mechanism of action is unknown. Based on the hypothesis that OE has potential for the treatment of obesity, male and female rats were chronically treated with several doses of OE to evaluate the impact of this compound on energy metabolism. Body weight, body composition, energy balance parameters and the expression of hypothalamic neuropeptides regulating food intake as well as key markers of the reproductive system were examined. OE impressively reduced food consumption and body weight gain in both sexes. Although a major part of the loss in body weight could be explained by decreased fat mass, a substantial loss of lean mass also occurred after OE administration. The loss of weight can be sufficiently explained by the suppression of food consumption, as there were no major changes in energy expenditure, locomotor activity or respiratory quotient. In situ hybridization data showed no significant change in the expression of key neuropeptides and hormone receptors regulating feeding behavior after OE treatment. Cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) mRNA levels were decreased in the arcuate nucleus of OE-treated rats. Hypogonadism and low plasma testosterone levels were found in OE-treated males, whereas females showed substantially increased liver size. The present data suggest that OE decreases food intake and body weight but also appears to cause a significant impact on the hypothalamus-pituitary-reproductive axis.
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Ghrelin effects on neuropeptides in the rat hypothalamus depend on fatty acid metabolism actions on BSX but not on gender.
FASEB J.
PUBLISHED: 03-24-2010
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The orexigenic effect of ghrelin is mediated by neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). Recent evidence also indicates that ghrelin promotes feeding through a mechanism involving activation of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and inactivation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase (FAS). This results in decreased hypothalamic levels of malonyl-CoA, increased carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) activity, and mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species. We evaluated whether these molecular events are part of a unique signaling cascade or whether they represent alternative pathways mediating the orexigenic effect of ghrelin. Moreover, we examined the gender dependency of these mechanisms, because recent evidence has proposed that ghrelin orexigenic effect is reduced in female rats. We studied in both genders the effect of ghrelin on the expression of AgRP and NPY, as well as their transcription factors: cAMP response-element binding protein (CREB and its phosphorylated form, pCREB), forkhead box O1 (FoxO1 and its phosphorylated form, pFoxO1), and brain-specific homeobox transcription factor (BSX). In addition, to establish a mechanistic link between ghrelin, fatty acid metabolism, and neuropeptides, we evaluated the effect of ghrelin after blockage of hypothalamic fatty acid beta oxidation, by using the CPT1 inhibitor etomoxir. Ghrelin-induced changes in the AMPK-CPT1 pathway are associated with increased levels of AgRP and NPY mRNA expression through modulation of BSX, pCREB, and FoxO1, as well as decreased expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers in a gender-independent manner. In addition, blockage of hypothalamic fatty acid beta oxidation prevents the ghrelin-promoting action on AgRP and NPY mRNA expression, also in a gender-independent manner. Notably, this effect is associated with decreased BSX expression and reduced food intake. Overall, our data suggest that BSX integrates changes in neuronal metabolic status with ARC-derived neuropeptides in a gender-independent manner.
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Melanocortin signaling in the CNS directly regulates circulating cholesterol.
Nat. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 02-22-2010
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Cholesterol circulates in the blood in association with triglycerides and other lipids, and elevated blood low-density lipoprotein cholesterol carries a risk for metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, whereas high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the blood is thought to be beneficial. Circulating cholesterol is the balance among dietary cholesterol absorption, hepatic synthesis and secretion, and the metabolism of lipoproteins by various tissues. We found that the CNS is also an important regulator of cholesterol in rodents. Inhibiting the brains melanocortin system by pharmacological, genetic or endocrine mechanisms increased circulating HDL cholesterol by reducing its uptake by the liver independent of food intake or body weight. Our data suggest that a neural circuit in the brain is directly involved in the control of cholesterol metabolism by the liver.
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A functional role for the p62-ERK1 axis in the control of energy homeostasis and adipogenesis.
EMBO Rep.
PUBLISHED: 01-04-2010
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In vivo genetic inactivation of the signalling adapter p62 leads to mature-onset obesity and insulin resistance, which correlate with reduced energy expenditure (EE) and increased adipogenesis, without alterations in feeding or locomotor functions. Enhanced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity in adipose tissue from p62-knockout (p62(-/-)) mice, and differentiating fibroblasts, suggested an important role for this kinase in the metabolic alterations of p62(-/-) mice. Here, we show that genetic inactivation of ERK1 in p62(-/-) mice reverses their increased adiposity and adipogenesis, lower EE and insulin resistance. These results establish genetically that p62 is a crucial regulator of ERK1 in metabolism.
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Resistin: regulation of food intake, glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism.
Endocr Dev
PUBLISHED: 11-24-2009
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Resistin has been identified as a hormone secreted by adipocytes that is under hormonal and nutritional control. This hormone has been suggested to be the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. In rodents, resistin is mainly located and secreted from adipocytes, even though its expression was also found in several other tissues. However, in humans resistin is expressed primarily by macrophages and seems to be involved in the recruitment of other immune cells and the secretion of pro-inflammatory factors, although its role in insulin resistance cannot be ruled out. In addition to its role in glucose metabolism, resistin has been also involved in the control of hypothalamic and peripheral lipid metabolism and in the regulation of food intake. In this short review, we will summarize the most relevant findings of this hormone in rodents.
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kappa-Opioid receptors control the metabolic response to a high-energy diet in mice.
FASEB J.
PUBLISHED: 11-16-2009
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General opioid receptor antagonists reduce food intake and body weight in rodents, but the contributions of specific receptor subtypes are unknown. We examined whether genetic deletion of the kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) in mice alters metabolic physiology. KOR-knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were fed a high-energy diet (HED) for 16 wk. KO mice had 28% lower body weight and 45% lower fat mass when compared to WT mice fed an HED. No differences in caloric intake were found. An HED reduced energy expenditure in WT mice, but not in KO mice. KOR deficiency led to an attenuation of triglyceride synthesis in the liver. Malonyl CoA levels were also reduced in response to an HED, thereby promoting hepatic beta-oxidation. Glycemic control was also found to be improved in KO mice. These data suggest a key role for KORs in the central nervous system regulation of the metabolic adaptation to an HED, as we were unable to detect expression of KOR in liver, white adipose tissue, or skeletal muscle in WT mice. This study provides the first evidence that KORs play an essential physiological role in the control of hepatic lipid metabolism, and KOR activation is a permissive signal toward fat storage.-Czyzyk, T. A., Nogueiras, R., Lockwood, J. F., McKinzie, J. H., Coskun, T., Pintar, J. E., Hammond, C., Tschöp, M. H., Statnick, M. A. kappa-Opioid receptors control the metabolic response to a high-energy diet in mice.
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Central nervous system melanocortin-3 receptors are required for synchronizing metabolism during entrainment to restricted feeding during the light cycle.
FASEB J.
PUBLISHED: 10-16-2009
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Melanocortin-3 receptors (Mc3rs) in the central nervous system are involved in expression of anticipatory rhythms and synchronizing clocks maintaining circadian rhythms during restricted feeding (RF) [mice housed under a 12-h light-dark cycle with lights on between zeitgeber time (ZT) 0 to ZT12 fed 60% of normal calories between ZT7 and ZT11]. Because the systems governing circadian rhythms are important for adaptation to RF, we investigated whether Mc3rs are required for metabolic adaption to RF. Mc3r(-/-) mice subjected to RF exhibited normal weight loss; however, they developed hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, increased expression of lipogenic genes, and increased ketogenesis relative to controls. Rhythmic expression of transcription factors regulating liver clock activity and energy metabolism (Bmal1, Rev-erbalpha, Pgc1, Foxo1, Hnf4alpha, and Pck1) was severely compromised in Mc3r(-/-) mice during RF. Inhibition of neural melanocortin receptors by agouti-related peptide also attenuated rhythmicity in the hepatic expression of these genes during RF. Collectively, these data suggest that neural Mc3rs are important for adapting metabolism and maintaining rhythms of liver metabolism during periods when feeding is restricted to the light cycle.-Sutton, G. M., Begriche, K., Kumar, K. G., Gimble, J. M., Perez-Tilve, D., Nogueiras, R., McMillan, R. P., Hulver, M. W., Tschöp, M. H., Butler, A. A. Central nervous system melanocortin-3 receptors are required for synchronizing metabolism during entrainment to restricted feeding during the light cycle.
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Central ghrelin regulates peripheral lipid metabolism in a growth hormone-independent fashion.
Endocrinology
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2009
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GH plays a major role in the regulation of lipid metabolism and alterations in GH axis elicit major changes in fat distribution and mobilization. For example, in patients with GH deficiency (GHD) or in mice lacking the GH receptor, the percentage of fat is increased. In addition to the direct actions of GH on lipid metabolism, current evidence indicates that ghrelin, a stomach-derived peptide hormone with potent GH secretagogue action, increases lipogenesis in white adipose tissue (WAT) through a hypothalamic-mediated mechanism. Still, the mechanism by which GH tone modulates ghrelin actions on WAT remains unclear. Here we investigated the effect of central ghrelin administration on lipid metabolism in lipogenic tissues (liver and WAT) in the absence of GH, by using a model for the study of GHD, namely the spontaneous dwarf rat, which shows increased body fat. Our data demonstrate that central chronic ghrelin administration regulates adipose lipid metabolism, mainly in a GH-independent fashion, as a result of increased mRNA, protein expression, and activity levels of fatty acid metabolism enzymes. On the contrary, central ghrelin regulates hepatic lipogenesis de novo in a GH-independent fashion but lipid mobilization in a GH-dependent fashion because carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 was decreased only in wild-type Lewis rats. These findings suggest the existence of a new central nervous system-based neuroendocrine circuit, regulating metabolic homeostasis of adipose tissue. Understanding the molecular mechanism underlying the interplay between GH and ghrelin and their effects on lipid metabolism will provide new strategies for the design and development of suitable drugs for the treatment of GHD, obesity, and its comorbidities.
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Hypothalamic lipotoxicity and the metabolic syndrome.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 06-29-2009
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Ectopic accumulation of lipids in peripheral tissues, such as pancreatic beta cells, liver, heart and skeletal muscle, leads to lipotoxicity, a process that contributes substantially to the pathophysiology of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, steatotic liver disease and heart failure. Current evidence has demonstrated that hypothalamic sensing of circulating lipids and modulation of hypothalamic endogenous fatty acid and lipid metabolism are two bona fide mechanisms modulating energy homeostasis at the whole body level. Key enzymes, such as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and fatty acid synthase (FAS), as well as intermediate metabolites, such as malonyl-CoA and long-chain fatty acids-CoA (LCFAs-CoA), play a major role in this neuronal network, integrating peripheral signals with classical neuropeptide-based mechanisms. However, one key question to be addressed is whether impairment of lipid metabolism and accumulation of specific lipid species in the hypothalamus, leading to lipotoxicity, have deleterious effects on hypothalamic neurons. In this review, we summarize what is known about hypothalamic lipid metabolism with focus on the events associated to lipotoxicity, such as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the hypothalamus. A better understanding of these molecular mechanisms will help to identify new drug targets for the treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
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Vaspin and amylin are expressed in human and rat placenta and regulated by nutritional status.
Histol. Histopathol.
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2009
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Amylin (islet amyloid polypeptide) and vaspin (visceral adipose tissue specific serpin) are gut and adipocyte hormones involved in the regulation of body weight homeostasis. The aim of this study was to examine whether amylin and vaspin are expressed in human and rat placenta, as well as their regulation by nutritional status. Our results demonstrate that amylin and vaspin are localized in both human and rat placenta. In the rat term placenta vaspin was demonstrated in the trophoblast of the fetal villi, the labyrinth. Vaspin immunostaining in human placenta was localized in cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast in the first trimester placentas while in the third trimester vaspin was localized in the syncytiotrophoblast. Regarding amylin, rat placenta of 16 days of gestational age showed an intense immunostaining, mainly localized in the labyrinth. On the other hand, in the human third trimester placenta amylin immunoreactivity was intense in the syncytiotrophoblast of the chorionic villi and in decidual cells. Furthermore, placental amylin and vaspin showed an opposite pattern of expression during pregnancy, with vaspin showing the highest expression level at the end and amylin at the beginning of pregnancy. Finally, food restriction also has contrary effects on their expression, increasing vaspin but decreasing amylin placental mRNA and protein levels. Taken together, our results demonstrate that vaspin and amylin are modulated by energy status in the placenta, which suggests that these proteins may be involved in the regulation of placental metabolic functions.
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The cannabinoid receptor 2 is critical for the host response to sepsis.
J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 06-12-2009
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Leukocyte function can be modulated through the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R). Using a cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model of sepsis, we examined the role of the CB2R during the immune response to an overwhelming infection. CB2R-knock out (KO) mice showed decreased survival as compared with wild-type mice. CB2R-KO mice also had increased serum IL-6 and bacteremia. Twenty-four hours after CLP, the CB2R-deficient mice had increased lung injury. Additionally, CB2R-deficiency led to increased neutrophil recruitment, decreased neutrophil activation, and decreased p38 activity at the site of infection. Consistent with a novel role for CB2R in sepsis, CB2R-agonist treatment in wild-type mice increased the mean survival time in response to CLP. Treatment with CB2R-agonist also decreased serum IL-6 levels, bacteremia, and damage to the lungs compared with vehicle-treated mice. Finally, the CB2R agonist decreased neutrophil recruitment, while increasing neutrophil activation and p38 activity at the site of infection compared with vehicle-treated mice. These data suggest that CB2R is a critical regulator of the immune response to sepsis and may be a novel therapeutic target.
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A new glucagon and GLP-1 co-agonist eliminates obesity in rodents.
Nat. Chem. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-05-2009
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We report the efficacy of a new peptide with agonism at the glucagon and GLP-1 receptors that has potent, sustained satiation-inducing and lipolytic effects. Selective chemical modification to glucagon resulted in a loss of specificity, with minimal change to inherent activity. The structural basis for the co-agonism appears to be a combination of local positional interactions and a change in secondary structure. Two co-agonist peptides differing from each other only in their level of glucagon receptor agonism were studied in rodent obesity models. Administration of PEGylated peptides once per week normalized adiposity and glucose tolerance in diet-induced obese mice. Reduction of body weight was achieved by a loss of body fat resulting from decreased food intake and increased energy expenditure. These preclinical studies indicate that when full GLP-1 agonism is augmented with an appropriate degree of glucagon receptor activation, body fat reduction can be substantially enhanced without any overt adverse effects.
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Leptin receptor gene expression and number in the brain are regulated by leptin level and nutritional status.
J. Physiol. (Lond.)
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2009
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Hormone potency depends on receptor availability, regulated via gene expression and receptor trafficking. To ascertain how central leptin receptors are regulated, the effects of leptin challenge, high-fat diet, fasting and refeeding were measured on leptin receptor number and gene expression. These were measured using quantitative (125)I-labelled leptin in vitro autoradiography and in situ hybridisation, respectively. Ob-R (all forms of leptin receptor) expression in the choroid plexus (CP) was unchanged by high-fat diet or leptin challenge, whereas fasting increased but refeeding failed to decrease expression. (125)I-labelled leptin binding to the CP was increased by fasting and returned to basal levels on refeeding. (125)I-Labelled leptin was reduced by leptin challenge and increased by high-fat feeding. Ob-Rb (signalling form) in the arcuate (ARC) and ventromedial (VMH) nuclei was increased after fasting and decreased by refeeding. Leptin challenge increased Ob-Rb expression in the ARC, but not after high-fat feeding. In general, changes in gene expression in the ARC and VMH appeared to be largely due to changes in area rather than density of labelling, indicating that the number of cells expressing Ob-Rb was the parameter that contributed most to these changes. Leptin stimulation of suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (SOCS3), a marker of stimulation of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (JAK/STAT3) pathway, was unchanged after high-fat diet. Thus, early loss of leptin sensitivity after high-fat feeding is unrelated to down-regulation of leptin receptor expression or number and does not involve the JAK/STAT pathway. The effect of leptin to decrease (125)I-labelled leptin binding and the loss of ability of leptin to up-regulate Ob-Rb expression in the ARC after high-fat feeding offer potential mechanisms for the development of leptin insensitivity in response to both hyperleptinaemia and high-fat diet.
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Direct control of peripheral lipid deposition by CNS GLP-1 receptor signaling is mediated by the sympathetic nervous system and blunted in diet-induced obesity.
J. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2009
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We investigated a possible role of the central glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor system as an essential brain circuit regulating adiposity through effects on nutrient partitioning and lipid metabolism independent from feeding behavior. Both lean and diet-induced obesity mice were used for our experiments. GLP-1 (7-36) amide was infused in the brain for 2 or 7 d. The expression of key enzymes involved in lipid metabolism was measured by real-time PCR or Western blot. To test the hypothesis that the sympathetic nervous system may be responsible for informing adipocytes about changes in CNS GLP-1 tone, we have performed direct recording of sympathetic nerve activity combined with experiments in genetically manipulated mice lacking beta-adrenergic receptors. Intracerebroventricular infusion of GLP-1 in mice directly and potently decreases lipid storage in white adipose tissue. These effects are independent from nutrient intake. Such CNS control of adipocyte metabolism was found to depend partially on a functional sympathetic nervous system. Furthermore, the effects of CNS GLP-1 on adipocyte metabolism were blunted in diet-induced obese mice. The CNS GLP-1 system decreases fat storage via direct modulation of adipocyte metabolism. This CNS GLP-1 control of adipocyte lipid metabolism appears to be mediated at least in part by the sympathetic nervous system and is independent of parallel changes in food intake and body weight. Importantly, the CNS GLP-1 system loses the capacity to modulate adipocyte metabolism in obese states, suggesting an obesity-induced adipocyte resistance to CNS GLP-1.
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The endocannabinoid system: role in glucose and energy metabolism.
Pharmacol. Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2009
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The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has emerged as one of the most relevant regulators of energy balance. The ECS acts through two cannabinoid receptors: types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2). CB1 receptors are widely expressed in the brain, but are also expressed in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, the liver, the gut, and the pancreas. Blockade of CB1 receptors causes a reduction in food intake and a sustained weight loss. This system contributes also to the control of lipid and glucose metabolism, and it is well established that blockade of CB1 receptors enhances insulin sensitivity in both humans and rodents. In obese states, endocannabinoid levels are increased and might exert unfavorable effects on insulin-sensitive tissues. This review summarizes the effects of the endocannabinoid system on glucose metabolism in humans and rodents.
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Central melanin-concentrating hormone influences liver and adipose metabolism via specific hypothalamic nuclei and efferent autonomic/JNK1 pathways.
Gastroenterology
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Specific neuronal circuits modulate autonomic outflow to liver and white adipose tissue. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-deficient mice are hypophagic, lean, and do not develop hepatosteatosis when fed a high-fat diet. Herein, we sought to investigate the role of MCH, an orexigenic neuropeptide specifically expressed in the lateral hypothalamic area, on hepatic and adipocyte metabolism.
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Hypothalamic mTOR signaling mediates the orexigenic action of ghrelin.
PLoS ONE
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Current evidence suggests that ghrelin, a stomach derived peptide, exerts its orexigenic action through specific modulation of Sirtuin1 (SIRT1)/p53 and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathways, which ultimately increase the expression of agouti-related protein (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC). However, there is a paucity of data about the possible action of ghrelin on alternative metabolic pathways at this level. Here, we demonstrate that ghrelin elicits a marked upregulation of the hypothalamic mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway. Of note, central inhibition of mTOR signaling with rapamycin decreased ghrelins orexigenic action and normalized the mRNA expression of AgRP and NPY, as well as their key downstream transcription factors, namely cAMP response-element binding protein (pCREB) and forkhead box O1 (FoxO1, total and phosphorylated). Taken together, these data indicate that, in addition to previous reported mechanisms, ghrelin also promotes feeding through modulation of hypothalamic mTOR pathway.
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The obestatin/GPR39 system is up-regulated by muscle injury and functions as an autocrine regenerative system.
J. Biol. Chem.
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The maintenance and repair of skeletal muscle are attributable to an elaborate interaction between extrinsic and intrinsic regulatory signals that regulate the myogenic process. In the present work, we showed that obestatin, a 23-amino acid peptide encoded by the ghrelin gene, and the GPR39 receptor are expressed in rat skeletal muscle and are up-regulated upon experimental injury. To define their roles in muscle regeneration, L6E9 cells were used to perform in vitro assays. For the in vivo assays, skeletal muscle tissue was obtained from male rats and maintained under continuous subcutaneous infusion of obestatin. In differentiating L6E9 cells, preproghrelin expression and correspondingly obestatin increased during myogenesis being sustained throughout terminal differentiation. Autocrine action was demonstrated by neutralization of the endogenous obestatin secreted by differentiating L6E9 cells using a specific anti-obestatin antibody. Knockdown experiments by preproghrelin siRNA confirmed the contribution of obestatin to the myogenic program. Furthermore, GPR39 siRNA reduced obestatin action and myogenic differentiation. Exogenous obestatin stimulation was also shown to regulate myoblast migration and proliferation. Furthermore, the addition of obestatin to the differentiation medium increased myogenic differentiation of L6E9 cells. The relevance of the actions of obestatin was confirmed in vivo by the up-regulation of Pax-7, MyoD, Myf5, Myf6, myogenin, and myosin heavy chain (MHC) in obestatin-infused rats when compared with saline-infused rats. These data elucidate a novel mechanism whereby the obestatin/GPR39 system is coordinately regulated as part of the myogenic program and operates as an autocrine signal regulating skeletal myogenesis.
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Sirtuin 1 and sirtuin 3: physiological modulators of metabolism.
Physiol. Rev.
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The sirtuins are a family of highly conserved NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases that act as cellular sensors to detect energy availability and modulate metabolic processes. Two sirtuins that are central to the control of metabolic processes are mammalian sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), which are localized to the nucleus and mitochondria, respectively. Both are activated by high NAD(+) levels, a condition caused by low cellular energy status. By deacetylating a variety of proteins that induce catabolic processes while inhibiting anabolic processes, SIRT1 and SIRT3 coordinately increase cellular energy stores and ultimately maintain cellular energy homeostasis. Defects in the pathways controlled by SIRT1 and SIRT3 are known to result in various metabolic disorders. Consequently, activation of sirtuins by genetic or pharmacological means can elicit multiple metabolic benefits that protect mice from diet-induced obesity, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
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The Opioid System and Food Intake: Homeostatic and Hedonic Mechanisms.
Obes Facts
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Opioids are important in reward processes leading to addictive behavior such as self-administration of opioids and other drugs of abuse including nicotine and alcohol. Opioids are also involved in a broadly distributed neural network that regulates eating behavior, affecting both homeostatic and hedonic mechanisms. In this sense, opioids are particularly implicated in the modulation of highly palatable foods, and opioid antagonists attenuate both addictive drug taking and appetite for palatable food. Thus, craving for palatable food could be considered as a form of opioid-related addiction. There are three main families of opioid receptors (?, ?, and ?) of which ?-receptors are most strongly implicated in reward. Administration of selective ?-agonists into the NAcc of rodents induces feeding even in satiated animals, while administration of ?-antagonists reduces food intake. Pharmacological studies also suggest a role for ?- and ?-opioid receptors. Preliminary data from transgenic knockout models suggest that mice lacking some of these receptors are resistant to high-fat diet-induced obesity. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.
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Mice lacking ?-opioid receptors resist the development of diet-induced obesity.
FASEB J.
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Pharmacological manipulation of opioid receptors alters feeding behavior. However, the individual contributions of each opioid receptor subtype on energy balance remain largely unknown. Herein, we investigated whether genetic disruption of the ?-opioid receptor (DOR) also controls energy homeostasis. Mice lacking DOR and wild-type mice were fed with standard diet and high-energy diet (HED). Mice were analyzed in vivo with the indirect calorimetry system, and tissues were analyzed by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. DOR-knockout (KO) mice gained less weight (P<0.01) and had lower fat mass (P<0.01) when compared to WT mice fed an HED. Although DOR-KO mice were hyperphagic, they showed higher energy expenditure (P<0.05), which was the result of an increased activation of the thermogenic program in brown adipose tissue. The increased nonshivering thermogenesis involved the stimulation of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1; P<0.01), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? coactivator (PGC1?; P<0.05), and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21; P<0.01). DOR deficiency also led to an attenuation of triglyceride content in the liver (P<0.05) in response to an HED. These findings reveal a novel role of DOR in the control of thermogenic markers and energy expenditure, and they provide a potential new therapeutic approach for the treatment of obesity.
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Hyperthyroidism differentially regulates neuropeptide S system in the rat brain.
Brain Res.
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Thyroid hormones play an important role in the regulation of energy balance, sleep and emotional behaviors. Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a recently discovered neuropeptide, regulating feeding, sleep and anxiety. Here, we examined the effect of hyperthyroidism on the gene and protein expression of neuropeptide S and its receptor (NPS-R) in the hypothalamus, brainstem and amygdala of rats. Our results showed that the expression of NPS and NPS-R was differentially modulated by hyperthyroidism in the rat brain. NPS and NPS-R mRNA and protein levels were decreased in the hypothalamus of hyperthyroid rats. Conversely NPS-R expression was highly increased in the brainstem and NPS and NPS-R expression were unchanged in the amygdala of these rats. These data suggest that changes in anxiety and food intake patterns observed in hyperthyroidism could be associated with changes in the expression of NPS and NPS-R. Thus, the NPS/NPS-R system may be involved in several hyperthyroidism-associated comorbidities.
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Nicotine induces negative energy balance through hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase.
Diabetes
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Smokers around the world commonly report increased body weight after smoking cessation as a major factor that interferes with their attempts to quit. Numerous controlled studies in both humans and rodents have reported that nicotine exerts a marked anorectic action. The effects of nicotine on energy homeostasis have been mostly pinpointed in the central nervous system, but the molecular mechanisms controlling its action are still not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of nicotine on hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and its effect on energy balance. Here we demonstrate that nicotine-induced weight loss is associated with inactivation of hypothalamic AMPK, decreased orexigenic signaling in the hypothalamus, increased energy expenditure as a result of increased locomotor activity, increased thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT), and alterations in fuel substrate utilization. Conversely, nicotine withdrawal or genetic activation of hypothalamic AMPK in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus reversed nicotine-induced negative energy balance. Overall these data demonstrate that the effects of nicotine on energy balance involve specific modulation of the hypothalamic AMPK-BAT axis. These targets may be relevant for the development of new therapies for human obesity.
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Hypothalamic mTOR pathway mediates thyroid hormone-induced hyperphagia in hyperthyroidism.
J. Pathol.
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Hyperthyroidism is characterized in rats by increased energy expenditure and marked hyperphagia. Alterations of thermogenesis linked to hyperthyroidism are associated with dysregulation of hypothalamic AMPK and fatty acid metabolism; however, the central mechanisms mediating hyperthyroidism-induced hyperphagia remain largely unclear. Here, we demonstrate that hyperthyroid rats exhibit marked up-regulation of the hypothalamic mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway associated with increased mRNA levels of agouti-related protein (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY), and decreased mRNA levels of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC), an area where mTOR co-localizes with thyroid hormone receptor-? (TR?). Central administration of thyroid hormone (T3) or genetic activation of thyroid hormone signalling in the ARC recapitulated hyperthyroidism effects on feeding and the mTOR pathway. In turn, central inhibition of mTOR signalling with rapamycin in hyperthyroid rats reversed hyperphagia and normalized the expression of ARC-derived neuropeptides, resulting in substantial body weight loss. The data indicate that in the hyperthyroid state, increased feeding is associated with thyroid hormone-induced up-regulation of mTOR signalling. Furthermore, our findings that different neuronal modulations influence food intake and energy expenditure in hyperthyroidism pave the way for a more rational design of specific and selective therapeutic compounds aimed at reversing the metabolic consequences of this disease.
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Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor is expressed in rat and human placenta and its serum levels are similarly regulated throughout pregnancy in both species.
Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf)
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Pregnancy is characterized by several metabolic changes that promote fat gain and later onset of insulin resistance. Since BDNF decreases hyperglycemia and hyperphagia, we aimed to investigate the potential role of placental and circulating BDNF levels in these pregnancy-related metabolic changes in rats and humans.
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