Obesity rates continue to rise throughout the world. Recent evidence has suggested that environmental factors contribute to altered energy balance regulation. However, the role of epigenetic modifications to the central control of energy homeostasis remains unknown. To investigate the role of DNA methylation in the regulation of energy balance, we investigated the role of the de novo DNA methyltransferase, Dnmt3a, in Single-minded 1 (Sim1) cells, including neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH). Dnmt3a expression levels were decreased in the PVH of high-fat-fed mice. Mice lacking Dnmt3a specifically in the Sim1 neurons, which are expressed in the forebrain, including PVH, became obese with increased amounts of abdominal and subcutaneous fat. The mice were also found to have hyperphagia, decreased energy expenditure, and glucose intolerance with increased serum insulin and leptin. Furthermore, these mice developed hyper-LDL cholesterolemia when fed a high-fat diet. Gene expression profiling and DNA methylation analysis revealed that the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase and galanin were highly upregulated in the PVH of Sim1-specific Dnmt3a deletion mice. DNA methylation levels of the tyrosine hydroxylase promoter were decreased in the PVH of the deletion mice. These results suggest that Dnmt3a in the PVH is necessary for the normal control of body weight and energy homeostasis and that tyrosine hydroxylase is a putative target of Dnmt3a in the PVH. These results provide evidence for a role for Dnmt3a in the PVH to link environmental conditions to altered energy homeostasis.
Obesity arises from impaired energy balance, which is centrally coordinated by leptin through activation of the long form of leptin receptor (Leprb). Obesity causes central leptin resistance. However, whether enhanced peripheral leptin sensitivity could overcome central leptin resistance remains obscure. A peripheral metabolic organ targeted by leptin is the liver, with low Leprb expression. We here show that mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and obese patients with hepatosteatosis exhibit increased expression of hepatic helicase with zinc finger 2, a transcriptional coactivator (Helz2), which functions as a transcriptional coregulator of several nuclear receptors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? in vitro. To explore the physiological importance of Helz2, we generated Helz2-deficient mice and analyzed their metabolic phenotypes. Helz2-deficient mice showing hyperleptinemia associated with central leptin resistance were protected against HFD-induced obesity and had significantly up-regulated hepatic Leprb expression. Helz2 deficiency and adenovirus-mediated liver-specific exogenous Leprb overexpression in wild-type mice significantly stimulated hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase on HFD, whereas Helz2-deficient db/db mice lacking functional Leprb did not. Fatty acid-? oxidation was increased in Helz2-deficeint hepatocytes, and Helz2-deficient mice revealed increased oxygen consumption and decreased respiratory quotient in calorimetry analyses. The enhanced hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase energy-sensing pathway in Helz2-deficient mice ameliorated hyperlipidemia, hepatosteatosis, and insulin resistance by reducing lipogenic gene expression and stimulating lipid-burning gene expression in the liver. These findings together demonstrate that Helz2 deficiency ameliorates HFD-induced metabolic abnormalities by stimulating endogenous hepatic Leprb expression, despite central leptin resistance. Hepatic HELZ2 might be a novel target molecule for the treatment of obesity with hepatosteatosis.
The hypothalamus is the brain center that controls the energy balance. Anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons and orexigenic AgRP neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus plays critical roles in energy balance regulation. FoxO1 is a transcription factor regulated by insulin signaling that is deacetylated by Sirt1, a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide- (NAD(+) -) dependent deacetylase. Overexpression of insulin-resistant constitutively-nuclear FoxO1 (CN-FoxO1) in POMC neurons leads to obesity, whereas Sirt1 overexpression in POMC neurons leads to leanness. Whether overexpression of Sirt1 in POMC neurons could rescue the obesity caused by insulin-resistant CN-FoxO1 was tested here.
Androgen reduces fat mass, although the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we examined the effect of testosterone on heat production and mitochondrial biogenesis. Testosterone-treated mice exhibited elevated heat production. Treatment with testosterone increased the expression level of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? coactivator-1? (PGC1?), ATP5B and Cox4 in skeletal muscle, but not that in brown adipose tissue and liver. mRNA levels of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis were elevated in skeletal muscle isolated from testosterone-treated male mice, but were down-regulated in androgen receptor deficient mice. These results demonstrated that the testosterone-induced increase in energy expenditure is derived from elevated mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle.
The promotion of collateral artery growth is an attractive approach for the treatment of chronic brain hypoperfusion due to occlusive artery disease. We previously reported that hypertension impaired the collateral artery growth of leptomeningeal anastomoses after brain hypoperfusion. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) enhances arteriogenesis in a mouse model via a mechanism involving monocyte/macrophage mobilization. However, the arteriogenic effect of G-CSF in hypertension remains unknown. In the present study, we tested whether G-CSF affected collateral artery growth in both normotensive and hypertensive model rat. Left common carotid artery (CCA) occlusion was performed to induce hypoperfusion in the brains of Wistar rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). G-CSF was administered subcutaneously for 5 consecutive days. The superficial angioarchitecture of the leptomeningeal anastomoses and the circle of Willis after CCA occlusion and G-CSF treatment were visualized by latex perfusion. Circulating blood monocytes and CD68-positive cells, which represented the macrophages on the dorsal surface of the brain, were counted. G-CSF enhanced leptomeningeal collateral growth in Wistar rats, but not in SHR. G-CSF increased circulating blood monocytes in both Wistar rats and SHR. The number of CD68-positive cells on the dorsal surface of the brain was increased by G-CSF in Wistar rats, but not in SHR. The increase in macrophage accumulation correlated with the observed arteriogenic effects. In conclusion, G-CSF promotes collateral artery growth in the normotensive model rat, but not in the hypertensive model rat.
The pancreas is critical for maintaining glucose homeostasis. Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) is an adaptive response transcription factor. There are major discrepancies in previous reports on pancreatic ATF3; therefore, its role in the pancreas is unclear. To better elucidate the role of ATF3 in the pancreas, we conducted in vitro studies using pancreatic ? and ? cell lines, and also evaluated the use of ATF3 antibodies for immunohistochemistry. We determined ATF3 expression was increased by low glucose and decreased by high glucose in both ?TC-1.6 and ?TC3 cells. We also showed that adenovirus-mediated ATF3 overexpression increased glucagon promoter activity and glucagon mRNA levels in ?TC-1.6 cells; whereas, it had no effect on insulin promoter activity and insulin mRNA levels in ?TC3 cells. Although immunostaining with the C-19 ATF3 antibody demonstrated predominant expression in ? cells rather than ? cells, ATF3 staining was still detected in ATF3 knockout mice as clearly as in control mice. On the other hand, another ATF3 antibody (H-90) detected ATF3 in both ? cells and ? cells, and was clearly diminished in ATF3 knockout mice. These results indicate that previous discrepancies in ATF3 expression patterns in the pancreas were caused by the varying specificities of the ATF3 antibodies used, and that ATF3 is actually expressed in both ? cells and ? cells.
Miglitol is an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor that improves post-prandial hyperglycemia, and it is the only drug in its class that enters the bloodstream. Anecdotally, miglitol lowers patient body weight more effectively than other alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, but the precise mechanism has not been addressed. Therefore, we analyzed the anti-obesity effects of miglitol in mice and in the HB2 brown adipocyte cell line. Miglitol prevented diet-induced obesity by stimulating energy expenditure without affecting food intake in mice. Long-term miglitol treatment dose-dependently prevented diet-induced obesity and induced mitochondrial gene expression in brown adipose tissue. The anti-obesity effect was independent of preventing carbohydrate digestion in the gastrointestinal tract. Miglitol effectively stimulated energy expenditure in mice fed a high-fat high-monocarbohydrate diet, and intraperitoneal injection of miglitol was sufficient to stimulate energy expenditure in mice. Acarbose, which is a non-absorbable alpha glucosidase inhibitor, also prevented diet-induced obesity, but through a different mechanism: it did not stimulate energy expenditure, but caused indigestion, leading to less energy absorption. Miglitol promoted adrenergic signaling in brown adipocytes in vitro. These data indicate that circulating miglitol stimulates brown adipose tissue and increases energy expenditure, thereby preventing diet-induced obesity. Further optimizing miglitols effect on brown adipose tissue could lead to a novel anti-obesity drug.
Obesity is associated with ageing and increased energy intake, while restriction of energy intake improves health and longevity in multiple organisms; the NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is implicated in this process. Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus are critical for energy balance regulation, and the level of SIRT1 protein decreases with age in the ARC. In the current study we tested whether conditional Sirt1 overexpression in mouse POMC or AgRP neurons prevents age-associated weight gain and diet-induced obesity.
Sweet taste receptor is expressed not only in taste buds but also in nongustatory organs such as enteroendocrine cells and pancreatic beta-cells, and may play more extensive physiological roles in energy metabolism. Here we examined the expression and function of the sweet taste receptor in 3T3-L1 cells.
Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) dysfunction is related to secondary injury and lesion expansion after cerebral ischemia. To date, there are few reports about postischemic alterations in the eNOS regulatory system. The purpose of the present study was to clarify eNOS expression, Ser1177 phosphorylation, and monomer formation after cerebral ischemia. Male Wistar rats were subjected to transient focal cerebral ischemia. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression increased ? 8-fold in the ischemic lesion. In the middle cerebral artery core, eNOS-Ser1177 phosphorylation increased 6 hours after ischemia; however, there was an approximately 90% decrease in eNOS-Ser1177 phosphorylation observed 24 hours after ischemia that continued until at least 7 days after ischemia. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase monomer formation also increased 24 and 48 hours after ischemia (P<0.05), and protein nitration progressed in parallel with monomerization. To assess the effect of a neuroprotective agent on eNOS dysfunction, we evaluated the effect of fasudil, a Rho-kinase inhibitor, on eNOS phosphorylation and dimerization. Postischemic treatment with fasudil suppressed lesion expansion and dephosphorylation and monomer formation of eNOS. In conclusion, functional deterioration of eNOS progressed after cerebral ischemia. Rho-kinase inhibitors can reduce ischemic lesion expansion as well as eNOS dysfunction in the ischemic brain.
During prolonged fasting, fatty acid (FA) released from adipose tissue is a major energy source for peripheral tissues, including the heart, skeletal muscle and liver. We recently showed that FA binding protein 4 (FABP4) and FABP5, which are abundantly expressed in adipocytes and macrophages, are prominently expressed in capillary endothelial cells in the heart and skeletal muscle. In addition, mice deficient for both FABP4 and FABP5 (FABP4/5 DKO mice) exhibited defective uptake of FA with compensatory up-regulation of glucose consumption in these tissues during fasting. Here we showed that deletion of FABP4/5 resulted in a marked perturbation of metabolism in response to prolonged fasting, including hyperketotic hypoglycemia and hepatic steatosis. Blood glucose levels were reduced, whereas the levels of non-esterified FA (NEFA) and ketone bodies were markedly increased during fasting. In addition, the uptake of the (125)I-BMIPP FA analogue in the DKO livers was markedly increased after fasting. Consistent with an increased influx of NEFA into the liver, DKO mice showed marked hepatic steatosis after a 48-hr fast. Although gluconeogenesis was observed shortly after fasting, the substrates for gluconeogenesis were reduced during prolonged fasting, resulting in insufficient gluconeogenesis and enhanced hypoglycemia. These metabolic responses to prolonged fasting in DKO mice were readily reversed by re-feeding. Taken together, these data strongly suggested that a maladaptive response to fasting in DKO mice occurred as a result of an increased influx of NEFA into the liver and pronounced hypoglycemia. Together with our previous study, the metabolic consequence found in the present study is likely to be attributed to an impairment of FA uptake in the heart and skeletal muscle. Thus, our data provided evidence that peripheral uptake of FA via capillary endothelial FABP4/5 is crucial for systemic metabolism and may establish FABP4/5 as potentially novel targets for the modulation of energy homeostasis.
Unilateral spatial neglect (USN) is one of the most common symptoms of right hemisphere damage; its classical symptom is that patients fail to respond to information on their left side. It has been postulated that disturbance of 2 separate attentional networks relates to the occurrence of USN. However, little is known about the underlying mechanism and neuronal substrates. In this study, we measured spontaneous neural activity by means of magnetoencephalography in 13 patients with brain damage and 5 control subjects. To study the relationship between functional connectivity at rest and severity of USN symptoms, we determined the imaginary coherence values relating to the inter-hemispherical ventral and dorsal attentional networks, as well as the clinical severity of USN using neuropsychological tests and behavioral rating scales. The present results showed that inter-hemispherical connectivity in the ventral attentional network, especially between the left and right angular gyri, detected in the alpha band is associated with the severity of USN symptoms. This may suggest that connectivity of inter-hemispherical homologous regions of the ventral attentional network in the alpha band could be one of the biomarkers of attentional network imbalance occurring in patients with USN.
Recent studies have revealed that insulin signaling in pancreatic ?-cells and the hypothalamus is critical for maintaining nutrient and energy homeostasis, the failure of which are hallmarks of metabolic syndrome. We previously reported that forkhead transcription factor forkhead box-containing protein of the O subfamily (FoxO)1, a downstream effector of insulin signaling, plays important roles in ?-cells and the hypothalamus when we investigated the roles of FoxO1 independently in the pancreas and hypothalamus. However, because metabolic syndrome is caused by the combined disorders in hypothalamus and pancreas, to elucidate the combined implications of FoxO1 in these organs, we generated constitutively active FoxO1 knockin (KI) mice with specific activation in both the hypothalamus and pancreas. The KI mice developed obesity, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and hypertriglyceridemia due to increased food intake, decreased energy expenditure, and impaired insulin secretion, which characterize metabolic syndrome. The KI mice also had increased hypothalamic Agouti-related protein and neuropeptide Y levels and decreased uncoupling protein 1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? coactivator 1? levels in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. Impaired insulin secretion was associated with decreased expression of pancreatic and duodenum homeobox 1 (Pdx1), muscyloaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog A (MafA), and neurogenic differentiation 1 (NeuroD) in islets, although ?-cell mass was paradoxically increased in KI mice. Based on these results, we propose that uncontrolled FoxO1 activation in the hypothalamus and pancreas accounts for the development of obesity and glucose intolerance, hallmarks of metabolic syndrome.
Chronic mild hypoperfusion has been shown to enlarge pial collateral vessels in normal mouse brains. The purpose of this study was to clarify the effect of hypertension on pial collateral vessel development after chronic hypoperfusion using spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). In normotensive rats, unilateral common carotid artery (CCA) occlusion enlarged leptomeningeal collateral vessels. CCA occlusion also preserved residual cerebral blood flow (CBF) and attenuated infarct size after middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion 14 days later. In contrast, in SHR, CCA occlusion neither enlarged the leptomeningeal anastomosis nor showed protective effects after MCA occlusion. However, decreasing blood pressure using an angiotensin II AT1 receptor blocker restored the beneficial effect of CCA occlusion on collateral growth as well as on residual CBF and infarct size after MCA occlusion. Adaptive responses in CBF autoregulation curves observed 14 days after CCA occlusion in normotensive rats were impaired in untreated SHR, but were restored after antihypertensive treatment. In conclusion, SHR have impaired leptomeningeal collateral growth after CCA occlusion, but antihypertensive treatment restores the beneficial effect of CCA occlusion on collateral circulation.
Flavonoids, which are plant polyphenols, are now widely used in supplements and cosmetics. Here, we report that 4-methylflavonoids are potent inducers of melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells and in mice. We recently identified salt inducible kinase 2 (SIK2) as an inhibitor of melanogenesis via the suppression of the cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB)-specific coactivator 1 (TORC1). Using an in vitro kinase assay targeting SIK2, we identified fisetin as a candidate inhibitor, possibly being capable of promoting melanogenesis. However, fisetin neither inhibited the CREB-inhibitory activity of SIK2 nor promoted melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells. Conversely, mono-methyl-flavonoids, such as diosmetin (4-O-metlylluteolin), efficiently inhibited SIK2 and promoted melanogenesis in this cell line. The cAMP-CREB system is impaired in A(y)/a mice and these mice have yellow hair as a result of pheomelanogenesis, while Sik2(+/-); A(y)/a mice also have yellow hair, but activate eumelanogenesis when they are exposed to CREB stimulators. Feeding Sik2(+/-); A(y)/a mice with diets supplemented with fisetin resulted in their hair color changing to brown, and metabolite analysis suggested the presence of mono-methylfisetin in their feces. Thus, we decided to synthesize 4-O-methylfisetin (4MF) and found that 4MF strongly induced melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells, which was accompanied by the nuclear translocation of TORC1, and the 4-O-methylfisetin-induced melanogenic programs were inhibited by the overexpression of dominant negative TORC1. In conclusion, compounds that modulate SIK2 cascades are helpful to regulate melanogenesis via TORC1 without affecting cAMP levels, and the combined analysis of Sik2(+/-) mice and metabolites from these mice is an effective strategy to identify beneficial compounds to regulate CREB activity in vivo.
It is well-established that hypertension leads to endothelial dysfunction in the cerebral artery. Recently, cilostazol has been used for the secondary prevention of ischemic stroke. Among antiplatelet drugs, phosphodiesterase inhibitors including cilostazol have been shown to have protective effects on endothelial cells. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of cilostazol and aspirin on endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation in the cerebral cortex, endothelial function, and infarct size after brain ischemia in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).
Regulation of obesity development is an important issue to prevent metabolic syndromes. Gene-disrupted mice of phospholipase C?1 (PLC?1), a key enzyme of phosphoinositide turnover, seemed to show leanness. Here we examined whether and how PLC?1 is involved in obesity.
Enhancing collateral artery growth is a potent therapeutic approach to treat cardiovascular ischemic disease from occlusive artery. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has gained attention for its ability to promote arteriogenesis, ameliorating brain damage, by the mechanisms involving monocyte upregulation. However, the recent clinical study testing its efficacy in myocardial ischemia has raised the question about its safety. We tested alternative colony-stimulating factors for their effects on collateral artery growth and brain protection.
The cAMP responsive element-binding protein (CREB) functions in a broad array of biological and pathophysiological processes. We found that salt-inducible kinase 2 (SIK2) was abundantly expressed in neurons and suppressed CREB-mediated gene expression after oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). OGD induced the degradation of SIK2 protein concomitantly with the dephosphorylation of the CREB-specific coactivator transducer of regulated CREB activity 1 (TORC1), resulting in the activation of CREB and its downstream gene targets. Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase I/IV are capable of phosphorylating SIK2 at Thr484, resulting in SIK2 degradation in cortical neurons. Neuronal survival after OGD was significantly increased in neurons isolated from sik2(-/-) mice, and ischemic neuronal injury was significantly reduced in the brains of sik2(-)(/-) mice subjected to transient focal ischemia. These findings suggest that SIK2 plays critical roles in neuronal survival, is modulated by CaMK I/IV, and regulates CREB via TORC1.
The hypothalamus is the center of controlling food intake and energy expenditure by integrating information on energy status, i.e. adiposity and nutrient signals. Especially, two types of neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons and orexigenic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons, play vital roles in regulating feeding and energy expenditure. On the other hand, insulin and leptin are hormones that control food intake via regulating POMC and AgRP expression. FoxO1 is a downstream effecter of insulin signaling and Sirt1 is an NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase, both of which have been reported to play important roles in the regulation of metabolism in various organs including liver, pancreas, muscle, adipose tissue and hypothalamus. Histological analyses revealed that FoxO1 and Sirt1 are expressed in both AgRP and POMC neurons where FoxO1 localizes to the nucleus in the fasted, while to the cytoplasm in the refed condition. In contrast, hypothalamic Sirt1 protein is decreased in the fasted condition due to increased ubiquitination of Sirt1. In rodents, overexpression of FoxO1 in the hypothalamus by adenovirus microinjection induces hyperphagia and body weight gain, and simultaneous overexpression of Sirt1 suppresses these phenotypes. FoxO1 and the transcription factor Stat3 exert opposing actions on the expression of AgRP and POMC through transcriptional squelching, and Sirt1 suppresses AgRP expression. In conclusion, we propose that FoxO1 and Sirt1 in hypothalamus are key regulators of energy homeostasis and are molecular targets for the development of new strategy of treating obesity.
cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) promotes melanogenesis by inducing microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (Mitf?) gene expression. We report here that the CREB-specific coactivator TORC and its repressor, salt-inducible kinase 2 (SIK2), are fundamental determinants of the melanogenic program in mice. Exposure of B16 melanoma cells to ultraviolet (UV) light results in the immediate nuclear translocation of TORC1, which is inhibited by SIK2. Overexpression of dominant-negative TORC1 also inhibits UV-induced Mitf gene expression and melanogenesis. ?-MSH signaling regulates hair pigmentation, and the decrease in ?-MSH activity in hair follicle melanocytes switches the melanin synthesis from eumelanin (black) to pheomelanin (yellow). Mice with the lethal yellow allele of agouti (A(y)) have yellow hair because of impaired activation of the ?-MSH receptor. To examine the involvement of SIK2 in the regulation of the melanogenesis switch in vivo, we prepared SIK2-knockout mice, and the Sik2(-/-) genotype was introduced into A(y)/a mice. The resultant Sik2(-/-); A(y)/a mice had brown hair, indicating that SIK2 represses eumelanogenesis in mice.
Hypertension reduces endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression and leads to endothelial dysfunction. However, few studies have demonstrated the influences of hypertension on eNOS function in the cerebral cortex. The present study investigates the influences of hypertension on endothelial function in the cerebral cortex and the protective effects of antihypertensive agents against brain ischemia through the preservation of endothelial function. Five- and ten-week-old male Wistar rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were used for experiments. Five-week-old SHR received olmesartan, hydralazine, or vehicle for 5 weeks in drinking water. eNOS activation in the cerebral cortex was evaluated by analyzing levels of total and Ser(1177)-phosphorylated eNOS protein by Western blot. Blood pressure of 10-week-old SHR without treatment was clearly high, and the ratio of phospho-eNOS/total eNOS protein was significantly low. Five-week treatment with olmesartan or hydralazine suppressed the elevation of blood pressure and the reduction of phosphorylated eNOS-Ser(1177) in SHR, and olmesartan was more effective in maintaining phosphorylation of eNOS-Ser(1177) than hydralazine. To assess the contribution of eNOS to maintaining cerebral blood flow (CBF), we monitored CBF by laser-Doppler flowmetry after L-N(5)-(1-iminoethyl)ornithine (L-NIO) infusion. CBF response to L-NIO was preserved in olmesartan-treated SHR but not in hydralazine-treated SHR. Furthermore, infarct volume 48 hr after transient focal brain ischemia in olmesartan-treated SHR was significantly reduced compared with vehicle-treated SHR. These findings indicate that chronic prehypertensive treatment with olmesartan could attenuate brain ischemic injury through the maintenance of endothelial function in the cerebral cortex in SHR.
Silent information regulator (SIR)2 is an nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dependent deacetylase implicated in the regulation of life span in species as diverse as yeast, worms, and flies. Mammalian Sirt1 is the most closely related homolog of the SIR2 gene. Pharmacological activators of Sirt1 have been reported to increase the life span and improve the health of mice fed a high-fat diet and to reverse diabetes in rodents. Sirt1 links the energy availability status with cellular metabolism in peripheral organs including liver, pancreas, muscle, and white adipose tissue. Insulin and leptin signaling regulate food intake by controlling the expression of orexigenic and anorexigenic neuropeptides in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus via Forkhead box O (Foxo)-1 and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3. Sirt1 has been reported to improve insulin sensitivity in vitro, but the role of hypothalamic Sirt1 in regulating feeding has not been addressed. We found that hypothalamic Sirt1 protein levels increase on feeding, and this induction is abrogated in diet-induced obese mice and db/db mice. We also demonstrate for the first time that Sirt1 protein turnover is regulated by the proteasome and ubiquitination in a hypothalamic cell line and in vivo by feeding, and this regulation is not seen in a pituitary cell line AtT20. Forced expression of wild-type Sirt1 in the mediobasal hypothalamus by adenovirus microinjection suppressed Foxo1-induced hyperphagia, a model for central insulin resistance. Moreover, Sirt1 suppressed Foxo1-dependent expression of the orexigenic neuropeptide Agouti-related peptide in vitro. We propose that on feeding, Sirt1 protein is stabilized in the hypothalamus, leading to decreased Foxo1-dependent expression of orexigenic neuropeptide Agouti-related peptide and cessation of feeding.
Previous exposure to a nonlethal ischemic insult protects the brain against subsequent harmful ischemia. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are a highly studied target of neuroprotection after ischemia. Recently, NMDA receptor subtypes were implicated in neuronal survival and death. We focused on the contribution of NR2A and cyclic-AMP response element (CRE)-binding protein (CREB) signaling to ischemic tolerance using primary cortical neurons. Ischemia in vitro was modeled by oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Ischemic tolerance was induced by applying 45-mins OGD 24 h before 180-mins OGD. Sublethal OGD also induced cross-tolerance against lethal glutamate and hydrogen peroxide. After sublethal OGD, expression of phosphorylated CREB and CRE transcriptional activity were significantly increased. When CRE activity was inhibited by CREB-S133A, a mutant CREB, ischemic tolerance was abolished. Inhibiting NR2A using NVP-AAM077 attenuated preconditioning-induced neuroprotection and correlated with decreased CRE activity levels. Activating NR2A using bicuculline and 4-aminopiridine induced resistance to lethal ischemia accompanied by elevated CRE activity levels, and this effect was abolished by NVP-AAM077. Elevated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) transcriptional activities were observed after sublethal OGD and administration of bicuculline and 4-aminopiridine. NR2A-containing NMDA receptors and CREB signaling have important functions in the induction of ischemic tolerance. This may provide potential novel therapeutic strategies to treat ischemic stroke.
An understanding of the mechanisms that govern pancreatic endocrine cell ontogeny may offer strategies for their somatic replacement in diabetic patients. During embryogenesis, transcription factor FoxO1 is expressed in pancreatic progenitor cells. Subsequently, it becomes restricted to beta cells and to a rare population of insulin-negative juxtaductal cells (FoxO1+ Ins(-)). It is unclear whether FoxO1+ Ins(-) cells give rise to endocrine cells. To address this question, we first evaluated FoxO1s role in pancreas development using gain- and loss-of-function alleles in mice. Premature FoxO1 activation in pancreatic progenitors promoted alpha-cell formation but curtailed exocrine development. Conversely, FoxO1 ablation in pancreatic progenitor cells, but not in committed endocrine progenitors or terminally differentiated beta cells, selectively increased juxtaductal beta cells. As these data indicate an involvement of FoxO1 in pancreatic lineage determination, FoxO1+ Ins(-) cells were clonally isolated and assayed for their capacity to undergo endocrine differentiation. Upon FoxO1 activation, FoxO1+ Ins(-) cultures converted into glucagon-producing cells. We conclude that FoxO1+ Ins(-) juxtaductal cells represent a hitherto-unrecognized pancreatic cell population with in vitro capability of endocrine differentiation.
Lowering the blood pressure (BP) during the acute period following ischemic stroke is still a controversial treatment. In this study, we investigated the effect of postischemic treatment using the angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker, candesartan, on brain damage in focal cerebral ischemia. Spontaneously hypertensive rats underwent transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery for 1 h. Candesartan (0.1, 1 and 10 mg kg(-1)) or vehicle was administered orally 3 and 24 h after ischemia. Blood pressure and neurological function were monitored, and infarct volume was evaluated 48 h after occlusion. Cerebral blood flow was measured using laser Doppler flowmetry before and after treatment with candesartan. Activation of Rho-kinase in cerebral microvessels was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Systolic blood pressure was markedly lowered with both moderate and high doses, but it did not fall with a low dose of candesartan. The infarct volume was reduced in rats treated with the low dose of candesartan but not in those treated with the moderate or high doses. Cerebral blood flow decreased in parallel with the reduction in BP 3 h after treatment using the moderate dose, but it did not change after treatment with the low dose of candesartan, compared with vehicle. Rho-kinase was activated in the brain vessels of the ischemic cortex, but treatment with candesartan suppressed it. Our results show that oral administration of candesartan after transient focal ischemia reduced infarct volume at doses that showed little effect on BP. The neurovascular protective effects of candesartan may be caused by the inhibition of Rho-kinase in brain microvessels.
Ischemic tolerance is as powerful and reproducible for neuro-protection as hypothermia. Several pathways could be involved in acquisition of ischemic tolerance. CREB is an abundant transcription factor in the brain and plays critical role on synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival. CREB activation has been also shown to be involved in ischemic tolerance. Ischemia or oxygen-glucose deprivation leads to release of glutamate, which binds to synaptic NMDA receptor. Then, influx of calcium ions into intracellular space activates calcium-calmodulin dependent protein kinase (CaMK). CaMK I/IV phosphorylates Ser 133 of CREB, and Thr 484 of salt-inducible kinase (SIK). Phosphorylation of SIK2 at Thr 484 triggers degradation of SIK2 through ubiquitin proteasome system. SIK2 maintains the phosphorylation level of CREB-regulated transcriptional co-activator (CRTC). Degradation of SIK2 induces dephosphorylation of CRTC1, and moves CRTC1 from cytoplasm into nucleus. Thus CRTC1 binds to basic ZIP domain of CREB. Both Ser133 phosphorylation and CRTC1 bound to the basic ZIP domain of CREB enhances CRE-mediated transcription, induces gene expression of survival factors, and renders the neurons resistant to subsequent severe ischemia.
In liver, glucose utilization and lipid synthesis are inextricably intertwined. When glucose availability exceeds its utilization, lipogenesis increases, leading to increased intrahepatic lipid content and lipoprotein secretion. Although the fate of three-carbon metabolites is largely determined by flux rate through the relevant enzymes, insulin plays a permissive role in this process. But the mechanism integrating insulin receptor signaling to glucose utilization with lipogenesis is unknown. Forkhead box O1 (FoxO1), a downstream effector of insulin signaling, plays a central role in hepatic glucose metabolism through the regulation of hepatic glucose production. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which FoxO1 integrates hepatic glucose utilization with lipid synthesis. We show that FoxO1 overexpression in hepatocytes reduces activity of carbohydrate response element binding protein (Chrebp), a key regulator of lipogenesis, by suppressing O-linked glycosylation and reducing the protein stability. FoxO1 inhibits high glucose- or O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT)-induced liver-pyruvate kinase (L-PK) promoter activity by decreasing Chrebp recruitment to the L-PK promoter. Conversely, FoxO1 ablation in liver leads to the enhanced O-glycosylation and increased protein level of Chrebp owing to decreased its ubiquitination. We propose that FoxO1 regulation of Chrebp O-glycosylation is a mechanism linking hepatic glucose utilization with lipid synthesis.
The intracellular deposition of misfolded proteins is a common neuropathological hallmark of most neurodegenerative disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that these pathogenic proteins may spread to neighboring cells and induce the propagation of neurodegeneration.
Salt-inducible kinase 3 (SIK3), an AMP-activated protein kinase-related kinase, is induced in the murine liver after the consumption of a diet rich in fat, sucrose, and cholesterol. To examine whether SIK3 can modulate glucose and lipid metabolism in the liver, we analyzed phenotypes of SIK3-deficent mice. Sik3(-/-) mice have a malnourished the phenotype (i.e., lipodystrophy, hypolipidemia, hypoglycemia, and hyper-insulin sensitivity) accompanied by cholestasis and cholelithiasis. The hypoglycemic and hyper-insulin-sensitive phenotypes may be due to reduced energy storage, which is represented by the low expression levels of mRNA for components of the fatty acid synthesis pathways in the liver. The biliary disorders in Sik3(-/-) mice are associated with the dysregulation of gene expression programs that respond to nutritional stresses and are probably regulated by nuclear receptors. Retinoic acid plays a role in cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis, wheras ALDH1a which produces retinoic acid, is expressed at low levels in Sik3(-/-) mice. Lipid metabolism disorders in Sik3(-/-) mice are ameliorated by the treatment with 9-cis-retinoic acid. In conclusion, SIK3 is a novel energy regulator that modulates cholesterol and bile acid metabolism by coupling with retinoid metabolism, and may alter the size of energy storage in mice.
The forkhead transcription factor Foxo1 regulates energy homeostasis by modulating gene expression in the hypothalamus. Foxo1 undergoes post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and acetylation, which modulate its functional activities. Sirtuin1 (Sirt1), a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent protein deacetylase, regulates the acetylation status of Foxo1 in mammalian cells. Necdin, a pleiotropic protein required for neuronal development and survival, interacts with both Sirt1 and p53 to facilitate p53 deacetylation. The necdin gene (Ndn), an imprinted gene transcribed only from the paternal allele, is strongly expressed in hypothalamic neurons. Here, we demonstrate that necdin controls the acetylation status of Foxo1 in vivo in hypothalamic arcuate neurons to modulate the thyroid function. Necdin forms a stable ternary complex with Sirt1 and Foxo1, diminishes Foxo1 acetylation, and suppresses the transcriptional activity of Foxo1 in vitro. Paternal Ndn mutant mice express high levels of acetylated Foxo1 and mRNAs encoding agouti-related protein and neuropeptide Y in the hypothalamus in vivo during the juvenile period. The mutant mice exhibit endocrine dysfunction characteristic of hypothalamic hypothyroidism. Chemically induced hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism lead to hypothalamic responses similar to those under necdin-deficient and excessive conditions, respectively, suggesting that thyroid hormone serves as a negative regulator of this system. These results suggest that necdin regulates Foxo1 acetylation and neuropeptide gene expression in the arcuate neurons to modulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis during development.
Genetic studies revealed that the ablation of insulin/IGF-1 signaling in the pancreas causes diabetes. FoxO1 is a downstream transcription factor of insulin/IGF-1 signaling. We previously reported that FoxO1 haploinsufficiency restored ? cell mass and rescued diabetes in IRS2 knockout mice. However, it is still unclear whether FoxO1 dysregulation in the pancreas could be the cause of diabetes. To test this hypothesis, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing constitutively active FoxO1 specifically in the pancreas (TG). TG mice had impaired glucose tolerance and some of them indeed developed diabetes due to the reduction of ? cell mass, which is associated with decreased Pdx1 and MafA in ? cells. We also observed increased proliferation of pancreatic duct epithelial cells in TG mice and some mice developed a polycystic pancreas as they aged. Furthermore, TG mice exhibited islet hypervascularities due to increased VEGF-A expression in ? cells. We found FoxO1 binds to the VEGF-A promoter and regulates VEGF-A transcription in ? cells. We propose that dysregulation of FoxO1 activity in the pancreas could account for the development of diabetes and pancreatic cysts.
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