Liver IGF-1–deficient (LID) mice have a 75% reduction in circulating IGF-1 levels and, as a result, a fourfold increase in growth hormone (GH) secretion. To block GH action, LID mice were crossed with GH antagonist (GHa) transgenic mice. Inactivation of GH action in the resulting LID + GHa mice led to decreased blood glucose and insulin levels and improved peripheral insulin sensitivity. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies showed that LID mice exhibit severe insulin resistance. In contrast, expression of the GH antagonist transgene in LID + GHa mice led to enhanced insulin sensitivity and increased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in muscle and white adipose tissue. Interestingly, LID + GHa mice exhibit a twofold increase in white adipose tissue mass, as well as increased levels of serum-free fatty acids and triglycerides, but no increase in the triglyceride content of liver and muscle. In conclusion, these results show that despite low levels of circulating IGF-1, insulin sensitivity in LID mice could be improved by inactivating GH action, suggesting that chronic elevation of GH levels plays a major role in insulin resistance. These results suggest that IGF-1 plays a role in maintaining a fine balance between GH and insulin to promote normal carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
Shoshana Yakar, Jennifer Setser, Hong Zhao, Bethel Stannard, Martin Haluzik, Vaida Glatt, Mary L Bouxsein, John J. Kopchick, Derek LeRoith
In our previous genome-wide scan of Finnish nuclear families, obesity was linked to chromosome Xq24. Here we analyzed this 15-Mb region by genotyping 9 microsatellite markers and 36 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for 11 positional and functional candidate genes in an extended sample of 218 obese Finnish sibling pairs (sibpairs) (BMI > 30 kg/m2). Evidence of linkage emerged mainly from the obese male sibpairs, suggesting a gender-specific effect for the underlying gene. By constructing haplotypes among the obese male sibpairs, we restricted the region from 15 Mb to 4 Mb, between markers DXS8088 and DXS8067. Regional functional candidate genes were tested for association in an initial sample of 117 cases and 182 controls. Significant evidence was observed for association for an SNP in the 3′-untranslated region of the solute carrier family 6 member 14 (SLC6A14) gene (P = 0.0002) and for SNP haplotypes of the SLC6A14 gene (P = 0.0007–0.006). Furthermore, an independent replication study sample of 837 cases and 968 controls from Finland and Sweden also showed significant differences in allele frequencies between obese and non-obese individuals (P = 0.003). The SLC6A14 gene is an interesting novel candidate for obesity because it encodes an amino acid transporter, which potentially regulates tryptophan availability for serotonin synthesis and thus possibly affects appetite control.
Elina Suviolahti, Laura J. Oksanen, Miina Öhman, Rita M. Cantor, Martin Ridderstråle, Tiinamaija Tuomi, Jaakko Kaprio, Aila Rissanen, Pertti Mustajoki, Pekka Jousilahti, Erkki Vartiainen, Kaisa Silander, Riika Kilpikari, Veikko Salomaa, Leif Groop, Kimmo Kontula, Leena Peltonen, Päivi Pajukanta
We have previously described the only reported case of human proprotein convertase 1 (PC1) deficiency, in a female (Subject A) with obesity, hypogonadism, hypoadrenalism, and reactive hypoglycemia. We now report the second case of human PC1 deficiency (Subject B), also due to compound heterozygosity for novel missense and nonsense mutations. While both subjects shared the phenotypes of obesity, hypoadrenalism, reactive hypoglycemia, and elevated circulating levels of certain prohormones, the clinical presentation of Subject B was dominated by severe refractory neonatal diarrhea, malabsorptive in type. Subsequent investigation of Subject A revealed marked small-intestinal absorptive dysfunction, which was not previously clinically suspected. We postulate that PC1, presumably in the enteroendocrine cells, is essential for the normal absorptive function of the human small intestine. The differences in the nature and severity of presentation between the two cases cannot readily be explained on the basis of allelic heterogeneity, as the nonsense and missense mutations from both subjects had comparably severe effects on the catalytic activity of PC1. Despite Subject A’s negligible PC1 activity, some mature ACTH and glucagon-like peptide 17-36amide were detectable in her plasma, suggesting that the production of these hormones, at least in humans, does not have an absolute dependence on PC1. The presence of severe obesity and the absence of growth retardation in both subjects contrast markedly with the phenotype of mice lacking PC1 and suggest that the precise physiological repertoire of this enzyme may vary between mammalian species.
Robert S. Jackson, John W.M. Creemers, I. Sadaf Farooqi, Marie-Laure Raffin-Sanson, Andrea Varro, Graham J. Dockray, Jens J. Holst, Patricia L. Brubaker, Pierre Corvol, Kenneth S. Polonsky, Diane Ostrega, Kenneth L. Becker, Xavier Bertagna, John C. Hutton, Anne White, Mehul T. Dattani, Khalid Hussain, Stephen J. Middleton, Thomasina M. Nicole, Peter J. Milla, Keith J. Lindley, Stephen O’Rahilly
Aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT), a transcription factor of the Per/AHR/ARNT/Sim family, regulates gene expression in response to environmental stimuli including xenobiotics and hypoxia. To examine its role in the epidermis, the Cre-loxP system was used to disrupt the Arnt gene in a keratinocyte-specific manner. Gene-targeted, newborn mice with almost normal appearance died neonatally of severe dehydration caused by water loss. Histology showed small changes in the architecture of cornified layers, with apparently preserved intercorneocyte lamellar structures responsible for the skin barrier function. In contrast, HPLC/ion-trap mass spectrometry revealed significant alterations in the compositions of ceramides, the major components of the lamellae. The murine epidermal ceramides normally contain 4-sphingenine and 4-hydroxysphinganine. In Arnt-null epidermis, 4-sphingenine was largely replaced by sphinganine and the amounts of ceramides with 4-hydroxysphinganine were greatly decreased, suggesting deficiency of dihydroceramide desaturases that catalyze the formation of both 4-sphingenyl and 4-hydroxysphinganyl moieties. A desaturase isoenzyme, DES-1, prefers desaturation, but DES-2 catalyzes both reactions to a similar extent. Transcript levels of Des-2, but not Des-1, were considerably decreased in cultured keratinocytes from Arnt-null epidermis. These results indicate that proper ceramide compositions through 4-desaturation regulated by ARNT are crucial for maintaining the epidermal barrier function.
Satoshi Takagi, Hiromasa Tojo, Shuhei Tomita, Shigetoshi Sano, Satoshi Itami, Mariko Hara, Shintaro Inoue, Kyoji Horie, Gen Kondoh, Ko Hosokawa, Frank J. Gonzalez, Junji Takeda
The α1β1 integrin, very late antigen-1 (VLA-1), is a collagen receptor expressed in many CD4+ T cells localizing to inflamed tissues. Here we show that the expression of VLA-1 is a stable marker of a distinct subset of CD4+ memory T cells. Thus, in human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs), approximately 1–4% of the CD4+ T cells express VLA-1, and following T cell receptor activation ex vivo, the percentage of VLA-1+ cells increases within the CD45RO+ population. Importantly, the activated VLA-1+ and VLA-1– cells can be isolated and maintained in culture as phenotypically stable subsets. Functionally, CD4+ memory T cells, operationally defined as the cells that divide rapidly following stimulation with a recall antigen, are highly enriched for VLA-1+ cells. Moreover, depletion of the small fraction of VLA-1+ cells present in CD4+ PBLs prior to stimulation significantly abrogated the proliferative response to recall antigens. Notably, the VLA-1+ cells in fresh CD4+ PBLs are composed of resting CD45RO+/RA–, CCR7–, CD62L+, CD25–, and VLA-4hi cells. Interestingly, this VLA-1+ subset is enriched for Th1-type cells, and Th1-polarizing conditions during T cell activation favor the emergence of VLA-1+ cells. Thus, VLA-1 expression is a stable marker of a unique subset of human memory CD4+ T cells that predominantly differentiates into Th1 cells.
Itamar Goldstein, Shomron Ben-Horin, Jianfeng Li, Ilan Bank, Hong Jiang, Leonard Chess
Graciela Andonegui, Claudine S. Bonder, Francis Green, Sarah C. Mullaly, Lori Zbytnuik, Eko Raharjo, Paul Kubes
We studied the role of FGF-2 on regulation of neurogenesis and cell loss in the granule cell layer (GCL) of the hippocampal dentate gyrus after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI). In both FGF-2–/– and FGF-2+/+ mice subjected to controlled cortical impact, the number of dividing cells labeled with BrdU, injected on posttrauma days 6 through 8, increased at 9 days after TBI, and the number of BrdU-positive cells colabeled with neuron-specific nuclear antigen significantly increased at 35 days. However, in injured FGF-2–/– mice, BrdU-positive cells and BrdU-positive neurons (days 9, 35) were fewer compared with FGF-2+/+ mice. There was also a decrease in the volume of the GCL and the number of GCL neurons after TBI in both FGF-2–/– and FGF-2+/+ mice, but the decrease in both was greater in FGF-2–/– mice at 35 days. Overexpression of FGF-2 by intracerebral injection of herpes simplex virus–1 amplicon vectors encoding this factor increased numbers of dividing cells (day 9) and BrdU-positive neurons (day 35) significantly in C57BL/6 mice. Furthermore, the decrease in GCL volume was also attenuated. These results suggest that FGF-2 upregulates neurogenesis and protects neurons against degeneration in the adult hippocampus after TBI, and that FGF-2 supplementation via gene transfer can reduce GCL degeneration after TBI.
Shinichi Yoshimura, Tetsuyuki Teramoto, Michael J. Whalen, Michael C. Irizarry, Yasushi Takagi, Jianhua Qiu, Jun Harada, Christian Waeber, Xandra O. Breakefield, Michael A. Moskowitz
The paired-like homeobox gene expressed in embryonic stem cells Hesx1/HESX1 encodes a developmental repressor and is expressed in early development in a region fated to form the forebrain, with subsequent localization to Rathke’s pouch, the primordium of the anterior pituitary gland. Mutations within the gene have been associated with septo-optic dysplasia, a constellation of phenotypes including eye, forebrain, and pituitary abnormalities, or milder degrees of hypopituitarism. We identified a novel homozygous nonconservative missense mutation (I26T) in the critical Engrailed homology repressor domain (eh1) of HESX1, the first, to our knowledge, to be described in humans, in a girl with evolving combined pituitary hormone deficiency born to consanguineous parents. Neuroimaging revealed a thin pituitary stalk with anterior pituitary hypoplasia and an ectopic posterior pituitary, but no midline or optic nerve abnormalities. This I26T mutation did not affect the DNA-binding ability of HESX1 but led to an impaired ability to recruit the mammalian Groucho homolog/Transducin-like enhancer of split-1 (Gro/TLE1), a crucial corepressor for HESX1, thereby leading to partial loss of repression. Thus, the novel pituitary phenotype highlighted here appears to be a specific consequence of the inability of HESX1 to recruit Groucho-related corepressors, suggesting that other molecular mechanisms govern HESX1 function in the forebrain.
Luciani R. Carvalho, Kathryn S. Woods, Berenice B. Mendonca, Nathalie Marcal, Andrea L. Zamparini, Stefano Stifani, Joshua M. Brickman, Ivo J.P. Arnhold, Mehul T. Dattani
Interactions of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) with endothelial cells may contribute to the activation of endothelial cell responses involved in innate immunity. We explored a novel function of PMN NADPH oxidase in the mechanism of Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2) upregulation induced by LPS-TLR4 signaling in endothelial cells. We showed that LPS induced TLR2 up-regulation through TLR4- and MyD88-dependent signaling. In neutropenic mice, the LPS-induced NF-kB activation and TLR2 expression were significantly reduced, and both responses were restored upon repletion by PMN obtained from WT mice but not by PMNs from NADPH oxidase gp91phox–/– mice. These findings were recapitulated in mouse lung vascular endothelial cells cocultured with PMNs, indicating that the augmented NF-kB activation and the resultant TLR2 upregulation in endothelial cells were secondary to oxidant signaling generated by PMN NADPH oxidase. The functional relevance of NADPH oxidase in mediating TLR4-induced TLR2 expression in endothelial cells was evident by markedly elevated and stable ICAM-1 expression as well as augmented PMN migration in response to sequential challenge with LPS and peptidoglycan. Thus, PMN NADPH oxidase–derived oxidant signaling is an important determinant of the cross talk between TLR4 and TLR2 and the control of endothelial cell activation.
Jie Fan, Randall S. Frey, Asrar B. Malik
We used clinically relevant murine allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) models to study the mechanisms by which IL-7 administration can improve posttransplant peripheral T cell reconstitution. After transplant we could distinguish two populations of mature donor T cells: (a) alloreactive T cells with decreased expression of CD127 (IL-7 receptor α chain) and (b) nonalloreactive T cells, which express CD127 and undergo homeostatic proliferation. IL-7 administration increased the homeostatic proliferation of nonalloreactive T cells, but had no effect on alloreactive T cells and the development of graft-versus-host disease. Allogeneic transplant of purified hematopoietic stem cells and adoptive transfer of thymocytes into lethally irradiated hosts suggested that recent thymic emigrants can undergo homeostatic proliferation and acquire a memory-like phenotype. We found by BrdU pulse-chase, cell cycle, and annexin V analyses that IL-7 administration has significant proliferative and antiapoptotic effects on posttransplant peripheral T cells. We conclude that homeostatic expansion is important for T cell reconstitution after allogeneic BMT and involves both transferred mature T cells and recent thymic emigrants. Apart from its thymopoietic effects, IL-7 promotes peripheral T cell reconstitution through its selective proliferative and antiapoptotic effects on nonalloreactive and de novo–generated T cells, but has no effect on alloreactive T cells.
Önder Alpdogan, Stephanie J. Muriglan, Jeffrey M. Eng, Lucy M. Willis, Andrew S. Greenberg, Barry J. Kappel, Marcel R.M. van den Brink
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