Tag Archives: DietInduced

Disruption of Lipid Uptake in Astroglia Exacerbates Diet-Induced Obesity

Neuronal circuits in the brain help to control feeding behavior and systemic metabolism in response to afferent nutrient and hormonal signals. Although astrocytes have historically been assumed to have little relevance for such neuroendocrine control, we investigated whether lipid uptake via lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in astrocytes is required to centrally regulate energy homeostasis. Ex vivo studies with hypothalamus-derived astrocytes showed that LPL expression is upregulated by oleic acid, whereas it is decreased in response to palmitic acid or triglycerides. Likewise, astrocytic LPL deletion reduced the accumulation of lipid droplets in those glial cells. Consecutive in vivo studies showed that postnatal ablation of LPL in glial fibrillary acidic protein–expressing astrocytes induced exaggerated body weight gain and glucose intolerance in mice exposed to a high-fat diet. Intriguingly, astrocytic LPL deficiency also triggered increased ceramide content in the hypothalamus, which may contribute to hypothalamic insulin resistance. We conclude that hypothalamic LPL functions in astrocytes to ensure appropriately balanced nutrient sensing, ceramide distribution, body weight regulation, and glucose metabolism.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Hypothalamic Ventromedial Lin28a Enhances Glucose Metabolism in Diet-Induced Obesity

The Lin28a/Let-7 axis has been studied in peripheral tissues for its role in metabolism regulation. However, its central function remains unclear. Here we found that Lin28a is highly expressed in the hypothalamus compared with peripheral tissues. Its expression is positively correlated with positive energy balance, suggesting a potential central role for Lin28a in metabolism regulation. Thus, we targeted the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMH) to selectively overexpress (Lin28aKIVMH) or downregulate (Lin28aKDVMH) Lin28a expression in mice. With mice on a standard chow diet, body weight and glucose homeostasis were not affected in Lin28aKIVMH or Lin28aKDVMH mice. On a high-fat diet, although no differences in body weight and composition were observed, Lin28aKIVMH mice showed improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity compared with controls. Conversely, Lin28aKDVMH mice displayed glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Changes in VMH AKT activation of diet-induced obese Lin28aKIVMH or Lin28aKDVMH mice were not associated with alterations in Let-7 levels or insulin receptor activation. Rather, we observed altered expression of TANK-binding kinase-1 (TBK-1), which was found to be a direct Lin28a target mRNA. VMH-specific inhibition of TBK-1 in mice with diet-induced obesity impaired glucose metabolism and AKT activation. Altogether, our data show a TBK-1–dependent role for central Lin28a in glucose homeostasis.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Mitochondrial-Targeted Catalase Protects Against High-Fat Diet-Induced Muscle Insulin Resistance by Decreasing Intramuscular Lipid Accumulation

We explored the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the pathogenesis of muscle insulin resistance. We assessed insulin action in vivo with a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in mice expressing a mitochondrial-targeted catalase (MCAT) that were fed regular chow (RC) or a high-fat diet (HFD) or underwent an acute infusion of a lipid emulsion. RC-fed MCAT mice were similar to littermate wild-type (WT) mice. However, HFD-fed MCAT mice were protected from diet-induced insulin resistance. In contrast, an acute lipid infusion caused muscle insulin resistance in both MCAT and WT mice. ROS production was decreased in both HFD-fed and lipid-infused MCAT mice and cannot explain the divergent response in insulin action. MCAT mice had subtly increased energy expenditure and muscle fat oxidation with decreased intramuscular diacylglycerol (DAG) accumulation, protein kinase C- (PKC) activation, and impaired insulin signaling with HFD. In contrast, the insulin resistance with the acute lipid infusion was associated with increased muscle DAG content in both WT and MCAT mice. These studies suggest that altering muscle mitochondrial ROS production does not directly alter the development of lipid-induced insulin resistance. However, the altered energy balance in HFD-fed MCAT mice protected them from DAG accumulation, PKC activation, and impaired muscle insulin signaling.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Fat-Specific Sirt6 Ablation Sensitizes Mice to High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance by Inhibiting Lipolysis

Sirt6 is an NAD+-dependent deacetylase that is involved in the control of energy metabolism. However, the tissue-specific function of Sirt6 in the adipose tissue remains unknown. In this study, we showed that fat-specific Sirt6 knockout (FKO) sensitized mice to high-fat diet–induced obesity, which was attributed to adipocyte hypertrophy rather than adipocyte hyperplasia. The adipocyte hypertrophy in FKO mice likely resulted from compromised lipolytic activity as an outcome of decreased expression of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), a key lipolytic enzyme. The suppression of ATGL in FKO mice was accounted for by the increased phosphorylation and acetylation of FoxO1, which compromises the transcriptional activity of this positive regulator of ATGL. Fat-specific Sirt6 KO also increased inflammation in the adipose tissue, which may have contributed to insulin resistance in high-fat diet–fed FKO mice. We also observed that in obese patients, the expression of Sirt6 expression is reduced, which is associated with a reduction of ATGL expression. Our results suggest Sirt6 as an attractive therapeutic target for treating obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Ionizing Radiation Potentiates High-Fat Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance and Reprograms Skeletal Muscle and Adipose Progenitor Cells

Exposure to ionizing radiation increases the risk of chronic metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes later in life. We hypothesized that irradiation reprograms the epigenome of metabolic progenitor cells, which could account for impaired metabolism after cancer treatment. C57Bl/6 mice were treated with a single dose of irradiation and subjected to high-fat diet (HFD). RNA sequencing and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing were used to create transcriptomic and epigenomic profiles of preadipocytes and skeletal muscle satellite cells collected from irradiated mice. Mice subjected to total body irradiation showed alterations in glucose metabolism and, when challenged with HFD, marked hyperinsulinemia. Insulin signaling was chronically disrupted in skeletal muscle and adipose progenitor cells collected from irradiated mice and differentiated in culture. Epigenomic profiling of skeletal muscle and adipose progenitor cells from irradiated animals revealed substantial DNA methylation changes, notably for genes regulating the cell cycle, glucose/lipid metabolism, and expression of epigenetic modifiers. Our results show that total body irradiation alters intracellular signaling and epigenetic pathways regulating cell proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle and adipose progenitor cells and provide a possible mechanism by which irradiation used in cancer treatment increases the risk for metabolic disease later in life.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Mfn1 Deficiency in the Liver Protects Against Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance and Enhances the Hypoglycemic Effect of Metformin

Mitochondrial function can be influenced by mitochondrial shape and connectivity with other cellular organelles through fusion and fission processes. Disturbances in mitochondrial architecture and mitochondrial fusion-related genes are observed in situations of type 2 diabetes and obesity, leading to a highly fissioned mitochondrial network. To directly test the effect of reduced mitochondrial fusion on hepatic metabolism, we generated mice with a liver-specific deletion of the Mfn1 gene (Mfn1LKO) and monitored their energy homeostasis, mitochondrial function, and susceptibility to diet-induced insulin resistance. Livers from Mfn1LKO mice displayed a highly fragmented mitochondrial network. This was coupled to an enhanced mitochondrial respiration capacity and a preference for the use of lipids as the main energy source. Although Mfn1LKO mice are similar to control mice fed a low-fat diet, they are protected against insulin resistance induced by a high-fat diet. Importantly, Mfn1 deficiency increased complex I abundance and sensitized animals to the hypoglycemic effect of metformin. Our results suggest that targeting Mfn1 could provide novel avenues to ameliorate glucose homeostasis in obese patients and improve the effectiveness of metformin.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Neuronal Deletion of Ghrelin Receptor Almost Completely Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity

Ghrelin signaling has major effects on energy and glucose homeostasis, but it is unknown whether ghrelin’s functions are centrally and/or peripherally mediated. The ghrelin receptor, growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), is highly expressed in the brain and detectable in some peripheral tissues. To understand the roles of neuronal GHS-R, we generated a mouse line where Ghsr gene is deleted in all neurons using synapsin 1 (Syn1)-Cre driver. Our data showed that neuronal Ghsr deletion abolishes ghrelin-induced spontaneous food intake but has no effect on total energy intake. Remarkably, neuronal Ghsr deletion almost completely prevented diet-induced obesity (DIO) and significantly improved insulin sensitivity. The neuronal Ghsr-deleted mice also showed improved metabolic flexibility, indicative of better adaption to different fuels. In addition, gene expression analysis suggested that hypothalamus and/or midbrain might be the sites that mediate the effects of GHS-R in thermogenesis and physical activity, respectively. Collectively, our results indicate that neuronal GHS-R is a crucial regulator of energy metabolism and a key mediator of DIO. Neuronal Ghsr deletion protects against DIO by regulating energy expenditure, not by energy intake. These novel findings suggest that suppressing central ghrelin signaling may serve as a unique antiobesity strategy.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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ALOX5AP Overexpression in Adipose Tissue Leads to LXA4 Production and Protection Against Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance

Eicosanoids, such as leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and lipoxin A4 (LXA4), may play a key role during obesity. While LTB4 is involved in adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance, LXA4 may exert anti-inflammatory effects and alleviate hepatic steatosis. Both lipid mediators derive from the same pathway, in which arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase (ALOX5) and its partner, arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase–activating protein (ALOX5AP), are involved. ALOX5 and ALOX5AP expression is increased in humans and rodents with obesity and insulin resistance. We found that transgenic mice overexpressing ALOX5AP in adipose tissue had higher LXA4 rather than higher LTB4 levels, were leaner, and showed increased energy expenditure, partly due to browning of white adipose tissue (WAT). Upregulation of hepatic LXR and Cyp7a1 led to higher bile acid synthesis, which may have contributed to increased thermogenesis. In addition, transgenic mice were protected against diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Finally, treatment of C57BL/6J mice with LXA4, which showed browning of WAT, strongly suggests that LXA4 is responsible for the transgenic mice phenotype. Thus, our data support that LXA4 may hold great potential for the future development of therapeutic strategies for obesity and related diseases.

Diabetes Journal current issue





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Unacylated Ghrelin Reduces Skeletal Muscle Reactive Oxygen Species Generation and Inflammation and Prevents High-Fat Diet-Induced Hyperglycemia and Whole-Body Insulin Resistance in Rodents

Excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and inflammation may contribute to obesity-associated skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Ghrelin is a gastric hormone whose unacylated form (UnAG) is associated with whole-body insulin sensitivity in humans and may reduce oxidative stress in nonmuscle cells in vitro. We hypothesized that UnAG 1) lowers muscle ROS production and inflammation and enhances tissue insulin action in lean rats and 2) prevents muscle metabolic alterations and normalizes insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in high-fat diet (HFD)–induced obesity. In 12-week-old lean rats, UnAG (4-day, twice-daily subcutaneous 200-µg injections) reduced gastrocnemius mitochondrial ROS generation and inflammatory cytokines while enhancing AKT-dependent signaling and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. In HFD-treated mice, chronic UnAG overexpression prevented obesity-associated hyperglycemia and whole-body insulin resistance (insulin tolerance test) as well as muscle oxidative stress, inflammation, and altered insulin signaling. In myotubes, UnAG consistently lowered mitochondrial ROS production and enhanced insulin signaling, whereas UnAG effects were prevented by small interfering RNA–mediated silencing of the autophagy mediator ATG5. Thus, UnAG lowers mitochondrial ROS production and inflammation while enhancing insulin action in rodent skeletal muscle. In HFD-induced obesity, these effects prevent hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Stimulated muscle autophagy could contribute to UnAG activities. These findings support UnAG as a therapeutic strategy for obesity-associated metabolic alterations.

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Response to Comment on Patel et al. ACE2 Deficiency Worsens Epicardial Adipose Tissue Inflammation and Cardiac Dysfunction in Response to Diet-Induced Obesity. Diabetes 2016;65:85-95

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