High dietary fat intake leads to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, and this represents a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress have been implicated in the disease process, but the underlying mechanisms are still unknown. Here we show that in skeletal muscle of both rodents and humans, a diet high in fat increases the H2O2-emitting potential of mitochondria, shifts the cellular redox environment to a more oxidized state, and decreases the redox-buffering capacity in the absence of any change in mitochondrial respiratory function. Furthermore, we show that attenuating mitochondrial H2O2 emission, either by treating rats with a mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant or by genetically engineering the overexpression of catalase in mitochondria of muscle in mice, completely preserves insulin sensitivity despite a high-fat diet. These findings place the etiology of insulin resistance in the context of mitochondrial bioenergetics by demonstrating that mitochondrial H2O2 emission serves as both a gauge of energy balance and a regulator of cellular redox environment, linking intracellular metabolic balance to the control of insulin sensitivity.
Ethan J. Anderson, Mary E. Lustig, Kristen E. Boyle, Tracey L. Woodlief, Daniel A. Kane, Chien-Te Lin, Jesse W. Price III, Li Kang, Peter S. Rabinovitch, Hazel H. Szeto, Joseph A. Houmard, Ronald N. Cortright, David H. Wasserman, P. Darrell Neufer
Resistin is an adipokine that contributes to insulin resistance in mice. In humans, however, studies investigating the link between resistin and metabolic disease are conflicting. Further complicating the matter, human resistin is produced mainly by macrophages rather than adipocytes. To address this important issue, we generated mice that lack adipocyte-derived mouse resistin but produce human resistin in a pattern similar to that found in humans, i.e., in macrophages (humanized resistin mice). When placed on a high-fat diet, the humanized resistin mice rapidly developed accelerated white adipose tissue (WAT) inflammation, leading to increased lipolysis and increased serum free fatty acids. Over time, these mice accumulated lipids, including diacylglycerols, in muscle. We found that this resulted in increased Pkcq pathway activity, leading to increased serine phosphorylation of Irs-1 and insulin resistance. Thus, although the site of resistin production differs between species, human resistin exacerbates WAT inflammation and contributes to insulin resistance.
Mohammed Qatanani, Nava R. Szwergold, David R. Greaves, Rexford S. Ahima, Mitchell A. Lazar
Metabolic dyslipidemia is characterized by high circulating triglyceride (TG) and low HDL cholesterol levels and is frequently accompanied by hepatic steatosis. Increased hepatic lipogenesis contributes to both of these problems. Because insulin fails to suppress gluconeogenesis but continues to stimulate lipogenesis in both obese and lipodystrophic insulin-resistant mice, it has been proposed that a selective postreceptor defect in hepatic insulin action is central to the pathogenesis of fatty liver and hypertriglyceridemia in these mice. Here we show that humans with generalized insulin resistance caused by either mutations in the insulin receptor gene or inhibitory antibodies specific for the insulin receptor uniformly exhibited low serum TG and normal HDL cholesterol levels. This was due at least in part to surprisingly low rates of de novo lipogenesis and was associated with low liver fat content and the production of TG-depleted VLDL cholesterol particles. In contrast, humans with a selective postreceptor defect in AKT2 manifest increased lipogenesis, elevated liver fat content, TG-enriched VLDL, hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL cholesterol levels. People with lipodystrophy, a disorder characterized by particularly severe insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, demonstrated similar abnormalities. Collectively these data from humans with molecularly characterized forms of insulin resistance suggest that partial postreceptor hepatic insulin resistance is a key element in the development of metabolic dyslipidemia and hepatic steatosis.
Robert K. Semple, Alison Sleigh, Peter R. Murgatroyd, Claire A. Adams, Les Bluck, Sarah Jackson, Alessandra Vottero, Dipak Kanabar, Valentine Charlton-Menys, Paul Durrington, Maria A. Soos, T. Adrian Carpenter, David J. Lomas, Elaine K. Cochran, Phillip Gorden, Stephen O’Rahilly, David B. Savage
Maternal obesity is thought to increase the offspring’s risk of juvenile obesity and metabolic diseases; however, the mechanism(s) whereby excess maternal nutrition affects fetal development remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated in nonhuman primates the effect of chronic high-fat diet (HFD) on the development of fetal metabolic systems. We found that fetal offspring from both lean and obese mothers chronically consuming a HFD had a 3-fold increase in liver triglycerides (TGs). In addition, fetal offspring from HFD-fed mothers (O-HFD) showed increased evidence of hepatic oxidative stress early in the third trimester, consistent with the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). O-HFD animals also exhibited elevated hepatic expression of gluconeogenic enzymes and transcription factors. Furthermore, fetal glycerol levels were 2-fold higher in O-HFD animals than in control fetal offspring and correlated with maternal levels. The increased fetal hepatic TG levels persisted at P180, concurrent with a 2-fold increase in percent body fat. Importantly, reversing the maternal HFD to a low-fat diet during a subsequent pregnancy improved fetal hepatic TG levels and partially normalized gluconeogenic enzyme expression, without changing maternal body weight. These results suggest that a developing fetus is highly vulnerable to excess lipids, independent of maternal diabetes and/or obesity, and that exposure to this may increase the risk of pediatric NAFLD.
Carrie E. McCurdy, Jacalyn M. Bishop, Sarah M. Williams, Bernadette E. Grayson, M. Susan Smith, Jacob E. Friedman, Kevin L. Grove
The relative activity of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in different tissues controls the partitioning of lipoprotein-derived fatty acids between sites of fat storage (adipose tissue) and oxidation (heart and skeletal muscle). Here we used a reverse genetic strategy to test the hypothesis that 4 angiopoietin-like proteins (ANGPTL3, -4, -5, and -6) play key roles in triglyceride (TG) metabolism in humans. We re-sequenced the coding regions of the genes encoding these proteins and identified multiple rare nonsynonymous (NS) sequence variations that were associated with low plasma TG levels but not with other metabolic phenotypes. Functional studies revealed that all mutant alleles of ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 that were associated with low plasma TG levels interfered either with the synthesis or secretion of the protein or with the ability of the ANGPTL protein to inhibit LPL. A total of 1% of the Dallas Heart Study population and 4% of those participants with a plasma TG in the lowest quartile had a rare loss-of-function mutation in ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4, or ANGPTL5. Thus, ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4, and ANGPTL5, but not ANGPTL6, play nonredundant roles in TG metabolism, and multiple alleles at these loci cumulatively contribute to variability in plasma TG levels in humans.
Stefano Romeo, Wu Yin, Julia Kozlitina, Len A. Pennacchio, Eric Boerwinkle, Helen H. Hobbs, Jonathan C. Cohen
Defective insulin secretion in response to glucose is an important component of the β cell dysfunction seen in type 2 diabetes. As mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation plays a key role in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), oxygen-sensing pathways may modulate insulin release. The von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) protein controls the degradation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) to coordinate cellular and organismal responses to altered oxygenation. To determine the role of this pathway in controlling glucose-stimulated insulin release from pancreatic β cells, we generated mice lacking Vhl in pancreatic β cells (βVhlKO mice) and mice lacking Vhl in the pancreas (PVhlKO mice). Both mouse strains developed glucose intolerance with impaired insulin secretion. Furthermore, deletion of Vhl in β cells or the pancreas altered expression of genes involved in β cell function, including those involved in glucose transport and glycolysis, and isolated βVhlKO and PVhlKO islets displayed impaired glucose uptake and defective glucose metabolism. The abnormal glucose homeostasis was dependent on upregulation of Hif-1α expression, and deletion of Hif1a in Vhl-deficient β cells restored GSIS. Consistent with this, expression of activated Hif-1α in a mouse β cell line impaired GSIS. These data suggest that VHL/HIF oxygen-sensing mechanisms play a critical role in glucose homeostasis and that activation of this pathway in response to decreased islet oxygenation may contribute to β cell dysfunction.
James Cantley, Colin Selman, Deepa Shukla, Andrey Y. Abramov, Frauke Forstreuter, Miguel A. Esteban, Marc Claret, Steven J. Lingard, Melanie Clements, Sarah K. Harten, Henry Asare-Anane, Rachel L. Batterham, Pedro L. Herrera, Shanta J. Persaud, Michael R. Duchen, Patrick H. Maxwell, Dominic J. Withers
Neonatal diabetes is a rare monogenic form of diabetes that usually presents within the first six months of life. It is commonly caused by gain-of-function mutations in the genes encoding the Kir6.2 and SUR1 subunits of the plasmalemmal ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channel. To better understand this disease, we generated a mouse expressing a Kir6.2 mutation (V59M) that causes neonatal diabetes in humans and we used Cre-lox technology to express the mutation specifically in pancreatic β cells. These β-V59M mice developed severe diabetes soon after birth, and by 5 weeks of age, blood glucose levels were markedly increased and insulin was undetectable. Islets isolated from β-V59M mice secreted substantially less insulin and showed a smaller increase in intracellular calcium in response to glucose. This was due to a reduced sensitivity of KATP channels in pancreatic β cells to inhibition by ATP or glucose. In contrast, the sulfonylurea tolbutamide, a specific blocker of KATP channels, closed KATP channels, elevated intracellular calcium levels, and stimulated insulin release in β-V59M β cells, indicating that events downstream of KATP channel closure remained intact. Expression of the V59M Kir6.2 mutation in pancreatic β cells alone is thus sufficient to recapitulate the neonatal diabetes observed in humans. β-V59M islets also displayed a reduced percentage of β cells, abnormal morphology, lower insulin content, and decreased expression of Kir6.2, SUR1, and insulin mRNA. All these changes are expected to contribute to the diabetes of β-V59M mice. Their cause requires further investigation.
Christophe A. Girard, F. Thomas Wunderlich, Kenju Shimomura, Stephan Collins, Stephan Kaizik, Peter Proks, Fernando Abdulkader, Anne Clark, Vicky Ball, Lejla Zubcevic, Liz Bentley, Rebecca Clark, Chris Church, Alison Hugill, Juris Galvanovskis, Roger Cox, Patrik Rorsman, Jens C. Brüning, Frances M. Ashcroft
Food intake is regulated by a network of signals that emanate from the gut and the brainstem. The peripheral satiety signal cholecystokinin is released from the gut following food intake and acts on fibers of the vagus nerve, which project to the brainstem and activate neurons that modulate both gastrointestinal function and appetite. In this study, we found that neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarii of the brainstem that express prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) are activated rapidly by food ingestion. To further examine the role of this peptide in the control of food intake and energy metabolism, we generated PrRP-deficient mice and found that they displayed late-onset obesity and adiposity, phenotypes that reflected an increase in meal size, hyperphagia, and attenuated responses to the anorexigenic signals cholecystokinin and leptin. Hypothalamic expression of 6 other appetite-regulating peptides remained unchanged in the PrRP-deficient mice. Blockade of endogenous PrRP signaling in WT rats by central injection of PrRP-specific mAb resulted in an increase in food intake, as reflected by an increase in meal size. These data suggest that PrRP relays satiety signals within the brain and that selective disturbance of this system can result in obesity and associated metabolic disorders.
Yuki Takayanagi, Hirokazu Matsumoto, Masanori Nakata, Takashi Mera, Shoji Fukusumi, Shuji Hinuma, Yoichi Ueta, Toshihiko Yada, Gareth Leng, Tatsushi Onaka
The progression from insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes is caused by the failure of pancreatic β cells to produce sufficient levels of insulin to meet the metabolic demand. Recent studies indicate that nutrient fluctuations and insulin resistance increase proinsulin synthesis in β cells beyond the capacity for folding of nascent polypeptides within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen, thereby disrupting ER homeostasis and triggering the unfolded protein response (UPR). Chronic ER stress promotes apoptosis, at least in part through the UPR-induced transcription factor C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). We assessed the effect of Chop deletion in multiple mouse models of type 2 diabetes and found that Chop–/– mice had improved glycemic control and expanded β cell mass in all conditions analyzed. In both genetic and diet-induced models of insulin resistance, CHOP deficiency improved β cell ultrastructure and promoted cell survival. In addition, we found that isolated islets from Chop–/– mice displayed increased expression of UPR and oxidative stress response genes and reduced levels of oxidative damage. These findings suggest that CHOP is a fundamental factor that links protein misfolding in the ER to oxidative stress and apoptosis in β cells under conditions of increased insulin demand.
Benbo Song, Donalyn Scheuner, David Ron, Subramaniam Pennathur, Randal J. Kaufman
Diet-induced obesity is associated with fatty liver, insulin resistance, leptin resistance, and changes in plasma lipid profile. Endocannabinoids have been implicated in the development of these associated phenotypes, because mice deficient for the cannabinoid receptor CB1 (CB1–/–) do not display these changes in association with diet-induced obesity. The target tissues that mediate these effects, however, remain unknown. We therefore investigated the relative role of hepatic versus extrahepatic CB1 receptors in the metabolic consequences of a high-fat diet, using liver-specific CB1 knockout (LCB1–/–) mice. LCB1–/– mice fed a high-fat diet developed a similar degree of obesity as that of wild-type mice, but, similar to CB1–/– mice, had less steatosis, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and insulin and leptin resistance than did wild-type mice fed a high-fat diet. CB1 agonist–induced increase in de novo hepatic lipogenesis and decrease in the activity of carnitine palmitoyltransferase–1 and total energy expenditure were absent in both CB1–/– and LCB1–/– mice. We conclude that endocannabinoid activation of hepatic CB1 receptors contributes to the diet-induced steatosis and associated hormonal and metabolic changes, but not to the increase in adiposity, observed with high-fat diet feeding. Theses studies suggest that peripheral CB1 receptors could be selectively targeted for the treatment of fatty liver, impaired glucose homeostasis, and dyslipidemia in order to minimize the neuropsychiatric side effects of nonselective CB1 blockade during treatment of obesity-associated conditions.
Douglas Osei-Hyiaman, Jie Liu, Liang Zhou, Grzegorz Godlewski, Judith Harvey-White, Won-il Jeong, Sándor Bátkai, Giovanni Marsicano, Beat Lutz, Christoph Buettner, George Kunos