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Michael A Gentile, Pascale V Nantermet, Robert L Vogel, Robert Phillips, Daniel Holder, Paul Hodor, Chun Cheng, Hongyue Dai, Leonard P Freedman, and William J Ray

youthful levels could potentially be used to manage sarcopenia, osteoporosis, visceral obesity, and frailty. The mechanisms by which androgens promote anabolism in adult animals are largely unknown. AR is detectable in bone and muscle cells, but levels are

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FM Ng, WJ Jiang, R Gianello, S Pitt, and P Roupas

A lipolytic domain (AOD9401) of human growth hormone (hGH) which resides in the carboxyl terminus of the molecule and contains the amino acid residues 177-191, has been synthesized using solid-phase peptide synthesis techniques. AOD9401 stimulated hormone-sensitive lipase and inhibited acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (acetyl CoA carboxylase) in isolated rat adipose tissues, in a similar manner to the actions of the intact hGH molecule. The synthetic lipolytic domain mimicked the effect of the intact growth hormone on diacylglycerol release in adipocytes. Chronic treatment of obese Zucker rats with AOD9401 for 20 days reduced the body weight gain of the animals, and the average cell size of the adipocytes of the treated animals decreased from 110 to 80 microm in diameter. Unlike hGH, synthetic AOD9401 did not induce insulin resistance or glucose intolerance in the laboratory animals after chronic treatment. The results suggest that AOD9401 has the potential to be developed into a therapeutic agent for the control of obesity.

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CJ Rhodes

Certain nutrients, pharmacological agents and growth factors can stimulate pancreatic beta-cell proliferation; however, mitogenic signal transduction pathways in beta-cells have not been particularly well characterized. As a model system we have focussed on characterizing the signal transduction pathways immediately downstream of the IGF-I and GH receptors in beta-cells. The original idea was to gain an idea of important elements in mitogenic signaling pathways which might then be exploited to generate a marked increase in beta-cell proliferation. Such an approach could eventually reveal a means to increase the number of human pancreatic endocrine cells in vitro, in order to obtain an abundant source of beta-cells for routine transplantation therapy of type-I diabetes. However, in the course of our studies, we have also unveiled an unexpected insight into the pathogenesis of obesity-linked type-II diabetes. It has been observed that free fatty acids inhibit glucose- and glucose-dependent IGF-I/GH-induced beta-cell proliferation. We hypothesize that a gradual accumulation of intracellular fat in beta-cells during obesity can eventually lead to an inhibition of beta-cell mass expansion and hence failure to compensate for peripheral insulin resistance, so that type-II diabetes ensues.

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J Boucher, I Castan-Laurell, S Le Lay, D Grujic, D Sibrac, S Krief, M Lafontan, BB Lowell, I Dugail, JS Saulnier-Blache, and P Valet

Catecholamines regulate white adipose tissue function and development by acting through beta- and alpha2-adrenergic receptors (ARs). Human adipocytes express mainly alpha 2A- but few or no beta 3-ARs while the reverse is true for rodent adipocytes. Our aim was to generate a mouse model with a human-like alpha2/beta-adrenergic balance in adipose tissue by creating transgenic mice harbouring the human alpha 2A-AR gene under the control of its own regulatory elements in a combined mouse beta 3-AR-/- and human beta 3-AR+/+ background. Transgenic mice exhibit functional human alpha 2A-ARs only in white fat cells. Interestingly, as in humans, subcutaneous adipocytes expressed higher levels of alpha2-AR than perigonadal fat cells, which are associated with a better antilipolytic response to epinephrine. High-fat-diet-induced obesity was observed in transgenic mice in the absence of fat cell size modifications. In addition, analysis of gene expression related to lipid metabolism in isolated adipocytes suggested reduced lipid mobilization and no changes in lipid storage capacity of transgenic mice fed a high-fat diet. Finally, the development of adipose tissue in these mice was not associated with significant modifications of glucose and insulin blood levels. Thus, these transgenic mice constitute an original model of diet-induced obesity for in vivo physiological and pharmacological studies with respect to the alpha2/beta-AR balance in adipose tissue.

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P R Shepherd, B T Navé, and S O'Rahilly

Introduction

Muscle and adipose tissue play a central role in the maintenance of glucose homeostasis as they account for the majority of insulin-mediated glucose disposal in the post-prandial state. In obese and diabetic subjects, resistance to the stimulatory effects of insulin on glucose disposal into muscle and fat are instrumental in the development of the chronic hyperglycaemic state associated with these conditions. Studies using a range of techniques including nuclear magnetic resonance studies (Rothman et al. 1992), in vivo forearm perfusion studies (Yki-Jarvinen et al. 1990), indirect calorimetry (Butler et al. 1990) and biochemical assays in isolated muscle strips (Dohm et al. 1988, Andreasson et al. 1991) have demonstrated that the insulin resistance appears to be due to the additive effects of defects in multiple aspects of insulin action in muscle. These investigations have identified defects at the level of insulin stimulation of glucose transport across the plasma membrane as

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B. Beck

Summary

The gastrointestinal hormone, gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), has been isolated and characterized because of its enterogastrone-type effects. It is also named glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and is actually considered to be the main incretin factor of the entero-insular axis. Besides these well-described effects on gastric secretion and pancreatic β cells, it also has direct metabolic effects on other tissues and organs, such as adipose tissue, liver, muscle, gastrointestinal tract and brain. In adipose tissue it is involved in the activation and regulation of lipoprotein lipase (LPL); it also inhibits glucagon-induced lipolysis and potentiates the effect of insulin on incorporation of fatty acids into triglycerides. It may play a role in the development of obesity because of the hypersensitivity of adipose tissue of obese animals to some of these actions. In the liver it does not modify insulin extraction, and its incretin effects are due only to the stimulation of insulin secretion and synthesis. It reduces hepatic glucose output and inhibits glucagon-stimulated glycogenolysis. It might increase glucose utilization in peripheral tissues such as muscle. GIP also has an effect on the volume and/or electrolyte composition of intestinal secretion and saliva. The functional importance of its effect on the hormones of the anterior pituitary lobe remains to be established, as it has never been detected in the brain.

Its links with insulin are very close and the presence of insulin is sometimes necessary for the greater efficiency of both hormones. GIP can be considered as a true metabolic hormone, with most of its functions tending to increase anabolism.

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W Becker, R Kluge, T Kantner, K Linnartz, M Korn, G Tschank, L Plum, K Giesen, and HG Joost

New Zealand obese (NZO) mice exhibit severe insulin resistance of hepatic glucose metabolism. In order to define its biochemical basis, we studied the differential expression of genes involved in hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism by microarray analysis. NZOxF1 (SJLxNZO) backcross mice were generated in order to obtain populations with heterogeneous metabolism but comparable genetic background. In these backcross mice, groups of controls (normoglycemic/normoinsulinemic), insulin-resistant (normoglycemic/hyperinsulinemic) and diabetic (hyperglycemic/hypoinsulinemic) mice were identified. At 22 weeks, mRNA was isolated from liver, converted to cDNA, and used for screening of two types of cDNA arrays (high-density filter arrays and Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarrays). Differential gene expression was ascertained and assessed by Northern blotting. The data indicate that hyperinsulinemia in the NZO mouse is associated with: (i) increased mRNA levels of enzymes involved in lipid synthesis (fatty acid synthase, malic enzyme, stearoyl-CoA desaturase) or fatty acid oxidation (cytochrome P450 4A14, ketoacyl-CoA thiolase, acyl-CoA oxidase), (ii) induction of the key glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase, and (iii) increased mRNA levels of the gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. These effects were enhanced by a high-fat diet. In conclusion, the pattern of gene expression in insulin-resistant NZO mice appears to reflect a dissociation of the effects of insulin on genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. The data are consistent with a hypothetical scenario in which an insulin-resistant hepatic glucose production produces hyperinsulinemia, and an enhanced insulin- and substrate-driven lipogenesis further aggravates the deleterious insulin resistance of glucose metabolism.

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WM Kuhtreiber, T Hayashi, EA Dale, and DL Faustman

Lymphocyte development, selection and education represent tightly controlled immune processes that normally prevent autoimmunity. Lymphocyte development likely induces cellular selection through apoptosis to remove potentially autoreactive cells. Dysregulated apoptosis, both interrupted as well as accelerated apoptosis, are now demonstrated as central defects in diverse murine autoimmune disease. In murine models of autoimmune lupus, mutations in cell death receptor Fas (CD95) and its ligand, FasL (CD95 L), have been identified. These errors create a lymphoid system resistant to apoptosis. In contrast, select lymphoid subpopulations of maturing autoimmune prone non-obese diabetic mice have identifiable and pathogenic T cells with both in vivo and in vitro heightened apoptosis after drug interventions. In part, these defects are due to faulty activation of transcription factors such as nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) that normally protect against apoptotic death. The genetic basis of interrupted NF-kappaB in pathogenic memory T cells in diabetes is attributable to a developmentally controlled gene defect in an essential subunit of the proteasome. No specific gene in most common forms of human autoimmune disease has yet been identified. Functional assays from diverse laboratories repeatedly demonstrate heightened apoptosis in multiple cellular signaling pathways for cell death, suggesting a common theme in disease causality.

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B Zietz, W Drobnik, H Herfarth, C Buechler, J Scholmerich, and A Schaffler

Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels were found to be associated with obesity indicating that adipocytes influence PAI-1 plasma levels. In addition, the 4 G/5 G promoter polymorphism of the PAI-1 gene may modulate PAI-1 transcription. We investigated the transcriptional regulation of the human PAI-1 gene in adipocytes and analyzed the genetic contribution of the 4 G/5 G polymorphism. The PAI-1 promoter was analyzed using electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) and luciferase reporter gene assays. A putative binding site for the upstream stimulatory factor-1/2 (USF-1/2) at the polymorphic region of the PAI-1 promoter was identified. The binding of USF-1/2 was studied using nuclear extracts prepared from adipocytes and was similar in all the promoter variants as analyzed by EMSA. A 257 bp PAI-1 promoter fragment including the 4 G/5 G site was transcriptionally active in adipocytes and was not influenced by the polymorphism. The present data indicate for the first time that USF-1/2 is transcriptionally active in differentiated adipocytes. However, USF-1/2 binding activity and PAI-1 transcription are not influenced by the 4 G/5 G-allele. These data possibly explain the observation that PAI-1 secretion from adipose tissue is not influenced by the PAI-1 promoter polymorphism.

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CP Briscoe, S Hanif, Arch JR, and M Tadayyon

The effect of treatment with a 0.03% fatty acid (FA) cocktail on leptin-receptor-mediated STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) activation in the rat insulinoma cell line BRIN-BD11 was investigated. Leptin (10 nM) stimulated the tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT5b. Acute treatment with FAs prevented leptin-stimulated STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation and significantly raised basal STAT5 phosphorylation. A chronic treatment (5 days) of BRIN-BD11 cells with FAs similarly attenuated leptin-stimulated STAT tyrosine phosphorylation. Chronic FA treatment also attenuated prolactin-stimulated STAT5b tyrosine phosphorylation but not interleukin-6-stimulated STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation, suggesting that the effect is receptor/ligand specific. TaqMan analysis of gene expression following chronic FA treatment showed neither a decrease in the amount of leptin receptor (Ob-R) mRNA, nor an increase in the negative regulators of STAT signalling, SOCS3 (suppressors of cytokine signalling) or cytokine inducible sequence (CIS). These data demonstrate that FAs modulate leptin and prolactin signalling in beta-cells, implying that high levels of circulating FAs present in obese individuals affect the action of selective cytokines in beta-cell function.