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Tingyuan Ren, Yuping Zhu, Xuejuan Xia, Yongbo Ding, Jing Guo and Jianquan Kan

This study aimed to evaluate the protein metabolism effect of Zanthoxylum alkylamides and to explore the potential mechanism in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Diabetic rats were orally treated with 2, 4 and 8 mg per kg bw of alkylamides daily for 28 days. Alkylamides decreased the relative weight of the liver and food intake, significantly increased the relative skeletal muscle weight and significantly decreased the blood urea nitrogen levels. Insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1, total protein (TP) and albumin (ALB), globular proteins and ALB proteins/globulin protein levels in serum significantly increased. TP, RNA content and RNA/DNA ratio significantly increased in the skeletal muscle of diabetic rats. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction results indicated that alkylamides significantly increased the mRNA expression of insulin receptor (InR), IGF1 and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) in the liver and skeletal muscle. Moreover, the mRNA and protein expression levels of PI3K, PKB and mTOR significantly increased, whereas those of atrogin-1, muscle ring finger 1 and FOXO in the skeletal muscle significantly decreased. Alkylamides may advance protein synthesis by the PI3K/PKB/mTOR signalling pathway and attenuate the catabolism of protein through the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway. Therefore, it was possible that alkylamides ameliorate protein metabolism disorders in diabetic rats by activating the mTOR pathway.

Restricted access

Karin J Bosma, Mohsin Rahim, Kritika Singh, Slavina B Goleva, Martha L Wall, Jing Xia, Kristen E Syring, James K Oeser, Greg Poffenberger, Owen P McGuinness, Anna L Means, Alvin C Powers, Wen-hong Li, Lea K Davis, Jamey D Young and Richard M O’Brien

The G6PC1, G6PC2 and G6PC3 genes encode distinct glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit (G6PC) isoforms. In mice, germline deletion of G6pc2 lowers fasting blood glucose (FBG) without affecting fasting plasma insulin (FPI) while, in isolated islets, glucose-6-phosphatase activity and glucose cycling are abolished and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) is enhanced at submaximal but not high glucose. These observations are all consistent with a model in which G6PC2 regulates the sensitivity of GSIS to glucose by opposing the action of glucokinase. G6PC2 is highly expressed in human and mouse islet beta cells however, various studies have shown trace G6PC2 expression in multiple tissues raising the possibility that G6PC2 also affects FBG through non-islet cell actions. Using real-time PCR we show here that expression of G6pc1 and/or G6pc3 are much greater than G6pc2 in peripheral tissues, whereas G6pc2 expression is much higher than G6pc3 in both pancreas and islets with G6pc1 expression not detected. In adult mice, beta cell-specific deletion of G6pc2 was sufficient to reduce FBG without changing FPI. In addition, electronic health record-derived phenotype analyses showed no association between G6PC2 expression and phenotypes clearly unrelated to islet function in humans. Finally, we show that germline G6pc2 deletion enhances glycolysis in mouse islets and that glucose cycling can also be detected in human islets. These observations are all consistent with a mechanism by which G6PC2 action in islets is sufficient to regulate the sensitivity of GSIS to glucose and hence influence FBG without affecting FPI.

Free access

Juan Liu, Xiaocen Kong, Long Wang, Hanmei Qi, Wenjuan Di, Xiao Zhang, Lin Wu, Xia Chen, Jing Yu, Juanmin Zha, Shan Lv, Aisen Zhang, Peng Cheng, Miao Hu, Yujie Li, Jianhua Bi, Yan Li, Fang Hu, Yi Zhong, Yong Xu and Guoxian Ding

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) increases energy expenditure and is an attractive therapeutic target for obesity. 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), an amplifier of local glucocorticoid activity, has been shown to modulate white adipose tissue (WAT) metabolism and function. In this study, we investigated the roles of 11β-HSD1 in regulating BAT function. We observed a significant increase in the expression of BAT-specific genes, including UCP1, Cidea, Cox7a1, and Cox8b, in BVT.2733 (a selective inhibitor of 11β-HSD1)-treated and 11β-HSD1-deficient primary brown adipocytes of mice. By contrast, a remarkable decrease in BAT-specific gene expression was detected in brown adipocytes when 11β-HSD1 was overexpressed, which effect was reversed by BVT.2733 treatment. Consistent with the in vitro results, expression of a range of genes related to brown fat function in high-fat diet-fed mice treated with BVT.2733. Our results indicate that 11β-HSD1 acts as a vital regulator that controls the expression of genes related to brown fat function and as such may become a potential target in preventing obesity.