Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript is expressed in adipocytes and regulate lipid- and glucose homeostasis.
Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) is a regulatory peptide expressed in the nervous system and in endocrine cells, e.g. in pancreatic islets. CART deficient mice exhibit islet dysfunction, impaired insulin secretion and increased body weight. A mutation in the CART gene in humans is associated with reduced metabolic rate, obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, CART is upregulated in islets of type-2 diabetic rats and regulates islet hormone secretion in vitro. While the function of CART in the nervous system has been extensively studied, there is no information on its expression or function in white adipose tissue. CART mRNA and protein were found to be expressed in both subcutaneous and visceral white adipose tissue from rat and man. Stimulating rat primary adipocytes with CART significantly potentiated isoprenaline-induced lipolysis, and hormone sensitive lipase activation (phosphorylation of Ser 563). On the other hand, CART significantly potentiated the inhibitory effect of insulin on isoprenaline-induced lipolysis. CART inhibited insulin-induced glucose uptake and lipogenesis, which was associated with inhibition of PKB phosphorylation. In conclusion, CART is a novel constituent of human and rat adipocytes and affects several biological processes central in both lipid- and glucose homeostasis. Depending on the surrounding conditions, the effects of CART are insulin-like or insulin-antagonistic.
Cardiac natriuretic peptides act via p38 MAPK to induce the brown fat thermogenic program in mouse and human adipocytes.
The ability of mammals to resist body fat accumulation is linked to their ability to expand the number and activity of "brown adipocytes" within white fat depots. Activation of β-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) can induce a functional "brown-like" adipocyte phenotype. As cardiac natriuretic peptides (NPs) and β-AR agonists are similarly potent at stimulating lipolysis in human adipocytes, we investigated whether NPs could induce human and mouse adipocytes to acquire brown adipocyte features, including a capacity for thermogenic energy expenditure mediated by uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). In human adipocytes, atrial NP (ANP) and ventricular NP (BNP) activated PPARγ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) and UCP1 expression, induced mitochondriogenesis, and increased uncoupled and total respiration. At low concentrations, ANP and β-AR agonists additively enhanced expression of brown fat and mitochondrial markers in a p38 MAPK-dependent manner. Mice exposed to cold temperatures had increased levels of circulating NPs as well as higher expression of NP signaling receptor and lower expression of the NP clearance receptor (Nprc) in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT). NPR-C(-/-) mice had markedly smaller WAT and BAT depots but higher expression of thermogenic genes such as Ucp1. Infusion of BNP into mice robustly increased Ucp1 and Pgc-1α expression in WAT and BAT, with corresponding elevation of respiration and energy expenditure. These results suggest that NPs promote "browning" of white adipocytes to increase energy expenditure, defining the heart as a central regulator of adipose tissue biology.
Interleukin-1β Downregulates RBP4 Secretion in Human Adipocytes.
The excessive accumulation of adipose tissue in the obese state is linked to an altered secretion profile of adipocytes, chronic low-grade inflammation and metabolic complications. RBP4 has been implicated in these alterations, especially insulin resistance. The aim of the present study was to determine if a local inflammatory micro-environment in adipose tissue regulates RBP4 expression and secretion.
Human SGBS and primary adipocytes cultured with conditioned media from human THP-1 macrophages were used as an in vitro model for adipose inflammation. Adipocytes were exposed to recombinant TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 or IL-8. In addition, coexpression of IL-1β and RBP4 was measured in adipose tissue samples from 18 healthy females. RBP4 expression was studied by quantitative PCR and ELISA.
RBP4 mRNA expression and secretion was significantly reduced upon incubation with macrophage-conditioned media in SGBS adipocytes and human primary adipocytes. Out of several factors studied we identified IL-1β as a new factor regulating RBP4. IL-1β significantly downregulated RBP4 mRNA and secretion in a time- and dose-dependent manner. IL-1β mediated its inhibitory effects on RBP4 expression via IL-1 receptor and NF-κB, as incubation with the IL-1 receptor blocking antibody and the NF-κB inhibitors CAPE and SC-514 reversed its effect. Most interestingly, RBP4 mRNA was negatively correlated with IL-1β mRNA in subcutaneous adipose tissue.
Adipose tissue inflammation as found in the obese state might lead to a downregulation in local RBP4 levels. IL-1β was identified as a major factor contributing to the decrease in RBP4. The increase in circulating RBP4 that often precedes the development of systemic insulin resistance is most likely unrelated to inflammatory processes in adipose tissue.
Intranasal application of the melanocortin 4 receptor agonist MSH/ACTH(4-10) in humans causes lipolysis in white adipose tissue.
The melanocortin system has a highly significant role in the hypothalamic regulation of body weight and energy expenditure. In animals, intracerebroventricular infusion of melanocortin receptor 4 (MCR-4) agonists increases basal metabolic rate through activation of the sympathetic nervous system and subsequently reduces food intake. In humans, direct access of MCR-4 agonists to the central nervous system can be achieved by a transnasal route, which leads to weight loss with chronic administration. In the present study, we aimed at investigating the effects of intranasally administered MC4-R agonist MSH/ACTH(4-10) on lipolysis and sympathetic nervous system activity in healthy humans.
Healthy normal weight, male volunteers (n=10) received either 10 mg MSH/ACTH(4-10) or placebo intranasally in a double-blinded randomized crossover design. Interstitial glycerol release was assessed by microdialysis in abdominal white adipose tissue (WAT) and in skeletal muscle (SM) of the forearm. Local blood flow, systemic blood pressure, heart rate and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) within the superficial peroneal nerve were recorded at rest and after nitroprusside infusion.
At 45 min after MSH/ACTH(4-10) administration WAT glycerol concentrations increased by 53.4±19.3% compared with baseline conditions (P<0.05) and remained significantly higher throughout the experiment when compared with placebo (P<0.05) while local glycerol release in SM was not significantly affected. Resting MSNA was not altered by MSH/ACTH(4-10) administration; however, sympathoexcitation by intravenous nitroprusside was markedly elevated (MSH/ACTH(4-10) 569±69% increase to baseline; placebo: 315±64%; P<0.01).
Intranasally administered MCR-4 agonist MSH/ACTH 4-10 increases both subcutaneous WAT lipolysis and MSNA, which suggests a direct central nervous peptide effect in humans on key factors of human energy metabolism.
Catestatin (chromogranin A(352-372)) and novel effects on mobilization of fat from adipose tissue through regulation of adrenergic and leptin signaling.
Chromogranin A knock-out (Chga-KO) mice display increased adiposity despite high levels of circulating catecholamines and leptin. Consistent with diet-induced obese mice, desensitization of leptin receptors caused by hyperleptinemia is believed to contribute to the obese phenotype of these KO mice. In contrast, obesity in ob/ob mice is caused by leptin deficiency. To characterize the metabolic phenotype, Chga-KO mice were treated with the CHGA-derived peptide catestatin (CST) (Phoenix’s Catalog # 007-10) that is deficient in these mice. CST treatment reduced fat depot size and increased lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation. In liver, CST enhanced oxidation of fatty acids as well as their assimilation into lipids, effects that are attributable to the up-regulation of genes promoting fatty acid oxidation (Cpt1α, Pparα, Acox, and Ucp2) and incorporation into lipids (Gpat and CD36). CST did not affect basal or isoproterenol-stimulated cAMP production in adipocytes but inhibited phospholipase C activation by the α-adrenergic receptor (AR) agonist phenylephrine, suggesting inhibition of α-AR signaling by CST. Indeed, CST mimicked the lipolytic effect of the α-AR blocker phentolamine on adipocytes. Moreover, CST reversed the hyperleptinemia of Chga-KO mice and improved leptin signaling as determined by phosphorylation of AMPK and Stat3. CST also improved peripheral leptin sensitivity in diet-induced obese mice. In ob/ob mice, CST enhanced leptin-induced signaling in adipose tissue. In conclusion, our results implicate CST in a novel pathway that promotes lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation by blocking α-AR signaling as well as by enhancing leptin receptor signaling.
Maternal and fetal adropin levels in gestational diabetes mellitus.
Abstract Aim: To evaluate maternal and cord blood serum adropin concentrations in pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Study design: Twenty pregnant women with GDM and 20 gestational age-matched healthy pregnant women participated in the study. Maternal serum and cord blood adropin levels were assessed using an enzyme immunosorbent assay, at the time of birth. The relation of maternal serum and cord blood adropin levels with metabolic parameters were also assessed. Results: The mean maternal and cord serum adropin in the GDM group were significantly lower than those of the control women (P=0.01 and P<0.001, respectively). Maternal serum adropin levels did not correlate with either fetal serum adropin levels or maternal metabolic values. Conclusion: The data suggest that low adropin levels may contribute to the underlying pathogenesis of GDM.
Biophysical characterization of a binding site for TLQP-21, a naturally occurring peptide which induces resistance to obesity.
Recently, we demonstrated that TLQP-21 triggers lipolysis and induces resistance to obesity by reducing fat accumulation . TLQP-21 is a 21 amino acid peptide cleavage product of the neuroprotein VGF and was first identified in rat brain. Although TLQP-21 biological activity and its molecular signaling is under active investigation, a receptor for TLQP-21 has not yet been characterized. We now demonstrate that TLQP-21 stimulates intracellular calcium mobilization in CHO cells. Furthermore, using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), we also provide evidence of TLQP-21 binding-site characteristics in CHO cells. AFM was used in force mapping mode equipped with a cantilever suitably functionalized with TLQP-21. Attraction of this functionalized probe to the cell surface was specific and consistent with the biological activity of TLQP-21; by contrast, there was no attraction of a probe functionalized with biologically inactive analogues. We detected interaction of the peptide with the binding-site by scanning the cell surface with the cantilever tip. The attractive force between TLQP-21 and its binding site was measured, statistically analyzed and quantified at approximately 40 pN on average, indicating a single class of binding sites. Furthermore we observed that the distribution of these binding sites on the surface was relatively uniform.
Bombesin receptor subtype-3 (BRS-3), a novel candidate as therapeutic molecular target in obesity and diabetes.
BRS-3 KO-mice developed obesity and unbalanced glucose metabolism, suggesting an important role of BRS-3 receptor in glucose homeostasis. We explored BRS-3 expression in skeletal muscle from normal, obese or type-2 diabetic (T2D) patients, and the effect of [D-Phe(6), β-Ala(11),Phe(13),Nle(14)]bombesin(6-14)-BRS-3-agonist-peptide (BRS-3-AP) (Phoenix’s Catalog #053-27, #053-28, and #053-29)- on glucose-related effects, before or after BRS-3 gene silencing. In muscle tissue and primary cultured myocytes from altered metabolic states, BRS-3 gene/protein expressions were down-regulated. In normal, obese and T2D cells: A) BRS-3-AP as insulin enhanced BRS-3 and GLUT-4 mRNA/protein levels; improving glucotransporter translocation to plasma membrane, and B) BRS-3-AP caused a concentration-related-stimulation of glucose transport, being obese and T2D myocytes more sensitive to the ligand than normal. Wortmannin and PD98059, but not rapamycin, abolished the stimulatory action of BRS-3-AP on glucose transport. BRS-3 plays an important role in glucose metabolism, and could be use as a molecular target, and/or its ligand, as a therapeutic agent for obesity and diabetes treatments.