Obesity elicits an immune response characterized by myeloid cell recruitment to key metabolic organs, including adipose tissue. However, the response of immune cells to nonpathologic metabolic stimuli has been less well studied, and the factors that regulate the metabolic-dependent accumulation of immune cells are incompletely understood. Here we characterized the response of adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) to weight loss and fasting in mice and identified a role for lipolysis in ATM recruitment and accumulation. We found that the immune response to weight loss was dynamic; caloric restriction of high-fat diet–fed mice led to an initial increase in ATM recruitment, whereas ATM content decreased following an extended period of weight loss. The peak in ATM number coincided with the peak in the circulating concentrations of FFA and adipose tissue lipolysis, suggesting that lipolysis drives ATM accumulation. Indeed, fasting or pharmacologically induced lipolysis rapidly increased ATM accumulation, adipose tissue chemoattractant activity, and lipid uptake by ATMs. Conversely, dietary and genetic manipulations that reduced lipolysis decreased ATM accumulation. Depletion of macrophages in adipose tissue cultures increased expression of adipose triglyceride lipase and genes regulated by FFA, and increased lipolysis. These data suggest that local lipid fluxes are central regulators of ATM recruitment and that once recruited, ATMs form lipid-laden macrophages that can buffer local increases in lipid concentration.
Aliki Kosteli, Eiji Sugaru, Guenter Haemmerle, Jayne F. Martin, Jason Lei, Rudolf Zechner, Anthony W. Ferrante Jr.
The homeodomain transcription factor pancreatic duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1) is a major mediator of insulin transcription and a key regulator of the β cell phenotype. Heterozygous mutations in PDX1 are associated with the development of diabetes in humans. Understanding how Pdx1 expression levels are controlled is therefore of intense interest in the study and treatment of diabetes. Pdx1 C terminus–interacting factor-1 (Pcif1, also known as SPOP) is a nuclear protein that inhibits Pdx1 transactivation. Here, we show that Pcif1 targets Pdx1 for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Silencing of Pcif1 increased Pdx1 protein levels in cultured mouse β cells, and Pcif1 heterozygosity normalized Pdx1 protein levels in Pdx1+/– mouse islets, thereby increasing expression of key Pdx1 transcriptional targets. Remarkably, Pcif1 heterozygosity improved glucose homeostasis and β cell function and normalized β cell mass in Pdx1+/– mice by modulating β cell survival. These findings indicate that in adult mouse β cells, Pcif1 limits Pdx1 protein accumulation and thus the expression of insulin and other gene targets important in the maintenance of β cell mass and function. They also provide evidence that targeting the turnover of a pancreatic transcription factor in vivo can improve glucose homeostasis.
Kathryn C. Claiborn, Mira M. Sachdeva, Corey E. Cannon, David N. Groff, Jeffrey D. Singer, Doris A. Stoffers
Obesity and its metabolic consequences are a major public health concern worldwide. Obesity is associated with overactivity of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in the regulation of appetite, lipogenesis, and insulin resistance. Cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) antagonists reduce body weight and improve cardiometabolic abnormalities in experimental and human obesity, but their therapeutic potential is limited by neuropsychiatric side effects. Here we have demonstrated that a CB1R neutral antagonist largely restricted to the periphery does not affect behavioral responses mediated by CB1R in the brains of mice with genetic or diet-induced obesity, but it does cause weight-independent improvements in glucose homeostasis, fatty liver, and plasma lipid profile. These effects were due to blockade of CB1R in peripheral tissues, including the liver, as verified through the use of CB1R-deficient mice with or without transgenic expression of CB1R in the liver. These results suggest that targeting peripheral CB1R has therapeutic potential for alleviating cardiometabolic risk in obese patients.
Joseph Tam, V. Kiran Vemuri, Jie Liu, Sándor Bátkai, Bani Mukhopadhyay, Grzegorz Godlewski, Douglas Osei-Hyiaman, Shinobu Ohnuma, Suresh V. Ambudkar, James Pickel, Alexandros Makriyannis, George Kunos
Insufficient insulin secretion and reduced pancreatic β cell mass are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Here, we confirm that a previously identified polymorphism (rs2295490/Q84R) in exon 2 of the pseudokinase-encoding gene tribbles 3 (TRB3) is associated with an increased risk for T2DM in 2 populations of people of mixed European descent. Carriers of the 84R allele had substantially reduced plasma levels of C-peptide, the product of proinsulin processing to insulin, suggesting a role for TRB3 in β cell function. Overexpression of TRB3 84R in mouse β cells, human islet cells, and the murine β cell line MIN6 revealed reduced insulin exocytosis, associated with a marked reduction in docked insulin granules visualized by electron microscopy. Conversely, knockdown of TRB3 in MIN6 cells restored insulin secretion and expression of exocytosis genes. Further analysis in MIN6 cells demonstrated that TRB3 interacted with the transcription factor ATF4 and that this complex acted as a competitive inhibitor of cAMP response element-binding (CREB) transcription factor in the regulation of key exocytosis genes. In addition, the 84R TRB3 variant exhibited greater protein stability than wild-type TRB3 and increased binding affinity to Akt. Mice overexpressing TRB3 84R in β cells displayed decreased β cell mass, associated with reduced proliferation and enhanced apoptosis rates. These data link a missense polymorphism in human TRB3 to impaired insulin exocytosis and thus increased risk for T2DM.
Chong Wee Liew, Jacek Bochenski, Dan Kawamori, Jiang Hu, Colin A. Leech, Krzysztof Wanic, Maciej Malecki, James H. Warram, Ling Qi, Andrzej S. Krolewski, Rohit N. Kulkarni
Distinct populations of leptin-sensing neurons in the hypothalamus, midbrain, and brainstem contribute to the regulation of energy homeostasis. To assess the requirement for leptin signaling in the hypothalamus, we crossed mice with a floxed leptin receptor allele (Leprfl) to mice transgenic for Nkx2.1-Cre, which drives Cre expression in the hypothalamus and not in more caudal brain regions, generating LeprNkx2.1KO mice. From weaning, LeprNkx2.1KO mice exhibited phenotypes similar to those observed in mice with global loss of leptin signaling (Leprdb/db mice), including increased weight gain and adiposity, hyperphagia, cold intolerance, and insulin resistance. However, after 8 weeks of age, LeprNkx2.1KO mice maintained stable adiposity levels, whereas the body fat percentage of Leprdb/db animals continued to escalate. The divergence in the adiposity phenotypes of Leprdb/db and LeprNkx2.1KO mice with age was concomitant with increased rates of linear growth and energy expenditure in LeprNkx2.1KO mice. These data suggest that remaining leptin signals in LeprNkx2.1KO mice mediate physiological adaptations that prevent the escalation of the adiposity phenotype in adult mice. The persistence of severe adiposity in LeprNkx2.1KO mice, however, suggests that compensatory actions of circuits regulating growth and energy expenditure are not sufficient to reverse obesity established at an early age.
Laurence E. Ring, Lori M. Zeltser
Metformin is widely used to treat hyperglycemia in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Recently the LKB1/AMP-activated protein kinase (LKB1/AMPK) pathway was proposed to mediate the action of metformin on hepatic gluconeogenesis. However, the molecular mechanism by which this pathway operates had remained elusive. Surprisingly, here we have found that in mice lacking AMPK in the liver, blood glucose levels were comparable to those in wild-type mice, and the hypoglycemic effect of metformin was maintained. Hepatocytes lacking AMPK displayed normal glucose production and gluconeogenic gene expression compared with wild-type hepatocytes. In contrast, gluconeogenesis was upregulated in LKB1-deficient hepatocytes. Metformin decreased expression of the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), while cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck) gene expression was unaffected in wild-type, AMPK-deficient, and LKB1-deficient hepatocytes. Surprisingly, metformin-induced inhibition of glucose production was amplified in both AMPK- and LKB1-deficient compared with wild-type hepatocytes. This inhibition correlated in a dose-dependent manner with a reduction in intracellular ATP content, which is crucial for glucose production. Moreover, metformin-induced inhibition of glucose production was preserved under forced expression of gluconeogenic genes through PPARγ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) overexpression, indicating that metformin suppresses gluconeogenesis via a transcription-independent process. In conclusion, we demonstrate that metformin inhibits hepatic gluconeogenesis in an LKB1- and AMPK-independent manner via a decrease in hepatic energy state.
Marc Foretz, Sophie Hébrard, Jocelyne Leclerc, Elham Zarrinpashneh, Maud Soty, Gilles Mithieux, Kei Sakamoto, Fabrizio Andreelli, Benoit Viollet
Cholesterol is a critical component of cell membranes, and cellular cholesterol levels and distribution are tightly regulated in mammals. Recent evidence has revealed a critical role for pancreatic β cell–specific cholesterol homeostasis in insulin secretion as well as in β cell dysfunction in diabetes and the metabolic response to thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are antidiabetic drugs. The ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) has been shown to play a role in cholesterol efflux, but its role in β cells is currently unknown. In other cell types, ABCG1 expression is downregulated in diabetes and upregulated by TZDs. Here we have demonstrated an intracellular role for ABCG1 in β cells. Loss of ABCG1 expression impaired insulin secretion both in vivo and in vitro, but it had no effect on cellular cholesterol content or efflux. Subcellular localization studies showed the bulk of ABCG1 protein to be present in insulin granules. Loss of ABCG1 led to altered granule morphology and reduced granule cholesterol levels. Administration of exogenous cholesterol restored granule morphology and cholesterol content and rescued insulin secretion in ABCG1-deficient islets. These findings suggest that ABCG1 acts primarily to regulate subcellular cholesterol distribution in mouse β cells. Furthermore, islet ABCG1 expression was reduced in diabetic mice and restored by TZDs, implicating a role for regulation of islet ABCG1 expression in diabetes pathogenesis and treatment.
Jeffrey M. Sturek, J. David Castle, Anthony P. Trace, Laura C. Page, Anna M. Castle, Carmella Evans-Molina, John S. Parks, Raghavendra G. Mirmira, Catherine C. Hedrick
In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, pancreatic islet dysfunction results in part from cytokine-mediated inflammation. The ubiquitous eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A), which is the only protein to contain the amino acid hypusine, contributes to the production of proinflammatory cytokines. We therefore investigated whether eIF5A participates in the inflammatory cascade leading to islet dysfunction during the development of diabetes. As described herein, we found that eIF5A regulates iNOS levels and that eIF5A depletion as well as the inhibition of hypusination protects against glucose intolerance in inflammatory mouse models of diabetes. We observed that following knockdown of eIF5A expression, mice were resistant to β cell loss and the development of hyperglycemia in the low-dose streptozotocin model of diabetes. The depletion of eIF5A led to impaired translation of iNOS-encoding mRNA within the islet. A role for the hypusine residue of eIF5A in islet inflammatory responses was suggested by the observation that inhibition of hypusine synthesis reduced translation of iNOS-encoding mRNA in rodent β cells and human islets and protected mice against the development of glucose intolerance the low-dose streptozotocin model of diabetes. Further analysis revealed that hypusine is required in part for nuclear export of iNOS-encoding mRNA, a process that involved the export protein exportin1. These observations identify the hypusine modification of eIF5A as a potential therapeutic target for preserving islet function under inflammatory conditions.
Bernhard Maier, Takeshi Ogihara, Anthony P. Trace, Sarah A. Tersey, Reiesha D. Robbins, Swarup K. Chakrabarti, Craig S. Nunemaker, Natalie D. Stull, Catherine A. Taylor, John E. Thompson, Richard S. Dondero, Eli C. Lewis, Charles A. Dinarello, Jerry L. Nadler, Raghavendra G. Mirmira
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is a transcription factor that regulates cellular stress responses. While the levels of HIF-1α protein are tightly regulated, recent studies suggest that it can be active under normoxic conditions. We hypothesized that HIF-1α is required for normal β cell function and reserve and that dysregulation may contribute to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Here we show that HIF-1α protein is present at low levels in mouse and human normoxic β cells and islets. Decreased levels of HIF-1α impaired glucose-stimulated ATP generation and β cell function. C57BL/6 mice with β cell–specific Hif1a disruption (referred to herein as β-Hif1a-null mice) exhibited glucose intolerance, β cell dysfunction, and developed severe glucose intolerance on a high-fat diet. Increasing HIF-1α levels by inhibiting its degradation through iron chelation markedly improved insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in control mice fed a high-fat diet but not in β-Hif1a-null mice. Increasing HIF-1α levels markedly increased expression of ARNT and other genes in human T2D islets and improved their function. Further analysis indicated that HIF-1α was bound to the Arnt promoter in a mouse β cell line, suggesting direct regulation. Taken together, these findings suggest an important role for HIF-1α in β cell reserve and regulation of ARNT expression and demonstrate that HIF-1α is a potential therapeutic target for the β cell dysfunction of T2D.
Kim Cheng, Kenneth Ho, Rebecca Stokes, Christopher Scott, Sue Mei Lau, Wayne J. Hawthorne, Philip J. O’Connell, Thomas Loudovaris, Thomas W. Kay, Rohit N. Kulkarni, Terumasa Okada, Xiaohui L. Wang, Sun Hee Yim, Yatrik Shah, Shane T. Grey, Andrew V. Biankin, James G. Kench, D. Ross Laybutt, Frank J. Gonzalez, C. Ronald Kahn, Jenny E. Gunton
A variety of neurotransmitters, gastrointestinal hormones, and metabolic signals are known to potentiate insulin secretion through GPCRs. We show here that β cell–specific inactivation of the genes encoding the G protein α-subunits Gαq and Gα11 resulted in impaired glucose tolerance and insulin secretion in mice. Interestingly, the defects observed in Gαq/Gα11-deficient β cells were not restricted to loss of muscarinic or metabolic potentiation of insulin release; the response to glucose per se was also diminished. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that glucose-induced depolarization of isolated β cells was impaired in the absence of Gαq/Gα11, and closure of KATP channels was inhibited. We provide evidence that this reduced excitability was due to a loss of β cell–autonomous potentiation of insulin secretion through factors cosecreted with insulin. We identified as autocrine mediators involved in this process extracellular nucleotides such as uridine diphosphate acting through the Gq/G11-coupled P2Y6 receptor and extracellular calcium acting through the calcium-sensing receptor. Thus, the Gq/G11-mediated signaling pathway potentiates insulin secretion in response to glucose by integrating systemic as well as autocrine/paracrine mediators.
Antonia Sassmann, Belinda Gier, Hermann-Josef Gröne, Gisela Drews, Stefan Offermanns, Nina Wettschureck