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Excessive glucocorticoid exposure has been shown to be deleterious for pancreatic β-cell function and insulin release. However, glucocorticoids at physiological levels are essential for many homeostatic processes, including glycemic control. We show that corticosterone and cortisol and their less active precursors 11-dehydrocorticosterone (11-DHC) and cortisone suppress voltage-dependent Ca channel function and Ca fluxes in rodent as well as in human β-cells. However, insulin secretion, maximal ATP/ADP responses to glucose, and β-cell identity were all unaffected. Further examination revealed the upregulation of parallel amplifying cAMP signals and an increase in the number of membrane-docked insulin secretory granules. Effects of 11-DHC could be prevented by lipotoxicity and were associated with paracrine regulation of glucocorticoid activity because global deletion of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 normalized Ca and cAMP responses. Thus, we have identified an enzymatically amplified feedback loop whereby glucocorticoids boost cAMP to maintain insulin secretion in the face of perturbed ionic signals. Failure of this protective mechanism may contribute to diabetes in states of glucocorticoid excess, such as Cushing syndrome, which are associated with frank dyslipidemia.
© 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.
Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated cation (HCN) channels have important functions in controlling neuronal excitability and generating rhythmic oscillatory activity. The role of tetratricopeptide repeat-containing Rab8b-interacting protein (TRIP8b) in regulation of hyperpolarization-activated inward current, I , in the thalamocortical system and its functional relevance for the physiological thalamocortical oscillations were investigated. A significant decrease in I current density, in both thalamocortical relay (TC) and cortical pyramidal neurons was found in TRIP8b-deficient mice (TRIP8b). In addition basal cAMP levels in the brain were found to be decreased while the availability of the fast transient A-type K current, I , in TC neurons was increased. These changes were associated with alterations in intrinsic properties and firing patterns of TC neurons, as well as intrathalamic and thalamocortical network oscillations, revealing a significant increase in slow oscillations in the delta frequency range (0.5-4 Hz) during episodes of active-wakefulness. In addition, absence of TRIP8b suppresses the normal desynchronization response of the EEG during the switch from slow-wave sleep to wakefulness. It is concluded that TRIP8b is necessary for the modulation of physiological thalamocortical oscillations due to its direct effect on HCN channel expression in thalamus and cortex and that mechanisms related to reduced cAMP signaling may contribute to the present findings.
β-adrenergic receptors (βARs) are well established for conveying the signal from catecholamines to adipocytes. Acting through the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) they stimulate lipolysis and also increase the activity of brown adipocytes and the 'browning' of adipocytes within white fat depots (so-called 'brite' or 'beige' adipocytes). Brown adipose tissue mitochondria are enriched with uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), which is a regulated proton channel that allows the dissipation of chemical energy in the form of heat. The discovery of functional brown adipocytes in humans and inducible brown-like ('beige' or 'brite') adipocytes in rodents have suggested that recruitment and activation of these thermogenic adipocytes could be a promising strategy to increase energy expenditure for obesity therapy. More recently, the cardiac natriuretic peptides and their second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) have gained attention as a parallel signaling pathway in adipocytes, with some unique features. In this review, we begin with some important historical work that touches upon the regulation of brown adipocyte development and physiology. We then provide a synopsis of some recent advances in the signaling cascades from β-adrenergic agonists and natriuretic peptides to drive thermogenic gene expression in the adipocytes and how these two pathways converge at a number of unexpected points. Finally, moving from the physiologic hormonal signaling, we discuss yet another level of control downstream of these signals: the growing appreciation of the emerging roles of non-coding RNAs as important regulators of brown adipocyte formation and function. In this review, we discuss new developments in our understanding of the signaling mechanisms and factors including new secreted proteins and novel non-coding RNAs that control the function as well as the plasticity of the brown/beige adipose tissue as it responds to the energy needs and environmental conditions of the organism.
Activation of β-adrenergic receptors (βARs) enhances both the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells and hippocampal-dependent cognitive function. Interestingly, previous studies reveal that coincident activation of group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors with βARs in the hippocampal astrocytes induces a large increase in cyclic-AMP (cAMP) accumulation and release of adenosine. Adenosine then acts on A adenosine receptors at neighboring excitatory Schaffer collateral terminals, which could counteract effects of activation of neuronal βARs on excitatory transmission. On the basis of this, we postulated that activation of the specific mGlu receptor subtype that mediates this response could inhibit βAR-mediated effects on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Using novel mGlu receptor subtype-selective allosteric modulators along with knockout mice we now report that the effects of mGlu agonists on βAR-mediated increases in cAMP accumulation are exclusively mediated by mGlu. Furthermore, mGlu activation inhibits the ability of the βAR agonist isoproterenol to enhance hippocampal LTP, and this effect is absent in slices treated with either a glial toxin or an adenosine A receptor antagonist. Finally, systemic administration of the mGlu agonist LY379268 disrupted contextual fear memory in a manner similar to the effect of the βAR antagonist propranolol, and this effect was reversed by the mGlu-negative allosteric modulator VU0650786. Taken together, these data suggest that mGlu can influence astrocytic signaling and modulate βAR-mediated effects on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.
Alveolar macrophages (AMs) are multitasking cells that maintain lung homeostasis by clearing apoptotic cells (efferocytosis) and performing antimicrobial effector functions. Different PRRs have been described to be involved in the binding and capture of non-opsonized Streptococcus pneumoniae, such as TLR-2, mannose receptor (MR) and scavenger receptors (SRs). However, the mechanism by which the ingestion of apoptotic cells negatively influences the clearance of non-opsonized S. pneumoniae remains to be determined. In this study, we evaluated whether the prostaglandin E2 (PGE) produced during efferocytosis by AMs inhibits the ingestion and killing of non-opsonized S. pneumoniae. Resident AMs were pre-treated with an E prostanoid (EP) receptor antagonist, inhibitors of cyclooxygenase and protein kinase A (PKA), incubated with apoptotic Jurkat T cells, and then challenged with S. pneumoniae. Efferocytosis slightly decreased the phagocytosis of S. pneumoniae but greatly inhibited bacterial killing by AMs in a manner dependent on PGE production, activation of the EP2-EP4/cAMP/PKA pathway and inhibition of HO production. Our data suggest that the PGE produced by AMs during efferocytosis inhibits HO production and impairs the efficient clearance non-opsonized S. pneumoniae by EP2-EP4/cAMP/PKA pathway.
Cholesterol synthesis is among the oldest metabolic pathways, consisting of the Bloch and Kandutch-Russell branches. Following lanosterol, sterols of both branches are proposed to be dedicated to cholesterol. We challenge this dogma by mathematical modeling and with experimental evidence. It was not possible to explain the sterol profile of testis in cAMP responsive element modulator tau (Crem τ) knockout mice with mathematical models based on textbook pathways of cholesterol synthesis. Our model differs in the inclusion of virtual sterol metabolizing enzymes branching from the pathway. We tested the hypothesis that enzymes from the cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily can participate in the catalysis of non-classical reactions. We show that CYP enzymes can metabolize multiple sterols in vitro, establishing novel branching points of cholesterol synthesis. In conclusion, sterols of cholesterol synthesis can be oxidized further to metabolites not dedicated to production of cholesterol. Additionally, CYP7A1, CYP11A1, CYP27A1, and CYP46A1 are parts of a broader cholesterol synthesis network.
Although men with testosterone deficiency are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D), previous studies have ignored the role of testosterone and the androgen receptor (AR) in pancreatic β cells. We show that male mice lacking AR in β cells (βARKO) exhibit decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), leading to glucose intolerance. The AR agonist dihydrotestosterone (DHT) enhances GSIS in cultured male islets, an effect that is abolished in βARKO(-/y) islets and human islets treated with an AR antagonist. In β cells, DHT-activated AR is predominantly extranuclear and enhances GSIS by increasing islet cAMP and activating the protein kinase A. In mouse and human islets, the insulinotropic effect of DHT depends on activation of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor, and accordingly, DHT amplifies the incretin effect of GLP-1. This study identifies AR as a novel receptor that enhances β cell function, a finding with implications for the prevention of T2D in aging men.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tityus serrulatus sting causes thousands of deaths annually worldwide. T. serrulatus-envenomed victims exhibit local or systemic reaction that culminates in pulmonary oedema, potentially leading to death. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying T. serrulatus venom (TsV) activity remain unknown. Here we show that TsV triggers NLRP3 inflammasome activation via K(+) efflux. Mechanistically, TsV triggers lung-resident cells to release PGE2, which induces IL-1β production via E prostanoid receptor 2/4-cAMP-PKA-NFκB-dependent mechanisms. IL-1β/IL-1R actions account for oedema and neutrophil recruitment to the lungs, leading to TsV-induced mortality. Inflammasome activation triggers LTB4 production and further PGE2 via IL-1β/IL-1R signalling. Activation of LTB4-BLT1/2 pathway decreases cAMP generation, controlling TsV-induced inflammation. Exogenous administration confirms LTB4 anti-inflammatory activity and abrogates TsV-induced mortality. These results suggest that the balance between LTB4 and PGE2 determines the amount of IL-1β inflammasome-dependent release and the outcome of envenomation. We suggest COX1/2 inhibition as an effective therapeutic intervention for scorpion envenomation.
Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a classic gut hormone that is also expressed in the pancreatic islet, where it is highly up-regulated with obesity. Loss of CCK results in increased β-cell apoptosis in obese mice. Similarly, islet α-cells produce increased amounts of another gut peptide, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), in response to cytokine and nutrient stimulation. GLP-1 also protects β-cells from apoptosis via cAMP-mediated mechanisms. Therefore, we hypothesized that the activation of islet-derived CCK and GLP-1 may be linked. We show here that both human and mouse islets secrete active GLP-1 as a function of body mass index/obesity. Furthermore, GLP-1 can rapidly stimulate β-cell CCK production and secretion through direct targeting by the cAMP-modulated transcription factor, cAMP response element binding protein (CREB). We find that cAMP-mediated signaling is required for Cck expression, but CCK regulation by cAMP does not require stimulatory levels of glucose or insulin secretion. We also show that CREB directly targets the Cck promoter in islets from obese (Leptin(ob/ob)) mice. Finally, we demonstrate that the ability of GLP-1 to protect β-cells from cytokine-induced apoptosis is partially dependent on CCK receptor signaling. Taken together, our work suggests that in obesity, active GLP-1 produced in the islet stimulates CCK production and secretion in a paracrine manner via cAMP and CREB. This intraislet incretin loop may be one mechanism whereby GLP-1 protects β-cells from apoptosis.
Hedgehog (Hh) signaling plays an integral role in vertebrate development, and its dysregulation has been accepted widely as a driver of numerous malignancies. While a variety of small molecules target Smoothened (Smo) as a strategy for Hh inhibition, Smo gain-of-function mutations have limited their clinical implementation. Modulation of targets downstream of Smo could define a paradigm for treatment of Hh-dependent cancers. Here, we describe eggmanone, a small molecule identified from a chemical genetic zebrafish screen, which induced an Hh-null phenotype. Eggmanone exerts its Hh-inhibitory effects through selective antagonism of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), leading to protein kinase A activation and subsequent Hh blockade. Our study implicates PDE4 as a target for Hh inhibition, suggests an improved strategy for Hh-dependent cancer therapy, and identifies a unique probe of downstream-of-Smo Hh modulation.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.