ResearchPad - metabolic-sciences Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Metabolomics window into the role of acute kidney injury after coronary artery bypass grafting in diabetic nephropathy progression]]> Metabolomics has emerged as a valuable tool to discover novel biomarkers and study the pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the effect of postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI) on diabetes mellitus (DM) to chronic DN progression has not been evaluated from the perspective of metabolomics.MethodsA group of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) inpatients, who underwent off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), were enrolled in our study. According to whether postoperative AKI occurred, patients were grouped in either the AKI group (AKI, n = 44) or the non-AKI group (NAKI, n = 44). Urine samples were collected from these patients before and 24 h after operation. Six patients from the AKI group and six patients from the NAKI group were chosen as the pilot cohort for untargeted metabolomics analysis, with the goal of identifying postoperative AKI-related metabolites. To understand the possible role of these metabolites in the chronic development of renal injury among T2DM patients, trans-4-hydroxy-L-proline and azelaic acid were quantified by targeted metabolomics analysis among 38 NAKI patients, 38 AKI patients, 46 early DN patients (DN-micro group), and 34 overt DN patients (DN-macro group).ResultsUntargeted metabolomics screened 61 statistically distinguishable metabolites in postoperative urine samples, compared with preoperative urine samples. Via Venn diagram analysis, nine of 61 were postoperative AKI-related metabolites, including trans-4-hydroxy-L-proline, uridine triphosphate, p-aminobenzoate, caffeic acid, adrenochrome, δ-valerolactam, L-norleucine, 5′-deoxy-5′-(methylthio) adenosine, and azelaic acid. By targeted metabolomics analysis, the level of trans-4-hydroxy-L-proline increased gradually from the NAKI group to the AKI, DN-micro, and DN-macro groups. For azelaic acid, the highest level was found in the NAKI and DN-micro groups, followed by the DN-macro group. The AKI group exhibited the lowest level of azelaic acid.ConclusionsThe detection of urinary trans-4-hydroxy-L-proline after AKI could be treated as an early warning of chronic DN progression and might be linked to renal fibrosis. Urinary azelaic acid can be used to monitor renal function noninvasively in DM and DN patients. Our results identified markers of AKI on DM and the chronic progression of DN. In addition, the progression of DN was associated with AKI-like episodes occurring in DM. ]]> <![CDATA[Association of metabolically healthy obesity and elevated risk of coronary artery calcification: a systematic review and meta-analysis]]>


Metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) is defined as obesity with less than two parameters of metabolic abnormalities. Some studies report that MHO individuals show similar risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with metabolically healthy non-obese (MHNO) individuals, but the results are conflicting. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) reflects the extent of coronary atherosclerosis and is a useful tool to predict future risk of CVD. The objective of this meta-analysis was to investigate whether MHO is associated with elevated risk of CAC.


We searched Cochrane, PubMed, and Embase up to April 19, 2019. Prospective cohort and cross-sectional studies examining the association between MHO subjects and CAC were included with MHNO as the reference. Pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using random-effect models. Subgroup analysis and meta-regression were applied to define possible sources of heterogeneity. We conducted this research following a pre-established protocol registered on PROSPERO (CRD 42019135006).


A total of nine studies were included in this review and six studies with 23,543 participants were eligible for the meta-analysis. Compared with MHNO subjects, MHO had a higher odds of CAC (OR 1.36, 95% CI [1.11 to 1.66]; I2 = 39%). In the subgroup analysis, the risk associated with MHO participants was significant in cohort studies (OR = 1.47, 95% CI [1.15,1.87], I2 = 0%), and borderline significant in cross-sectional studies. The risk of CAC was also significant in MHO participants defined by Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) (OR = 1.55, 95% CI [1.25,1.93], I2 = 0%). The univariate meta-regression model showed that age and smoking status were possible effect modifiers for MHO and CAC risk.


Our meta-analysis showed that MHO phenotypes were associated with elevated risk of CAC compared with MHNO, which reflects the extent of coronary atherosclerosis. People with obesity should strive to achieve normal weight even when only one metabolic abnormality is present.

<![CDATA[Influence of whole-wheat consumption on fecal microbial community structure of obese diabetic mice]]>

The digestive tract of mammals and other animals is colonized by trillions of metabolically-active microorganisms. Changes in the gut microbiota have been associated with obesity in both humans and laboratory animals. Dietary modifications can often modulate the obese gut microbial ecosystem towards a more healthy state. This phenomenon should preferably be studied using dietary ingredients that are relevant to human nutrition. This study was designed to evaluate the influence of whole-wheat, a food ingredient with several beneficial properties, on gut microorganisms of obese diabetic mice. Diabetic (db/db) mice were fed standard (obese-control) or whole-wheat isocaloric diets (WW group) for eight weeks; non-obese mice were used as control (lean-control). High-throughput sequencing using the MiSeq platform coupled with freely-available computational tools and quantitative real-time PCR were used to analyze fecal bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences. Short-chain fatty acids were measured in caecal contents using quantitative high-performance liquid chromatography photo-diode array analysis. Results showed no statistical difference in final body weights between the obese-control and the WW group. The bacterial richness (number of Operational Taxonomic Units) did not differ among the treatment groups. The abundance of Ruminococcaceae, a family containing several butyrate-producing bacteria, was found to be higher in obese (median: 6.9%) and WW-supplemented mice (5.6%) compared to lean (2.7%, p = 0.02, Kruskal-Wallis test). Caecal concentrations of butyrate were higher in obese (average: 2.91 mmol/mg of feces) but especially in WW-supplemented mice (4.27 mmol/mg) compared to lean controls (0.97 mmol/mg), while caecal succinic acid was lower in the WW group compared to obese but especially to the lean group. WW consumption was associated with ∼3 times higher abundances of Lactobacillus spp. compared to both obese and lean control mice. Analysis of weighted UniFrac distances revealed a distinctive clustering of lean microbial communities separately from both obese and WW-supplemented mice (p = 0.001, ANOSIM test). Predictive metagenome analysis revealed significant differences in several metabolic features of the microbiota among the treatment groups, including carbohydrate, amino acids and vitamin metabolism (p < 0.01, Kruskal-Wallis test). However, obese and WW groups tended to share more similar abundances of gene families compared to lean mice. Using an in vivo model of obesity and diabetes, this study suggests that daily WW supplementation for eight weeks may not be enough to influence body weight or to output a lean-like microbiome, both taxonomically and metabolically. However, WW-supplementation was associated with several statistically significant differences in the gut microbiome compared to obese controls that deserve further investigation.

<![CDATA[Marked increase in rat red blood cell membrane protein glycosylation by one-month treatment with a cafeteria diet]]>

Background and Objectives. Glucose, an aldose, spontaneously reacts with protein amino acids yielding glycosylated proteins. The compounds may reorganize to produce advanced glycosylation products, which regulatory importance is increasingly being recognized. Protein glycosylation is produced without the direct intervention of enzymes and results in the loss of function. Glycosylated plasma albumin, and glycosylated haemoglobin are currently used as index of mean plasma glucose levels, since higher glucose availability results in higher glycosylation rates. In this study we intended to detect the early changes in blood protein glycosylation elicited by an obesogenic diet.

Experimental Design. Since albumin is in constant direct contact with plasma glucose, as are the red blood cell (RBC) membranes, we analyzed their degree or glycosylation in female and male rats, either fed a standard diet or subjected to a hyper-energetic self-selected cafeteria diet for 30 days. This model produces a small increase in basal glycaemia and a significant increase in body fat, leaving the animals in the initial stages of development of metabolic syndrome. We also measured the degree of glycosylation of hemoglobin, and the concentration of glucose in contact with this protein, that within the RBC. Glycosylation was measured by colorimetric estimation of the hydroxymethylfurfural liberated from glycosyl residues by incubation with oxalate.

Results. Plasma glucose was higher in cafeteria diet and in male rats, both independent effects. However, there were no significant differences induced by sex or diet in either hemoglobin or plasma proteins. Purified RBC membranes showed a marked effect of diet: higher glycosylation in cafeteria rats, which was more marked in females (not in controls). In any case, the number of glycosyl residues per molecule were higher in hemoglobin than in plasma proteins (after correction for molecular weight). The detected levels of glucose in RBC were lower than those of plasma, even when expressed in molal units, and were practically nil in cafeteria-diet fed rats compared with controls; there was no effect of sex.

Conclusions. RBC membrane glycosylation is a sensitive indicator of developing metabolic syndrome-related hyperglycemia, more sensitive than the general measurement of plasma or RBC protein glycosylation. The extensive glycosylation of blood proteins does not seem to be markedly affected by sex; and could be hardly justified from an assumedly sustained plasma hyperglycemia. The low levels of glucose found within RBC, especially in rats under the cafeteria diet, could hardly justify the extensive glycosylation of hemoglobin and the lack of differences with controls, which contained sizeable levels of intracellular glucose. Additional studies are needed to study the dynamics of glucose in vivo in the RBC to understand how such extensive protein glycosylation could take place.

<![CDATA[Serum uric acid levels during leprosy reaction episodes]]>

Background. Leprosy reactions are acute inflammatory episodes that occur mainly in the multibacillary forms of the disease. The reactions are classified as type 1 (reverse reaction) or type 2 (erythema nodosum leprosum). Leprosy-associated oxidative stress has been widely demonstrated. Several recent studies have shown uric acid (UA) to have antioxidative effects under pathologic conditions. The objective of this study was to assess serum levels of UA in patients with leprosy reactions, with the aim of monitoring their levels before and after treatment, compared with levels in leprosy patients without reactions.

Methods. The study included patients aged 18–69 years assisted at a leprosy treatment reference center in the Central Region of Brazil. Patients who were pregnant; were using immunosuppressant drugs or immunobiologicals; or had an autoimmune disease, human immunodeficiency virus infection, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or tuberculosis were excluded. Upon recruitment, all individuals were clinically assessed for skin lesions and neural or systemic impairment. Some patients had already completed treatment for leprosy, while others were still undergoing treatment or had initiated treatment after being admitted. The treatment of the reactional episode was started only after the initial evaluation. Laboratory assessments were performed upon admission (baseline) and at approximately 30 and 60 days (time points 1 and 2, respectively).

Results. A total of 123 leprosy patients were recruited between June 2012 and June 2015; among them, 56, 42, and 25 presented with type 1, type 2, and no reactions, respectively. Serum UA levels were significantly reduced in patients with type 2 leprosy reactions compared with patients in the control group and remained lower in the two subsequent assessments, after initiation of anti-reaction treatments, with similar values to those recorded before the treatment.

Discussion. The decreased serum UA levels in patients with type 2 leprosy reactions might be due to the consumption of UA to neutralize the enhanced production of oxygen- and nitrogen-reactive species that occurs during type 2 reactions. The maintenance of the reduced levels in the follow-up assessments may indicate persistence of oxidative stress in the initial post-treatment stages, despite improved clinical conditions. The results of this study suggest that serum UA may play an antioxidative role during type 2 leprosy reactions.

<![CDATA[Predictor effect of Locus Of Control (LOC) on self-care activities and metabolic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes]]>


Previous studies have examined the role of individuals’ personal characteristics in diabetes management and used the locus of control theory to assess adherence to a diabetes management regimen. These studies have emphasized that having internal locus of control may be a protective factor in diabetes management.


The purpose of this study is to determine the predictor effect of locus of control on self-care activities and A1c level.


The study is descriptive and relational. Researchers used a Diabetes Self-Care Activities Scale and a Locus of Control Scale to collect data. The study sample consisted of 129 individuals with type 2 diabetes.


The average score of locus of control of individuals with diabetes was 10.26, and the frequency of self-care activities in the past week was 2.9 days. A weak but statistically significant negative relation was found between the locus of control level and self-care activities of individuals with diabetes, which had no effect on A1c. It was determined that locus of control predicts 19% of self-care activities.


According to the study results, having internal locus of control had positive effects on self-care activities. Training and planning activities to improve internal locus of control can improve diabetes management.

<![CDATA[Effects of statins on TH1 modulating cytokines in human subjects]]>

Background. Activation of the innate immune system by cholesterol accelerates atherosclerosis. High levels or modified forms of cholesterol stimulate release of the inflammatory cytokines IL-12 and IL-18 that synergistically stimulate T lymphocytes to produce the atherogenic cytokine interferon-γ. While activation of the innate immune system by cholesterol is well-described in animal models and human subjects with high cholesterol levels or known atherosclerotic disease, the interaction of cholesterol and lipoproteins with the innate immune system in human subjects without known atherosclerosis is less well-described. The goal of our study was to assess the TH1 modulating cytokines IL-12 p40 and IL-18, and their counter regulatory cytokines IL-18 binding protein and IL-27, to determine if their levels are linked to cholesterol levels or other factors.

Methods. We performed a blinded, randomized hypothesis-generating study in human subjects without known atherosclerotic disease. We measured serum lipids, lipoprotein levels, and collected plasma samples at baseline. Subjects were randomized to two weeks of therapy with atorvastatin, pravastatin, or rosuvastatin. Lipids and cytokine levels were measured after two weeks of statin treatment. Subjects were given a four-week statin-free period. At the end of the four-week statin-free period, venous blood was sampled again to determine if serum lipids returned to within 5% of their pre-statin levels. When lipid levels returned to baseline, subjects were again treated with the next statin in the randomization scheme. IL-12, IL-18, IL-18 binding protein, and IL-27 were measured at baseline and after each statin treatment to determine effects of statin treatment on their blood levels, and identify correlations with lipids and lipoproteins.

Results. Therapy with statins revealed no significant change in the levels of IL-12, IL-18, IL-18 binding protein or IL-27 levels. We found that IL-18 levels positively correlate with total cholesterol levels (r2 = 0.15, p < 0.03), but not HDL or LDL cholesterol. In contrast, IL-12 p40 levels inversely correlated with total cholesterol (r2 = −0.17, p < 0.008), HDL cholesterol (r2 = −0.22, p < 0.002), and apolipoprotein A1 (r2 = −0.21, p < 0.002). Similarly, IL-18 binding protein levels inversely correlated with apolipoprotein A1 levels (r2 = −0.13, p < 0.02).

Conclusions. Our findings suggest that total cholesterol levels positively regulate IL-18, while HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1 may reduce IL-12 p40 and IL-18 binding protein levels. Additional studies in a larger patient population are needed to confirm these findings, and verify mechanistically whether HDL cholesterol can directly suppress IL-12 p40 and IL-18 binding protein levels in human subjects.

<![CDATA[Influence of rimonabant treatment on peripheral blood mononuclear cells; flow cytometry analysis and gene expression profiling]]>

The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) antagonist rimonabant has been used as treatment for obesity. In addition, anti-proliferative effects on mitogen-activated leukocytes have been demonstrated in vitro. We have previously shown that rimonabant (SR141716A) induces cell death in ex vivo isolated malignant lymphomas with high expression of CB1 receptors. Since CB1 targeting may be part of a future lymphoma therapy, it was of interest to investigate possible effects on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in patients treated with rimonabant. We therefore evaluated leukocyte subsets by 6 color flow cytometry in eight patients before and at treatment with rimonabant for 4 weeks. Whole-transcript gene expression profiling in PBMC before and at 4 weeks of rimonabant treatment was done using Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST Arrays. Our data show no significant changes of monocytes, B cells, total T cells or T cell subsets in PBMC during treatment with rimonabant. There was a small but significant increase in CD3–, CD16+ and/or CD56+ cells after rimonabant therapy. Gene expression analysis detected significant changes in expression of genes associated with innate immunity, cell death and metabolism. The present study shows that normal monocytes and leukocyte subsets in blood remain rather constant during rimonabant treatment. This is in contrast to the induction of cell death previously observed in CB1 expressing lymphoma cells in response to treatment with rimonabant in vitro. These differential effects observed on normal and malignant lymphoid cells warrant investigation of CB1 targeting as a potential lymphoma treatment.

<![CDATA[Effect of obesity and exercise on the expression of the novel myokines, Myonectin and Fibronectin type III domain containing 5]]>

Metabolic dysfunction in skeletal muscle is a major contributor to the development of type 2 diabetes. Endurance exercise training has long been established as an effective means to directly restore skeletal muscle glucose and lipid uptake and metabolism. However, in addition to the direct effects of skeletal muscle on glucose and lipids, there is renewed interest in the ability of skeletal muscle to coordinate metabolic activity of other tissues, such as adipose tissue and liver. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of endurance exercise on the expression level of two novel muscle-derived secreted factors, or myokines, Myonectin and Fibronectin type III domain containing 5 (FNDC5), the precursor for Irisin.

Methods. We performed immunoblot analysis and quantitative real-time PCR analysis of Myonectin and FNDC5 in the diaphragm muscles of obese Zucker rat (OZR) and lean Zucker rat (LZR) with 9 weeks of aerobic training on a motorized treadmill.

Results. We show that myonectin gene expression is increased in the OZR model of obesity and decreases with exercise in both lean and obese Zucker rats. Conversely, myonectin protein concentration was elevated with exercise. Similarly, FNDC5 mRNA levels are significantly higher in the OZR, however exercise training had no effect on the expression level of FNDC5 in either the LZR or OZR. We did not observe any difference in muscle protein content of Irisin with obesity or exercise.

Conclusion. Our data shows that exercise training does not increase either FNDC5 or myonectin gene expression, indicating that increased transcriptional regulation of these myokines is not induced by exercise. However, our data also indicates a yet to be explored disconnect between myonectin gene expression and protein content. Further, this report highlights the importance of verifying reference genes when completing gene expression analysis. We found that many commonly used reference genes varied significantly by obesity and/or exercise and would have skewed the results of this study if used to normalize gene expression data. The unstable reference genes include: beta-Actin, beta-2-microglobulin, Non-POU domain containing, octamer-binding, Peptidylprolyl isomerase H, 18S ribosomal RNA, TATA box binding protein and Transferrin receptor.

<![CDATA[The metabolic cost of walking on an incline in the Peacock (Pavo cristatus)]]>

Altering speed and moving on a gradient can affect an animal’s posture and gait, which in turn can change the energetic requirements of terrestrial locomotion. Here, the energetic and kinematic effects of locomoting on an incline were investigated in the Indian peacock, Pavo cristatus. The mass-specific metabolic rate of the Indian peacock was elevated on an incline, but this change was not dependent on the angle ascended and the cost of lifting remained similar between the two inclines (+5 and +7°). Interestingly, the Indian peacock had the highest efficiency when compared to any other previously studied avian biped, despite the presence of a large train. Duty factors were higher for birds moving on an incline, but there was no difference between +5 and +7°. Our results highlight the importance of investigating kinematic responses during energetic studies, as these may enable explanation of what is driving the underlying metabolic differences when moving on inclines. Further investigations are required to elucidate the underlying mechanical processes occurring during incline movement.

<![CDATA[Effects of 14-day oral low dose selenium nanoparticles and selenite in rat—as determined by metabolite pattern determination]]>

Selenium (Se) is an essential element with a small difference between physiological and toxic doses. To provide more effective and safe Se dosing regimens, as compared to dosing with ionic selenium, nanoparticle formulations have been developed. However, due to the nano-formulation, unexpected toxic effects may occur. We used metabolite pattern determination in urine to investigate biological and/or toxic effects in rats administered nanoparticles and for comparison included ionic selenium at an equimolar dose in the form of sodium selenite. Low doses of 10 and 100 fold the recommended human high level were employed to study the effects at borderline toxicity. Evaluations of all significantly changed putative metabolites, showed that Se nanoparticles and sodium selenite induced similar dose dependent changes of the metabolite pattern. Putative identified metabolites included increased decenedioic acid and hydroxydecanedioic acid for both Se formulations whereas dipeptides were only increased for selenite. These effects could reflect altered fatty acid and protein metabolism, respectively.

<![CDATA[Cafeteria diet induce changes in blood flow that are more related with heat dissipation than energy accretion]]>

Background. A “cafeteria” diet is a self-selected high-fat diet, providing an excess of energy, which can induce obesity. Excess of lipids in the diet hampers glucose utilization eliciting insulin resistance, which, further limits amino acid oxidation for energy.

Methods. Male Wistar rats were exposed for a month to “cafeteria” diet. Rats were cannulated and fluorescent microspheres were used to determine blood flow.

Results. Exposure to the cafeteria diet did not change cardiac output, but there was a marked shift in organ irrigation. Skin blood flow decreased to compensate increases in lungs and heart. Blood flow through adipose tissue tended to increase in relation to controls, but was considerably increased in brown adipose tissue (on a weight basis).

Discussion. The results suggest that the cafeteria diet-induced changes were related to heat transfer and disposal.

<![CDATA[Evidence from studies in rodents and in isolated adipocytes that agonists of the chemerin receptor CMKLR1 may be beneficial in the treatment of type 2 diabetes]]>

The literature is unclear on whether the adipokine chemerin has pro- or anti-inflammatory properties or plays any role in the aetiology of type 2 diabetes or obesity. To address these questions, and in particular the potential of agonists or antagonists of the chemerin receptor CMKLR1 in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity, we studied the metabolic phenotypes of both male and female, CMKLR1 knockout and heterozygote mice. We also investigated changes in plasma chemerin levels and chemerin gene mRNA content in adipose tissue in models of obesity and diabetes, and in response to fasting or administration of the insulin sensitizing drug rosiglitazone, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. The effects of murine chemerin and specific C-terminal peptides on glucose uptake in wild-type and CMKLR1 knockout adipocytes were investigated as a possible mechanism by which chemerin affects the blood glucose concentration. Both male and female CMKLR1 knockout and heterozygote mice displayed a mild tendency to obesity and impaired glucose homeostasis, but only when they were fed on a high-fat died, rather than a standard low-fat diet. Obesity and impaired glucose homeostasis did not occur concurrently, suggesting that obesity was not the sole cause of impaired glucose homeostasis. Picomolar concentrations of chemerin and its C15- and C19-terminal peptides stimulated glucose uptake in the presence of insulin by rat and mouse wild-type epididymal adipocytes, but not by murine CMKLR1 knockout adipocytes. The insulin concentration-response curve was shifted to the left in the presence of 40 pM chemerin or its C-15 terminal peptide. The plasma chemerin level was raised in diet-induced obesity and ob/ob but not db/db mice, and was reduced by fasting and, in ob/ob mice, by treatment with rosiglitazone. These findings suggest that an agonist of CMKLR1 is more likely than an antagonist to be of value in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and to have associated anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory activities. One mechanism by which an agonist of CMKLR1 might improve glucose homeostasis is by increasing insulin-stimulated glucose uptake by adipocytes.

<![CDATA[Untargeted metabolomics approach for unraveling robust biomarkers of nutritional status in fasted gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata)]]>

A metabolomic study has been performed to identify sensitive and robust biomarkers of malnutrition in farmed fish, using gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) as a model. The metabolomic fingerprinting of serum from fasted fish was assessed by means of ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. More than 15,000 different m/z ions were detected and Partial Least Squares–Discriminant analysis allowed a clear differentiation between the two experimental groups (fed and 10-day fasted fish) with more than 90% of total variance explained by the two first components. The most significant metabolites (up to 45) were elucidated on the basis of their tandem mass spectra with a broad representation of amino acids, oligopeptides, urea cycle metabolites, L-carnitine-related metabolites, glutathione-related metabolites, fatty acids, lysophosphatidic acids, phosphatidylcholines as well as biotin- and noradrenaline-related metabolites. This untargeted approach highlighted important adaptive responses in energy and oxidative metabolism, contributing to identify robust and nutritionally-regulated biomarkers of health and metabolic condition that will serve to assess the welfare status of farmed fish.

<![CDATA[Influence of a hyperlipidic diet on the composition of the non-membrane lipid pool of red blood cells of male and female rats]]>

Background and objectives. Red blood cells (RBC) are continuously exposed to oxidative agents, affecting their membrane lipid function. However, the amount of lipid in RBCs is higher than the lipids of the cell membrane, and includes triacylglycerols, which are no membrane components. We assumed that the extra lipids originated from lipoproteins attached to the cell surface, and we intended to analyse whether the size and composition of this lipid pool were affected by sex or diet.

Experimental design. Adult male and female Wistar rats were fed control or cafeteria diets. Packed blood cells and plasma lipids were extracted and analysed for fatty acids by methylation and GC-MS, taking care of not extracting membrane lipids.

Results. The absence of ω3-PUFA in RBC extracts (but not in plasma) suggest that the lipids extracted were essentially those in the postulated lipid surface pool and not those in cell membrane. In cells’ extracts, there was a marked depletion of PUFA (and, in general, of insaturation). Fatty acid patterns were similar for all groups studied, with limited effects of sex and no effects of diet in RBC (but not in plasma) fatty acids. Presence of trans fatty acids was small but higher in RBC lipids, and could not be justified by dietary sources.

Conclusions. The presence of a small layer of lipid on the RBC surface may limit oxidative damage to the cell outer structures, and help explain its role in the transport of lipophilic compounds. However, there may be other, so far uncovered, additional functions for this lipid pool.

<![CDATA[Butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids increase the rate of lipolysis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes]]>

We determined the effect of butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) on rates of lipolysis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Prolonged treatment with butyrate (5 mM) increased the rate of lipolysis approximately 2–3-fold. Aminobutyric acid and acetate had little or no effect on lipolysis, however propionate stimulated lipolysis, suggesting that butyrate and propionate act through their shared activity as histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Consistent with this, the HDAC inhibitor trichostatin A (1 µM) also stimulated lipolysis to a similar extent as did butyrate. Western blot data suggested that neither mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation nor perilipin down-regulation are necessary for SCFA-induced lipolysis. Stimulation of lipolysis with butyrate and trichostatin A was glucose-dependent. Changes in AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation mediated by glucose were independent of changes in rates of lipolysis. The glycolytic inhibitor iodoacetate prevented both butyrate- and tumor necrosis factor-alpha-(TNF-α) mediated increases in rates of lipolysis indicating glucose metabolism is required. However, unlike TNF-α– , butyrate-stimulated lipolysis was not associated with increased lactate release or inhibited by activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) with dichloroacetate. These data demonstrate an important relationship between lipolytic activity and reported HDAC inhibitory activity of butyrate, other short-chain fatty acids and trichostatin A. Given that HDAC inhibitors are presently being evaluated for the treatment of diabetes and other disorders, more work will be essential to determine if these effects on lipolysis are due to inhibition of HDAC.

<![CDATA[Lipopolysaccharide induces a downregulation of adiponectin receptors in-vitro and in-vivo]]>

Background. Adipose tissue contributes to the inflammatory response through production of cytokines, recruitment of macrophages and modulation of the adiponectin system. Previous studies have identified a down-regulation of adiponectin in pathologies characterised by acute (sepsis and endotoxaemia) and chronic inflammation (obesity and type-II diabetes mellitus). In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that LPS would reduce adiponectin receptor expression in a murine model of endotoxaemia and in adipoocyte and myocyte cell cultures.

Methods. 25 mg/kg LPS was injected intra-peritoneally into C57BL/6J mice, equivalent volumes of normal saline were used in control animals. Mice were killed at 4 or 24 h post injection and tissues harvested. Murine adipocytes (3T3-L1) and myocytes (C2C12) were grown in standard culture, treated with LPS (0.1 µg/ml–10 µg/ml) and harvested at 4 and 24 h. RNA was extracted and qPCR was conducted according to standard protocols and relative expression was calculated.

Results. After LPS treatment there was a significant reduction after 4 h in gene expression of adipo R1 in muscle and peri-renal fat and of adipo R2 in liver, peri-renal fat and abdominal wall subcutaneous fat. After 24 h, significant reductions were limited to muscle. Cell culture extracts showed varied changes with reduction in adiponectin and adipo R2 gene expression only in adipocytes.

Conclusions. LPS reduced adiponectin receptor gene expression in several tissues including adipocytes. This reflects a down-regulation of this anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitising pathway in response to LPS. The trend towards base line after 24 h in tissue depots may reflect counter-regulatory mechanisms. Adiponectin receptor regulation differs in the tissues investigated.

<![CDATA[Association between the HTR2C rs1414334 C/G gene polymorphism and the development of the metabolic syndrome in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics]]>

Few studies have assessed the association between the rs1414334 C/G polymorphism in the HTR2C gene and the development of the metabolic syndrome in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. To provide further evidence, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain between 2012 and 2013 in 166 patients with these characteristics. In these patients, the association between the polymorphism and the presence of the metabolic syndrome was determined by implementing binary logistic regression models adjusted for variables associated with the metabolic syndrome. We did not confirm previous claims that the C allele of the polymorphism was linked to the metabolic syndrome: the association was in the opposite direction and non-significant. This conclusion held after taking gender and lifestyle variables into account.

<![CDATA[Acute effects of traditional Japanese alcohol beverages on blood glucose and polysomnography levels in healthy subjects]]>

Background. Alcohol consumption is a lifestyle factor associated with type 2 diabetes. This relationship is reportedly different depending on the type of alcohol beverage. The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of traditional Japanese alcohol beverages on biochemical parameters, physical and emotional state, and sleep patterns.

Methods. Six healthy subjects (three men and three women; age, 28.8 ± 9.5 years; body mass index, 21.4 ± 1.6 kg/m2) consumed three different types of alcohol beverages (beer, shochu, and sake, each with 40 g ethanol) or mineral water with dinner on different days in the hospital. Blood samples were collected before and 1, 2, and 12 h after drinking each beverage, and assessments of physical and emotional state were administered at the same time. In addition, sleep patterns and brain waves were examined using polysomnography.

Results. Blood glucose levels at 1 h and the 12-h area under the curve (AUC) value after drinking shochu were significantly lower than that with water and beer. The 12-h blood insulin AUC value after drinking shochu was significantly lower than that with beer. Blood glucose × insulin level at 1 h and the 2-h blood glucose × insulin AUC value with shochu were significantly lower than that with beer. The insulinogenic indexes at 2 h with beer and sake, but not shochu, were significantly higher than that with water. The visual analogue scale scores of physical and emotional state showed that the tipsiness levels with beer, shochu, and sake at 1 h were significantly higher than that with water. These tipsiness levels were maintained at 2 h. The polysomnography showed that the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep latency with shochu and sake were shorter than that with water and beer.

Conclusions. Acute consumption of alcohol beverages with a meal resulted in different responses in postprandial glucose and insulin levels as well as REM sleep latency. Alcohol beverage type should be taken into consideration for people with impaired glucose tolerance.

<![CDATA[1H NMR studies distinguish the water soluble metabolomic profiles of untransformed and RAS-transformed cells]]>

Metabolomic profiling is an increasingly important method for identifying potential biomarkers in cancer cells with a view towards improved diagnosis and treatment. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) provides a potentially noninvasive means to accurately characterize differences in the metabolomic profiles of cells. In this work, we use 1H NMR to measure the metabolomic profiles of water soluble metabolites extracted from isogenic control and oncogenic HRAS-, KRAS-, and NRAS-transduced BEAS2B lung epithelial cells to determine the robustness of NMR metabolomic profiling in detecting differences between the transformed cells and their untransformed counterparts as well as differences among the RAS-transformed cells. Unique metabolomic signatures between control and RAS-transformed cell lines as well as among the three RAS isoform-transformed lines were found by applying principal component analysis to the NMR data. This study provides a proof of principle demonstration that NMR-based metabolomic profiling can robustly distinguish untransformed and RAS-transformed cells as well as cells transformed with different RAS oncogenic isoforms. Thus, our data may potentially provide new diagnostic signatures for RAS-transformed cells.