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Julie Smith, Jan Fahrenkrug, Henrik L Jørgensen, Christina Christoffersen and Jens P Goetze

Disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease. In white adipose tissue, activation of the natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs) stimulates lipolysis. We have previously shown that natriuretic peptides are expressed in a circadian manner in the heart, but the temporal expression profile of their cognate receptors has not been examined in white adipose tissue. We therefore collected peri-renal white adipose tissue and serum from WT mice. Tissue mRNA contents of NPRs – NPR-A and NPR-C, the clock genes Per1 and Bmal1, and transcripts involved in lipid metabolism were quantified at 4-h intervals: in the diurnal study, mice were exposed to a period of 12 h light followed by 12 h darkness (n=52). In the circadian study, mice were kept in darkness for 24 h (n=47). Concomitant serum concentrations of free fatty acids, glycerol, triglycerides (TGs), and insulin were measured. Per1 and Bmal1 mRNA contents showed reciprocal circadian profiles (P<0.0001). NPR-A mRNA contents followed a temporal pattern (P=0.01), peaking in the dark (active) period. In contrast, NPR-C mRNA was expressed in an antiphase manner with nadir in the active period (P=0.007). TG concentrations in serum peaked in the active dark period (P=0.003). In conclusion, NPR-A and NPR-C gene expression is associated with the expression of clock genes in white adipose tissue. The reciprocal expression may thus contribute to regulate lipolysis and energy homeostasis in a diurnal manner.

Open access

C L Bodinham, L Smith, E L Thomas, J D Bell, J R Swann, A Costabile, D Russell-Jones, A M Umpleby and M D Robertson

Resistant starch (RS) has been shown to beneficially affect insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals and those with metabolic syndrome, but its effects on human type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are unknown. This study aimed to determine the effects of increased RS consumption on insulin sensitivity and glucose control and changes in postprandial metabolites and body fat in T2DM. Seventeen individuals with well-controlled T2DM (HbA1c 46.6±2 mmol/mol) consumed, in a random order, either 40 g of type 2 RS (HAM-RS2) or a placebo, daily for 12 weeks with a 12-week washout period in between. At the end of each intervention period, participants attended for three metabolic investigations: a two-step euglycemic–hyperinsulinemic clamp combined with an infusion of [6,6-2H2] glucose, a meal tolerance test (MTT) with arterio-venous sampling across the forearm, and whole-body imaging. HAM-RS2 resulted in significantly lower postprandial glucose concentrations (P=0.045) and a trend for greater glucose uptake across the forearm muscle (P=0.077); however, there was no effect of HAM-RS2 on hepatic or peripheral insulin sensitivity, or on HbA1c. Fasting non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations were significantly lower (P=0.004) and NEFA suppression was greater during the clamp with HAM-RS2 (P=0.001). Fasting triglyceride (TG) concentrations and soleus intramuscular TG concentrations were significantly higher following the consumption of HAM-RS2 (P=0.039 and P=0.027 respectively). Although fasting GLP1 concentrations were significantly lower following HAM-RS2 consumption (P=0.049), postprandial GLP1 excursions during the MTT were significantly greater (P=0.009). HAM-RS2 did not improve tissue insulin sensitivity in well-controlled T2DM, but demonstrated beneficial effects on meal handling, possibly due to higher postprandial GLP1.

Open access

Manon Engels, Paul N Span, Rod T Mitchell, Joop J T M Heuvel, Monica A Marijnissen-van Zanten, Antonius E van Herwaarden, Christina A Hulsbergen-van de Kaa, Egbert Oosterwijk, Nike M Stikkelbroeck, Lee B Smith, Fred C G J Sweep and Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten

Testicular adrenal rest tumours (TARTs) are benign adrenal-like testicular tumours that frequently occur in male patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Recently, GATA transcription factors have been linked to the development of TARTs in mice. The aim of our study was to determine GATA expression in human TARTs and other steroidogenic tissues. We determined GATA expression in TARTs (n = 16), Leydig cell tumours (LCTs; n = 7), adrenal (foetal (n = 6) + adult (n = 10)) and testis (foetal (n = 13) + adult (n = 8)). We found testis-like GATA4, and adrenal-like GATA3 and GATA6 gene expressions by qPCR in human TARTs, indicating mixed testicular and adrenal characteristics of TARTs. Currently, no marker is available to discriminate TARTs from LCTs, leading to misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment. GATA3 and GATA6 mRNAs exhibited excellent discriminative power (area under the curve of 0.908 and 0.816, respectively), while immunohistochemistry did not. GATA genes contain several CREB-binding sites and incubation with 0.1 mM dibutyryl cAMP for 4 h stimulated GATA3, GATA4 and GATA6 expressions in a human foetal testis cell line (hs181.tes). Incubation of adrenocortical cells (H295RA) with ACTH, however, did not induce GATA expression in vitro. Although ACTH did not dysregulate GATA expression in the only human ACTH-sensitive in vitro model available, our results do suggest that aberrant expression of GATA transcription factors in human TARTs might be involved in TART formation.