The vascular endothelium controls vasomotor tone and microvascular flow and regulates trafficking of nutrients and biologically active molecules. When endothelial activation is excessive, compromised microcirculation and subsequent cellular hypoxia contribute to the risk of organ failure. We hypothesized that strict blood glucose control with insulin during critical illness protects the endothelium, mediating prevention of organ failure and death. In this preplanned subanalysis of a large, randomized controlled study, intensive insulin therapy lowered circulating levels of ICAM-1 and tended to reduce E-selectin levels in patients with prolonged critical illness, which reflects reduced endothelial activation. This effect was not brought about by altered levels of endothelial stimuli, such as cytokines or VEGF, or by upregulation of eNOS. In contrast, prevention of hyperglycemia by intensive insulin therapy suppressed iNOS gene expression in postmortem liver and skeletal muscle, possibly in part via reduced NF-κB activation, and lowered the elevated circulating NO levels in both survivors and nonsurvivors. These effects on the endothelium statistically explained a significant part of the improved patient outcome with intensive insulin therapy. In conclusion, maintaining normoglycemia with intensive insulin therapy during critical illness protects the endothelium, likely in part via inhibition of excessive iNOS-induced NO release, and thereby contributes to prevention of organ failure and death.
Lies Langouche, Ilse Vanhorebeek, Dirk Vlasselaers, Sarah Vander Perre, Pieter J. Wouters, Kristin Skogstrand, Troels K. Hansen, Greet Van den Berghe
The luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), mainly expressed in gonads, is essential for normal reproduction. However, numerous recent studies have also demonstrated LHR expression in multiple extragonadal reproductive and nonreproductive tissues. Although some effects of luteinizing hormone (LH) or its agonist, human chorionic gonadotropin, have been shown in extragonadal sites, their physiological significance remains open. In the present study, we have addressed the function of the extragonadal LHR using LHR-KO mice (LuRKO mice), in which the ovaries of prepubertal mice were orthotopically replaced with pieces of WT ovary using similarly transplanted WT mice as controls. Most ovarian transplants attained normal endocrine function in both groups of mice, as demonstrated by normal age at vaginal opening, estrous cycles, and sexual behavior. Both the LuRKO and WT mice repeatedly became pregnant (9/16 vs. 16/20 after first mating; difference not significant) and delivered similarly sized litters, which grew normally after birth, indicating normal lactation. In conclusion, fertility is restored in LuRKO mice by transplantation of WT ovarian tissue. This is achieved in the absence of extragonadal LHR expression, which indicates physiological redundancy for such receptor sites.
Tomi Pakarainen, Fu-Ping Zhang, Matti Poutanen, Ilpo Huhtaniemi
Mice deficient in SOCS2 display an excessive growth phenotype characterized by a 30–50% increase in mature body size. Here we show that the SOCS2–/– phenotype is dependent upon the presence of endogenous growth hormone (GH) and that treatment with exogenous GH induced excessive growth in mice lacking both endogenous GH and SOCS2. This was reflected in terms of overall body weight, body and bone lengths, and the weight of internal organs and tissues. A heightened response to GH was also measured by examining GH-responsive genes expressed in the liver after exogenous GH administration. To further understand the link between SOCS2 and the GH-signaling cascade, we investigated the nature of these interactions using structure/function and biochemical interaction studies. Analysis of the 3 structural motifs of the SOCS2 molecule revealed that each plays a crucial role in SOCS2 function, with the conserved SOCS-box motif being essential for all inhibitory function. SOCS2 was found to bind 2 phosphorylated tyrosines on the GH receptor, and mutational analysis of these amino acids showed that both were essential for SOCS2 function. Together, the data provide clear evidence that SOCS2 is a negative regulator of GH signaling.
Christopher J. Greenhalgh, Elizabeth Rico-Bautista, Mattias Lorentzon, Anne L. Thaus, Phillip O. Morgan, Tracy A. Willson, Panagiota Zervoudakis, Donald Metcalf, Ian Street, Nicos A. Nicola, Andrew D. Nash, Louis J. Fabri, Gunnar Norstedt, Claes Ohlsson, Amilcar Flores-Morales, Warren S. Alexander, Douglas J. Hilton
Vitamin D controls calcium homeostasis and the development and maintenance of bones through vitamin D receptor activation. Prolonged therapy with rifampicin or phenobarbital has been shown to cause vitamin D deficiency or osteomalacia, particularly in patients with marginal vitamin D stores. However, the molecular mechanism of this process is unknown. Here we show that these drugs lead to the upregulation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-24-hydroxylase (CYP24) gene expression through the activation of the nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR; NR1I2). CYP24 is a mitochondrial enzyme responsible for inactivating vitamin D metabolites. CYP24 mRNA is upregulated in vivo in mice by pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile and dexamethasone, 2 murine PXR agonists, and in vitro in human hepatocytes by rifampicin and hyperforin, 2 human PXR agonists. Moreover, rifampicin increased 24-hydroxylase activity in these cells, while, in vivo in mice, pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile increased the plasma concentration of 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Transfection of PXR in human embryonic kidney cells resulted in rifampicin-mediated induction of CYP24 mRNA. Analysis of the human CYP24 promoter showed that PXR transactivates the sequence between –326 and –142. We demonstrated that PXR binds to and transactivates the 2 proximal vitamin D–responsive elements of the human CYP24 promoter. These data suggest that xenobiotics and drugs can modulate CYP24 gene expression and alter vitamin D3 hormonal activity and calcium homeostasis through the activation of PXR.
Jean Marc Pascussi, Agnes Robert, Minh Nguyen, Odile Walrant-Debray, Michèle Garabedian, Pascal Martin, Thierry Pineau, Jean Saric, Fréderic Navarro, Patrick Maurel, Marie Josè Vilarem
Somatostatin (SRIF) analogs provide safe and effective therapy for acromegaly. In a proportion of patients, however, SRIF analogs may lead to discordant growth hormone (GH) and IGF-I suppression, which suggests a more complex mechanism than attributable to inhibition of GH release alone. To elucidate whether SRIF acts peripherally on the GH–IGF-I axis, we showed that rat hepatocytes express somatostatin receptor subtypes-2 and -3 and that IGF-I mRNA and protein levels were suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by administration of octreotide. The inhibitory effect of SRIF was not apparent without added GH and in the presence of GH was specific for IGF-I induction and did not inhibit GH-induced c-myc or extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. Pertussis toxin treatment of hepatocytes incubated with GH and SRIF, or with GH and octreotide, abrogated the inhibitory effect on GH-induced IGF-I, which confirms the requirement for the inhibitory G-protein. Treatment with SRIF and GH increased protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) activity and inhibited signal transducer and activator of transcription-5b (STAT5b) phosphorylation and nuclear localization. Octreotide also inhibited GH-stimulated IGF-I protein content of ex vivo–perfused rat livers. The results demonstrate that SRIF acts both centrally and peripherally to control the GH–IGF-I axis, providing a mechanistic explanation for SRIF analog action in treating patients with GH-secreting pituitary adenomas.
Robert D. Murray, Kiwon Kim, Song-Guang Ren, Marjorie Chelly, Yutaka Umehara, Shlomo Melmed
Thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) Ab’s of the stimulating variety are the cause of hyperthyroid Graves disease. MS-1 is a hamster mAb with TSHR-stimulating activity. To examine the in vivo biological activity of MS-1, mice were treated with purified MS-1 intraperitoneally and the thyroid response evaluated. MS-1 induced a dose-dependent increase in serum thyroxine (T4), with a maximum effect after 10 ∝g of MS-1 was administered. MS-1–secreting hybridoma cells were then transferred into the peritoneum of nude mice to study chronic thyroid stimulation. Serum MS-1 levels detected after 2 weeks were approximately 10–50 ∝g/ml, and the serum TSH was suppressed in all animals. Serum triiodothyronine levels were elevated, but only in animals with low serum MS-1 concentrations. In addition, there was a negative correlation between serum T4 and the serum MS-1 concentrations. These in vivo studies suggested a partial TSHR inactivation induced by excessive stimulation by MS-1. We confirmed this inactivation by demonstrating MS-1 modulation of TSHR function in vitro as evidenced by downregulation and desensitization of the TSHR at concentrations of MS-1 achieved in the in vivo studies. Thus, inactivation of the TSHR by stimulating TSHR autoantibodies (TSHR-Ab’s) in Graves disease patients may provide a functional explanation for the poor correlation between thyroid function and serum TSHR-Ab concentrations.
Takao Ando, Rauf Latif, Terry F. Davies
Inorganic phosphate is essential for ECM mineralization and also as a constituent of important molecules in cellular metabolism. Investigations of several hypophosphatemic diseases indicated that a hormone-like molecule probably regulates serum phosphate concentration. FGF23 has recently been recognized as playing important pathophysiological roles in several hypophosphatemic diseases. We present here the evidence that FGF23 is a physiological regulator of serum phosphate and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25[OH]2D) by generating FGF23-null mice. Disruption of the Fgf23 gene did not result in embryonic lethality, although homozygous mice showed severe growth retardation with abnormal bone phenotype and markedly short life span. The Fgf23–/– mice displayed significantly high serum phosphate with increased renal phosphate reabsorption. They also showed an elevation in serum 1,25(OH)2D that was due to the enhanced expression of renal 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1α-hydroxylase (1α-OHase) from 10 days of age. These phenotypes could not be explained by currently known regulators of mineral homeostasis, indicating that FGF23 is essential for normal phosphate and vitamin D metabolism.
Takashi Shimada, Makoto Kakitani, Yuji Yamazaki, Hisashi Hasegawa, Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Toshiro Fujita, Seiji Fukumoto, Kazuma Tomizuka, Takeyoshi Yamashita
The transfer of calcium from mother to milk during lactation is poorly understood. In this report, we demonstrate that parathyroid hormone–related protein (PTHrP) production and calcium transport in mammary epithelial cells are regulated by extracellular calcium acting through the calcium-sensing receptor (CaR). The CaR becomes expressed on mammary epithelial cells at the transition from pregnancy to lactation. Increasing concentrations of calcium, neomycin, and a calcimimetic compound suppress PTHrP secretion by mammary epithelial cells in vitro, whereas in vivo, systemic hypocalcemia increases PTHrP production, an effect that can be prevented by treatment with a calcimimetic. Hypocalcemia also reduces overall milk production and calcium content, while increasing milk osmolality and protein concentrations. The changes in milk calcium content, milk osmolality, and milk protein concentration were mitigated by calcimimetic infusions. Finally, in a three-dimensional culture system that recapitulates the lactating alveolus, activation of the basolateral CaR increases transcellular calcium transport independent of its effect on PTHrP. We conclude that the lactating mammary gland can sense calcium and adjusts its secretion of calcium, PTHrP, and perhaps water in response to changes in extracellular calcium concentration. We believe this defines a homeostatic system that helps to match milk production to the availability of calcium.
Joshua VanHouten, Pamela Dann, Grace McGeoch, Edward M. Brown, Karen Krapcho, Margaret Neville, John J. Wysolmerski
Joshua N. VanHouten, Pamela Dann, Andrew F. Stewart, Christine J. Watson, Michael Pollak, Andrew C. Karaplis, John J. Wysolmerski
Insulin promotes both metabolism and growth. However, it is unclear whether insulin-dependent growth is merely a result of its metabolic actions. Targeted ablation of insulin receptor (Insr) has not clarified this issue, because of early postnatal lethality. To examine this question, we generated mice with variable cellular mosaicism for null Insr alleles. Insr ablation in approximately 80% of cells caused extreme growth retardation, lipoatrophy, and hypoglycemia, a clinical constellation that resembles the human syndrome of leprechaunism. Insr ablation in 98% of cells, while resulting in similar growth retardation and lipoatrophy, caused diabetes without β-cell hyperplasia. The growth retardation was associated with a greater than 60-fold increase in the expression of hepatic insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1. These findings indicate that insulin regulates growth independently of metabolism and that the number of insulin receptors is an important determinant of the specificity of insulin action.
Tadahiro Kitamura, Yukari Kitamura, Jun Nakae, Antonio Giordano, Saverio Cinti, C. Ronald Kahn, Argiris Efstratiadis, Domenico Accili