Featured Articles

Volume 2 | No. 3 | July 2013

Peripheral activation of the Y2-receptor (Y2R) improves glucose toleranceA number of gut-derived hormones that regulate body weight and glucose homeostasis have been identified. In this study, Chandarana and colleagues demonstrate the complex interplay between peptide tyrosine-tyrosine (PYY), the Y2R and glucagone-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in the improvement of nutrient-stimulated glucose tolerance.

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11C-meta-hydroxyephedrine (11C-MHED) is an in vivo marker for white-to-brown fat conversionThe possibility to increase brown adipose tissue (BAT) amount by promoting white adipose tissue (WAT) to BAT conversion has become a hot research topic in recent years. Quarta and colleagues demonstrate that 11C-MHED is a novel and efficient tracer for the in vivo PET/CT characterization of sympathetic nervous system activity and the conversion of WAT to BAT.

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Induction of Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) expression in adipocytesChronic inflammation and infiltration of immune cells in adipose tissue results in alterations of hormone secretion and insulin sensitivity. The results of Zhao and Stephens indicate that in conditions of insulin resistance, TNFα and IFNγ induce LCN2 expression in adipocytes via STAT1, NF-κB and ERKs dependent signaling pathways.

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Gut microbiota is not responsible for diet-induced obesityThe intestinal microbiota has been proposed to be a contributory factor in the development and maintenance of obesity. Harley and colleagues demonstrate that in C57BL/6 mice from two different vendors, rather differences in locomotor activity are responsible for divergent development of diet-induced obesity than variations in the gut microbiota.

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The circadian clock regulates thermogenesisWithout the functional clock component Per2 the adaptive thermogenesis system works less efficient. In their recent study, Chappuis and colleagues provide evidence that Per2 is involved in cold-induced adaptive thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue by modulating the transcription of Fabp3 and Ucp1.

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ChREBP is a partner of PGC-1β in hepatic lipogenesisHepatic intermediary metabolism is regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivators (PGC-1α/β). Chambers and colleagues now provide evidence that ChREBP is a novel transcription factor partner of PGC-1β and that the interaction and promoter association of the PGC-1β/ChREBP complex is regulated by glucose availability.

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Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is not required for the antidiabetic actions of thiazolidinedionesFGF21, a promising agent to treat diabetes and metabolic diseases, has recently been proposed to be an inducible, autocrine factor in white adipose tissue that regulates PPARγ activity, and mediates the physiological and pharmacological actions of PPARγ. Adams and colleagues now present a new viewpoint on the FGF21/PPARγ interplay demonstrating that FGF21 is not required for the metabolic events downstream of PPARγ.

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PGC-1β regulates expression of mitochondrial genes in adipose tissueIn their study, Enguix and colleagues provide first in vivo evidence that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1β (PGC-1β) in white adipose tissue (WAT) is involved in the regulation of mitochondrial function by regulating the expression of genes involved in oxidative metabolism. However, the improvement of mitochondrial oxidative capacity in WAT after treatment with rosiglitazone seems not to be essential for the full insulin-sensitizing effects of thiazolidinediones.

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Adipose tissue estrogen receptors (ERs) regulate body fat distribution, adipocyte inflammation, and fibrosisReduced circulating estrogen levels result in the development of increased intra-abdominal adiposity and increased susceptibility to diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome. The data of Davis and colleagues suggest that adipocyte ERα regulates adipocyte size, adipose tissue inflammation, and fibrosis. Furthermore, in the absence of ERα, ERβ seems to have a protective role in the development of inflammation and fibrosis.

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Nor-1 regulates insulin gene expressionA certain susceptibility to type 2-diabetes is thought to be due to single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes affecting β-cell function. In this study, Ordelheide and colleagues identify the nuclear receptor Nor-1 as a novel incretin- and glucose-dependent transcriptional regulator of insulin genes and insulin secretion.

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Antibody against oxidized LDL improves insulin sensitivity and immune cell functionRecent findings indicate that oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) is involved not only in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, but also in the development of adiposity and insulin resistance. The results of Li and colleagues suggest that anti-ox-LDL antibody treatment reduces inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity independent of internalization of ox-LDL.

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Cognitive modulation of hypothalamic responseMarketing and food labels constitute a pervasive form of reward cueing influencing perceptual and neural response to sight, taste, and smell of foods. In their study, Veldhuizen and colleagues demonstrate that verbal descriptors about healthfulness and tastiness of a low-caloric beverage may influence midbrain and hypothalamic responses

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Endotoxin and adipose tissue developmentRecent data have revealed a close association between intestinal microbiota, adipose tissue biology, and obesity. The results of Luche and colleagues show that increased plasma endotoxin concentration could directly trigger adipose tissue inflammation and stimulate adipocyte progenitor cell and macrophages proliferation through a CD14-dependent mechanism.

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PER2 promotes glucose storage to liver glycogenBlood glucose homeostasis can be seen as a paradigm of the circadian control of metabolism. In this process, liver glycogen content undergoes large circadian fluctuations to sustain blood glucose levels. Zani and colleagues demonstrate that the core clock protein PER2 promotes glucose storage to liver glycogen during feeding and acute fasting by inducing Gys2, PTG and GL expression.

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Methionine and choline regulate the metabolic phenotype of a ketogenic dietIn mice, ketogenic diet induces a unique metabolic profile characterized by weight loss, low glucose, high ketones, and increased energy expenditure. The results of Pissios and colleagues indicate that some of the metabolic adaptations to a ketogenic diet may be attributed to a limitation of methionine and choline other than the lack of carbohydrates and its replacement by fat.

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Liver receptor homologue 1 (Lrh1) and small hetero-dimerization partner (Shp) control adipogenesisThe balance between pro- and anti-adipogenic molecules determines the fate of the pre-adipocytes. The results of Mrosek and colleagues suggest that Shp and Lrh1 are part of a transcriptional network that controls adipogenesis by modulating estrogen signaling. Loss of Shp leads to a decreased adipogenesis while loss of Lrh1 leads to an increased adipogenesis.

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The 60 Second Metabolist
In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

Watch the most recent interview by clicking the video still. The link "referring article" directs you to this author's publication.



Giles Yeo
University of Cambridge, UK
Referring article

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