Featured Articles

Volume 4 | No. 8 | August 2015

Glucagon-to-insulin ratio is pivotal for splanchnic regulation of FGF-21Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21) is regarded as an important endocrine metabolic regulator and holds promise as a therapeutic target in type 2 diabetes. Schiøler Hansen and colleagues provide evidence that the splanchnic bed contributes to the systemic levels of FGF-21 during rest and exercise in humans. They demonstrate that the glucagon-to-insulin ratio is pivotal for the FGF-21 regulation in humans.

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Glucose intolerance induced by blockade of central FGF receptors is linked to an acute stress response.Growing evidence suggests that in rodent models of obesity and type 2 diabetes, glucose homeostasis is improved by activation of neuronal fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs). The findings of Rojas and colleagues provide the first evidence that intracerebroventricular injection of an FGFR antagonist elicits a rapid but transient stress response that is characterized by sympathoadrenal activation, elevation of plasma lactate levels, and impairment of glucose-induced insulin secretion and glucose tolerance.

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Knockout of STAT3 does not prevent high-fat diet-induced insulin resistanceElevated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling has been implicated in obesity-induced insulin resistance. White and colleagues investigate whether muscle-specific knockout of STAT3 enhances insulin sensitivity, whole body energy homeostasis, or glucose tolerance. They find that knockout of STAT3 does not improve sensitivity in control diet-fed mice or ameliorate the detrimental effects of high-fat diet feeding on insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, or body composition. Inhibition of skeletal muscle STAT3 does not appear to be a promising approach for modulating skeletal muscle insulin action.

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A novel crosstalk between Alk7 and cGMP signaling regulates brown adipocyte functionThe activin receptor-like kinase 7 (Alk7) is highly expressed in adipose tissues and is down-regulated in obese patients. Balkow and colleagues found that Alk7 and cGMP/PKGI signaling is tightly connected in brown adipocytes (BAs) to ensure a balance between the adipogenic and thermogenic program - favoring the thermogenic capabilities of BA if Alk7 is activated together with cGMP. Understanding the link between the cGMP/PKGI and Alk7 signaling pathway could proof beneficial when looking for new targets for anti-obesity drug development.

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Macrophages are essential for CTGF-mediated adult β-cell proliferationConnective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a β-cell proliferative factor. Riley and colleagues show that macrophages specifically are required for effective CTGF mediated β-cell mass expansion following injury. The authors have identified a novel interaction between CTGF and the immune system to promote β-cell proliferation and regeneration. As all forms of diabetes are demarked by both inflammation and insufficient functional β-cell mass, these studies highlight the significance of understanding the role of the immune system in promoting β-cell regeneration.

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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.



Jennifer Lee
University of Toronto, Canada
Referring article

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