Featured Articles

Volume 5 | No. 4 | April 2016

Insulin-like peptide 5 is a microbially regulated peptideInsulin-like peptide (INSL) 5 is a member of the relaxin/insulin family, which comprises insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1 and 2, relaxin 1 and 2, and INSL3-7, and has been recently identified in colonic and brain tissue. Lee and colleagues show that colonic expression of Insl5 is regulated by microbiota and energy availability. Their findings suggest that INSL5 is a new hormone that promotes hepatic glucose production, although its effect is mild. INSL5 may act as a sensor of energy and modulator of homeostatic glucose production under conditions of energy deprivation.

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Essential role of UCP1 modulating the central effects of thyroid hormonesThyroid hormones control important biological processes, including metabolism and energy balance. Alvarez-Crespo and colleagues investigate the role of brown adipose tissue and uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) on the thermogenic effects of central triiodothyronine (T3)-treatment. They find that the entire thermogenic effect of central T3-treatment is dependent upon the presence of UCP1. Additionally, further metabolic effects, such as T3-induced hyperphagia, are also entirely UCP1-dependent. The possible significance of these observations on the understanding of T3 effects is evident, and this pathway may additionally be involved in the mediation of broad metabolic effects of other centrally acting agents.

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Mitochondrial gene polymorphisms aggravate diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitisIn contrast to simple hepatic steatosis, the incidence of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) substantially increases the risk for hepatic diseases as well as cardiovascular complications and overall mortality. Schröder and colleagues provide evidence that mitochondrial genetics impact hepatic mitochondrial function and that following alterations, such as generation of reactive oxygen species and induction of TNFα signaling, act as a first hit within the pathology of NASH. They demonstrate that environmental stress is required, as a second hit, to cause the full picture of NASH.

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Alterations in hypothalamic gene expression following Roux-en-Y gastric bypassBariatric surgery procedures, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), are considered the most effective treatment of obesity and its co-morbidities. Barkholt et al. show that arcuate levels of orexigenic neuropeptide Y and agouti-related peptide mRNAs are significantly upregulated in RYGB rats indicating that classical hunger signalling pathways are activated. In contrast, second order downstream orexigenic signals in the lateral hypothalamic area (melanin-concentrating hormone neurons) are blunted in RYGB rats suggesting that the hunger-signals arising from the arcuate nucleus do not translate into sensations of hunger nor into food-seeking behavior.

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Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF): a saturated fatty acid-induced myokine with insulin-desensitizing propertiesOrdelheide et al. investigate free fatty acids (FFAs)-induced CSF3 expression, the underlying molecular mechanism(s), and G-CSF’s functions in human myotubes and adipocytes. In addition, they aim to translate the metabolic G-CSF effects shown in vitro to humans in vivo by testing the impact of CSF3 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms on human metabolic traits. Their data point to G-CSF as a novel insulin-desensitizing myokine of relevance for human insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.

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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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