Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex disease with no known cause or mechanism. There is an increasing appreciation for the role of immune and metabolic dysfunction in the disease. ME/CFS has historically presented in outbreaks, often has a flu-like onset, and results in inflammatory symptoms. Patients suffer from severe fatigue and post-exertional malaise. There is little known about the metabolism of specific immune cells in ME/CFS patients. To investigate immune metabolism in ME/CFS, we isolated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from 53 ME/CFS patients and 45 healthy controls. We analyzed glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration in resting and activated T cells, along with markers related to cellular metabolism, and plasma cytokines. We found that ME/CFS CD8+ T cells have reduced mitochondrial membrane potential compared to healthy controls. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from ME/CFS patients had reduced glycolysis at rest, while CD8+ T cells also had reduced glycolysis following activation. ME/CFS patients had significant correlations between measures of T cell metabolism and plasma cytokine abundance that differed from healthy control subjects. Our data indicate that patients have impaired T cell metabolism consistent with ongoing immune alterations in ME/CFS that may illuminate the mechanism behind this disease.
Alexandra H. Mandarano, Jessica Maya, Ludovic Giloteaux, Daniel L. Peterson, Marco Maynard, C. Gunnar Gottschalk, Maureen R. Hanson
Background. An increase in intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG) is the hallmark feature of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and is decreased by weight loss. Hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL) contributes to steatosis in people with NAFLD. The physiological factors that stimulate hepatic DNL and the effect of weight loss on hepatic DNL are not clear.Methods. Hepatic DNL, 24-h integrated plasma insulin and glucose concentrations, and both liver and whole-body insulin sensitivity were determined in people who were lean (n = 14), obese with normal IHTG content (Obese, n = 26) and obese with NAFLD (Obese-NAFLD, n = 27). Hepatic DNL was assessed by using the deuterated water method corrected for the potential confounding contribution of adipose tissue DNL. Liver and whole-body insulin sensitivity were assessed by using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp procedure in conjunction with glucose tracer infusion. Six subjects in the Obese-NAFLD group were also evaluated before and after 10% diet-induced weight loss.Results. The contribution of hepatic DNL to IHTG-palmitate was 11%, 19% and 38% in the Lean, Obese and Obese-NAFLD groups, respectively. Hepatic DNL was inversely correlated with hepatic and whole-body insulin sensitivity, but directly correlated with 24-h plasma glucose and insulin concentrations. Weight loss decreased IHTG content, in conjunction with a decrease in hepatic DNL and 24-h plasma glucose and insulin concentrations. Conclusions. These data suggest hepatic DNL is an important regulator of IHTG content, and that increases in circulating glucose and insulin stimulate hepatic DNL in people with NAFLD. Weight loss decreases IHTG content, at least in part, by decreasing hepatic DNL.
Gordon I. Smith, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Mihoko Yoshino, George G. Schweitzer, Maria Chondronikola, Joseph W. Beals, Adewole L. Okunade, Bruce W. Patterson, Edna Nyangau, Tyler Field, Claude B. Sirlin, Saswata Talukdar, Marc K. Hellerstein, Samuel Klein
Background: Ceramides are sphingolipids that play causative roles in diabetes and heart disease, with their serum levels measured clinically as biomarkers of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Methods: We performed targeted lipidomics on serum samples of individuals with familial coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 462) and population-based controls (n = 212) to explore the relationship between serum sphingolipids and CAD, employing unbiased machine learning to identify sphingolipid species positively associated with CAD. Results: Nearly every sphingolipid measured (n = 30 of 32) was significantly elevated in subjects with CAD compared with population controls. We generated a novel Sphingolipid Inclusive CAD risk score, termed SIC, that demarcates CAD patients independently and more effectively than conventional clinical CVD biomarkers including LDL-cholesterol and serum triglycerides. This new metric comprises several minor lipids which likely serve as measures of flux through the ceramide biosynthesis pathway, rather than the abundant deleterious ceramide species that are incorporated in other ceramide-based scores. Conclusion: This study validates serum ceramides as candidate biomarkers of cardiovascular disease and suggests that comprehensive sphingolipid panels be considered as measures of CVD.
Annelise M. Poss, J. Alan Maschek, James E. Cox, Benedikt J. Hauner, Paul N. Hopkins, Steven C. Hunt, William L. Holland, Scott A. Summers, Mary C. Playdon
Gout is caused by deposition of monosodium urate crystals in joints when plasma uric acid levels are chronically elevated beyond the saturation threshold, mostly due to renal underexcretion of uric acid. Although molecular pathways of this underexcretion have been elucidated, its etiology remains mostly unknown. We demonstrate that gout can be caused by a mutation in LDHD within the putative catalytic site of the encoded d-lactate dehydrogenase, resulting in augmented blood levels of d-lactate, a stereoisomer of l-lactate, which is normally present in human blood in miniscule amounts. Consequent excessive renal secretion of d-lactate in exchange for uric acid reabsorption culminated in hyperuricemia and gout. We showed that LDHD expression is enriched in tissues with a high metabolic rate and abundant mitochondria and that d-lactate dehydrogenase resides in the mitochondria of cells overexpressing the human LDHD gene. Notably, the p.R370W mutation had no effect on protein localization. In line with the human phenotype, injection of d-lactate into naive mice resulted in hyperuricemia. Thus, hyperuricemia and gout can result from the accumulation of metabolites whose renal excretion is coupled to uric acid reabsorption.
Max Drabkin, Yuval Yogev, Lior Zeller, Raz Zarivach, Ran Zalk, Daniel Halperin, Ohad Wormser, Evgenia Gurevich, Daniel Landau, Rotem Kadir, Yonatan Perez, Ohad S. Birk
Brown adipose tissue (BAT), as the main site of adaptive thermogenesis, exerts beneficial metabolic effects on obesity and insulin resistance. BAT has been previously assumed to contain a homogeneous population of brown adipocytes. Utilizing multiple mouse models capable of genetically labeling different cellular populations, as well as single-cell RNA sequencing, and 3D tissue profiling, we discovered a new brown adipocyte subpopulation with low thermogenic activity co-existing with the classical high thermogenic brown adipocytes within the BAT. These low thermogenic brown adipocytes had significantly lower Ucp1 and Adipoq expression, larger lipid droplets, and lower mitochondrial content. Functional analyses showed that the low thermogenic brown adipocytes have significant lower basal mitochondrial respiration, and they are specialized in fatty acid uptake. Upon changes in environmental temperature, the two brown adipocyte subpopulations underwent dynamic inter-conversions. Cold exposure converted low thermogenic brown adipocytes into high thermogenic cells, and a thermoneutral environment had the opposite effect. This recruitment of high thermogenic brown adipocytes by cold stimulation is not affected by high fat diet feeding, but significantly declined with age. Our results revealed a high degree of functional heterogeneity of brown adipocytes.
Anying Song, Wenting Dai, Min Jee Jang, Leonard Medrano, Zhuo Li, Hu Zhao, Mengle Shao, Jiayi Tan, Aimin Li, Tinglu Ning, Marcia M. Miller, Brian Armstrong, Janice M. Huss, Yi Zhu, Yong Liu, Viviana Gradinaru, Xiwei Wu, Lei Jiang, Philipp E. Scherer, Qiong A. Wang
Arcuate nucleus agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons play a central role in feeding and are under complex regulation by both homeostatic hormonal and nutrient signals and hypothalamic neuronal pathways. Feeding may also be influenced by environmental cues, sensory inputs and other behaviors implying the involvement of higher brain regions. However, whether such pathways modulate feeding through direct synaptic control of AgRP neuron activity is unknown. Here we show that nociceptin-expressing neurons in the anterior bed nuclei of the stria terminalis (aBNST) make direct GABAergic inputs onto AgRP neurons. We found that activation of these neurons inhibited AgRP neurons and feeding. Activity of these neurons increased upon food availability and their ablation resulted in obesity. Furthermore, these neurons received afferent inputs from a range of upstream brain regions as well as hypothalamic nuclei. Therefore, aBNST nociceptin/GABAergic neurons may act as a gateway to feeding behavior by connecting AgRP neurons to both homeostatic and non-homeostatic neuronal inputs.
Mark A. Smith, Agharul I. Choudhury, Justyna A. Glegola, Paulius Viskaitis, Elaine E. Irvine, Pedro Caldas Custodio de Campos Silva, Sanjay Khadayate, Hanns Ulrich Zeilhofer, Dominic J. Withers
In order to determine whether the glucose-alanine cycle regulates rates of hepatic mitochondrial oxidation in humans, we applied positional isotopomer NMR tracer analysis (PINTA) to assess rates of hepatic mitochondrial oxidation and pyruvate carboxylase flux in healthy volunteers following both an overnight (12 hours) and a 60-hour fast. Following the 60-hour fast, rates of endogenous glucose production and mitochondrial oxidation decreased, whereas rates of hepatic pyruvate carboxylase flux remained unchanged. These reductions were associated with reduced rates of alanine turnover, assessed by [3-13C]alanine, in a subgroup of participants under similar fasting conditions. In order to determine whether this reduction in alanine turnover was responsible for the reduced rates of hepatic mitochondrial oxidation, we infused unlabeled alanine into another subgroup of 60-hour fasted subjects to increase rates of alanine turnover, similar to what was measured after a 12-hour fast, and found that this perturbation increased rates of hepatic mitochondrial oxidation. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that 60 hours of starvation induce marked reductions in rates of hepatic mitochondrial oxidation, which in turn can be attributed to reduced rates of glucose-alanine cycling, and reveal a heretofore undescribed role for glucose-alanine in the regulation of hepatic mitochondrial oxidation in humans.
Kitt Falk Petersen, Sylvie Dufour, Gary W. Cline, Gerald I. Shulman
Manganese (Mn), an essential metal and nutrient, is toxic in excess. Toxicity classically results from inhalational exposures in individuals working in industrial settings. Identified in 2012, the first known disease of inherited Mn excess is caused by mutations in the metal exporter SLC30A10 and is characterized by Mn excess, dystonia, cirrhosis, and polycythemia. To investigate the role of SLC30A10 in Mn homeostasis, we first generated mice with whole body Slc30a10 deficiency, which developed severe Mn excess and impaired systemic and biliary Mn excretion. Slc30a10 localized to canalicular membrane of hepatocytes, but mice with liver Slc30a10 deficiency developed minimal Mn excess despite impaired biliary Mn excretion. Slc30a10 also localized to the apical membrane of enterocytes, but mice with Slc30a10 deficiency in small intestines developed minimal Mn excess despite impaired Mn export into the lumen of the small intestines. Finally, mice with Slc30a10 deficiency in liver and small intestines developed Mn excess less severe than that observed in mice with whole body Slc30a10 deficiency, suggesting that additional sites of Slc30a10 expression contribute to Mn homeostasis. Overall, these results indicated that Slc30a10 is essential for Mn excretion and could be an effective target for pharmacological intervention for Mn toxicity.
Courtney J. Mercadante, Milankumar Prajapati, Heather L. Conboy, Miriam E. Dash, Carolina Herrera, Michael A. Pettiglio, Layra Cintron-Rivera, Madeleine A. Salesky, Deepa B. Rao, Thomas B. Bartnikas
The Microphthalmia family of transcription factors (MiT/TFE) controls lysosomal biogenesis and is negatively regulated by the nutrient sensor mTORC1. However, the mechanisms by which cells with constitutive mTORC1 signaling maintain lysosomal catabolism remain to be elucidated. Using the murine epidermis as a model system, we found that epidermal Tsc1 deletion resulted in a phenotype characterized by wavy hair and curly whiskers, and was associated with increased EGFR and HER2 degradation. Unexpectedly, constitutive mTORC1 activation with Tsc1 loss increased lysosomal content via up-regulated expression and activity of MiT/TFEs, while genetic deletion of Rheb or Rptor or prolonged pharmacologic mTORC1 inactivation had the reverse effect. This paradoxical increase in lysosomal biogenesis by mTORC1 was mediated by feedback inhibition of AKT, and a resulting suppression of AKT-induced MiT/TFE down-regulation. Thus, inhibiting hyperactive AKT signaling in the context of mTORC1 loss-of-function fully restored MiT/TFE expression and activity. These data suggest that signaling feedback loops work to restrain or maintain cellular lysosomal content during chronically inhibited or constitutively active mTORC1 signaling respectively, and reveal a mechanism by which mTORC1 regulates upstream receptor tyrosine kinase signaling.
Kaushal Asrani, Sanjana Murali, Brandon Lam, Chan-Hyun Na, Pornima Phatak, Akshay Sood, Harsimar Kaur, Zoya Khan, Michaël Noë, Ravi K. Anchoori, C. Conover Talbot Jr., Barbara Smith, Michael Skaro, Tamara L. Lotan
Dermal adipose tissue (dWAT) has been the focus of much discussion in recent years. However, dWAT remains poorly characterized. The fate of the mature dermal adipocytes and the origin of the rapidly re-appearing dermal adipocytes at different stages remain unclear. Here, we isolated dermal adipocytes and characterized dermal fat at the cellular and molecular level. Together with its dynamic responses to external stimuli, we established that dermal adipocytes are a distinct class of white adipocytes with high plasticity. By combining pulse-chase lineage tracing and single cell RNA-sequencing, we observed that mature dermal adipocytes undergo de-differentiation and re-differentiation under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Upon various challenges, the de-differentiated cells proliferate and re-differentiate into adipocytes. In addition, manipulation of dWAT highlighted an important role for mature dermal adipocytes for hair cycling and wound healing. Altogether, these observations unravel a surprising plasticity of dermal adipocytes and provide an explanation for the dynamic changes in dWAT mass that occur under physiological and pathophysiological conditions, and highlight the important contributions of dWAT towards maintaining skin homeostasis.
Zhuzhen Zhang, Mengle Shao, Chelsea Hepler, Zhenzhen Zi, Shangang Zhao, Yu A. An, Yi Zhu, Alexandra Ghaben, May-yun Wang, Na Li, Toshiharu Onodera, Nolwenn Joffin, Clair Crewe, Qingzhang Zhu, Lavanya Vishvanath, Ashwani Kumar, Chao Xing, Qiong A. Wang, Laurent Gautron, Yingfeng Deng, Ruth Gordillo, Ilja Kruglikov, Christine M. Kusminski, Rana K. Gupta, Philipp E. Scherer