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White adipose tissue (WAT) is a complex organ that plays a central role in systemic energy balance through its interrelated metabolic, endocrine, and immune functions. Adipocytes, the parenchymal cells of adipose tissue, have diverse functions that include storage and mobilization of lipids. They also release endocrine signals that report energy status to the brain, regulating metabolic functions in peripheral organs. Importantly, the metabolic character of white adipocytes is flexible, with cells capable of assuming distinct anabolic and catabolic/thermogenic phenotypes, often within the same adipose tissue depot

Elizabeth A. Rondini, Vanesa D. Ramseyer, Rayanne B. Burl, Roger Pique-Regi, James G. Granneman

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Disrupting the ghrelin-growth hormone axis limits ghrelin's orexigenic but not glucoregulatory actions

Deepali Gupta, Anna M. Patterson, Sherri Osborne-Lawrence, Angie L. Bookout, ... Jeffrey M. Zigman

Objective

Acyl-ghrelin regulates eating, body weight, blood glucose, and GH secretion upon binding to its receptor GHSR (growth hormone secretagogue receptor; ghrelinreceptor). GHSR is distributed in several brain regions and some peripheral cell-types including pituitary somatotrophs. The objective of the current study was to determine the functional significance of acyl-ghrelin's action on GHSR-expressing somatotrophs in mediating GH secretion and several of acyl-ghrelin's metabolic actions.

Methods

GH-IRES-Cre mice and loxP-flanked (floxed) GHSR mice were newly developed and then crossed to one another to generate mice that lacked GHSR selectively from somatotrophs. Following validation of mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion, metabolic responses of these mice and control littermates were assessed following both acute and chronic acyl-ghrelin administration, a 24-h fast, and a prolonged 60% chronic caloric restriction protocol modeling starvation.

Results

In mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion, a single peripheral injection of acyl-ghrelin failed to induce GH secretion or increase food intake, unlike wild-type and other littermate control groups. However, the usual acute blood glucose increase in response to the acyl-ghrelin bolus was preserved. Similarly, chronic s.c. acyl-ghrelin administration to mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion failed to increase plasma GH, food intake, or body weight. Physiologically elevating plasma acyl-ghrelin via a 24-h fast also failed to raise plasma GH and resulted in a limited hyperphagic response upon food reintroduction in mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion, although those mice nonetheless did not exhibit an exaggerated reduction in blood glucose. Physiologically elevating plasma acyl-ghrelin via a 15-day caloric restriction protocol which provided only 40% of usual daily calories failed to raise plasma GH in mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion, although those mice did not exhibit life-threatening hypoglycemia.

Conclusions

These results reveal that direct engagement of GHSR-expressing somatotrophs is required for a peripheral ghrelin bolus to acutely stimulate GH secretion and the actions of chronic acyl-ghrelin delivery and physiological plasma acyl-ghrelin elevations to increase plasma GH. These results also suggest that actions of acyl-ghrelin to increase food intake and body weight are reliant on direct activation of GHSRs expressed on somatotrophs. Furthermore, these results suggest that the glucoregulatory actions of acyl-ghrelin – in particular, its actions to raise blood glucose when acutely administered, prevent small blood glucose drops following a 24-h fast, and avert life-threatening hypoglycemia during an acute-on-chronic caloric restriction protocol – do not depend on GHSR expression by somatotrophs.

Disrupting the ghrelin-growth hormone axis limits ghrelin's orexigenic but not glucoregulatory actions

Deepali Gupta, Anna M. Patterson, Sherri Osborne-Lawrence, Angie L. Bookout, ... Jeffrey M. Zigman

Objective

Acyl-ghrelin regulates eating, body weight, blood glucose, and GH secretion upon binding to its receptor GHSR (growth hormone secretagogue receptor; ghrelinreceptor). GHSR is distributed in several brain regions and some peripheral cell-types including pituitary somatotrophs. The objective of the current study was to determine the functional significance of acyl-ghrelin's action on GHSR-expressing somatotrophs in mediating GH secretion and several of acyl-ghrelin's metabolic actions.

Methods

GH-IRES-Cre mice and loxP-flanked (floxed) GHSR mice were newly developed and then crossed to one another to generate mice that lacked GHSR selectively from somatotrophs. Following validation of mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion, metabolic responses of these mice and control littermates were assessed following both acute and chronic acyl-ghrelin administration, a 24-h fast, and a prolonged 60% chronic caloric restriction protocol modeling starvation.

Results

In mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion, a single peripheral injection of acyl-ghrelin failed to induce GH secretion or increase food intake, unlike wild-type and other littermate control groups. However, the usual acute blood glucose increase in response to the acyl-ghrelin bolus was preserved. Similarly, chronic s.c. acyl-ghrelin administration to mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion failed to increase plasma GH, food intake, or body weight. Physiologically elevating plasma acyl-ghrelin via a 24-h fast also failed to raise plasma GH and resulted in a limited hyperphagic response upon food reintroduction in mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion, although those mice nonetheless did not exhibit an exaggerated reduction in blood glucose. Physiologically elevating plasma acyl-ghrelin via a 15-day caloric restriction protocol which provided only 40% of usual daily calories failed to raise plasma GH in mice with somatotroph-selective GHSR deletion, although those mice did not exhibit life-threatening hypoglycemia.

Conclusions

These results reveal that direct engagement of GHSR-expressing somatotrophs is required for a peripheral ghrelin bolus to acutely stimulate GH secretion and the actions of chronic acyl-ghrelin delivery and physiological plasma acyl-ghrelin elevations to increase plasma GH. These results also suggest that actions of acyl-ghrelin to increase food intake and body weight are reliant on direct activation of GHSRs expressed on somatotrophs. Furthermore, these results suggest that the glucoregulatory actions of acyl-ghrelin – in particular, its actions to raise blood glucose when acutely administered, prevent small blood glucose drops following a 24-h fast, and avert life-threatening hypoglycemia during an acute-on-chronic caloric restriction protocol – do not depend on GHSR expression by somatotrophs.

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