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Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are known as incretins, which are released from the gut into the bloodstream postprandially and enhance glucose-dependent insulin secretion via activation of the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) and the GIP receptor (GIPR), respectively. Several GLP-1R agonists (GLP-1RA) with improved pharmacokinetic properties have been developed and are currently in clinical use to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. In addition to improving glucose metabolism, GLP-1RAs potently suppress appetite and body weight. These anorectic and body weight-lowering effects are thought to be mediated by central mechanisms, as indicated also by human studies. However, the neuronal substrates that mediate these effects are still poorly understood.

Alessia Costa, Minrong Ai, Nicolas Nunn, Isabella Culotta, ... Giuseppe D'Agostino

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Current Issue

A novel peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma ligand improves insulin sensitivity and promotes browning of white adipose tissue in obese mice

Dan Wu, Venkateswararao Eeda, Ram Babu Undi, Shivani Mann, ... Weidong Wang

Objective

Nuclear receptor Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ (PPARγ) is a promising target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The antidiabetic drug thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are potent insulin sensitizers as full agonists of PPARγ, but cause unwanted side effects. Recent discoveries have shown that TZDs improve insulin sensitivity by blocking PPARγ phosphorylation at S273, which decouples the full agonism-associated side effects. PPARγ ligands that act through the blockage of PPARγ phosphorylation but lack the full agonist activity would be expected to improve insulin sensitivity without TZD-associated side effects, however, chemicals that carry such traits and bind to PPARγ with high-affinity are lacking. Moreover, TZDs are known to promote white-to-brown adipocyte conversion and energy expenditure and appear to require their full agonism on PPARγ for this activity. It is unknown whether a partial or non-TZD agonist of PPARγ is capable of promoting browning effect. In this study, we developed a novel non-TZD partial agonist of PPARγ and investigated its function on insulin sensitivity and white-to-brown conversion and energy expenditure in diet-induced obese mice.

Methods

A novel indole-based chemical WO95E was designed via medicinal chemistry and tested for PPARγ binding and activity and for the effect on PPARγ phosphorylation. Diet-induced obese mice were administered with WO95E for 4 weeks. Insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, body weight, fat tissue weight, adipocyte size, morphology, energy expenditure, and expression levels of genes involved in PPARγ activity, thermogenesis/browning, and TZD-related side effects were evaluated.

Results

WO95E binds to PPARγ with high affinity and acts as a PPARγ partial agonist. WO95E inhibits PPARγ phosphorylation and regulates PPARγ phosphorylation-dependent genes. WO95E ameliorates insulin resistance and glucose tolerance in mice of diet-induced obesity, with minimal TZD use-associated side effects. We found that WO95E promotes white-to-brown adipocyte conversion and energy expenditure and hence protects against diet-induced obesity. WO95E decreases the size of adipocytes and suppresses adipose tissue inflammation. WO95E also suppresses obesity-associated liver steatosis.

Conclusions

WO95E improves insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis and promotes browning and energy expenditure by acting as a novel PPARγ phosphorylation inhibitor/partial agonist. Our findings suggest the potential of this compound or its derivative for the therapeutic treatment of insulin resistance and obesity.

 

A novel peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma ligand improves insulin sensitivity and promotes browning of white adipose tissue in obese mice

Dan Wu, Venkateswararao Eeda, Ram Babu Undi, Shivani Mann, ... Weidong Wang

Objective

Nuclear receptor Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ (PPARγ) is a promising target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The antidiabetic drug thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are potent insulin sensitizers as full agonists of PPARγ, but cause unwanted side effects. Recent discoveries have shown that TZDs improve insulin sensitivity by blocking PPARγ phosphorylation at S273, which decouples the full agonism-associated side effects. PPARγ ligands that act through the blockage of PPARγ phosphorylation but lack the full agonist activity would be expected to improve insulin sensitivity without TZD-associated side effects, however, chemicals that carry such traits and bind to PPARγ with high-affinity are lacking. Moreover, TZDs are known to promote white-to-brown adipocyte conversion and energy expenditure and appear to require their full agonism on PPARγ for this activity. It is unknown whether a partial or non-TZD agonist of PPARγ is capable of promoting browning effect. In this study, we developed a novel non-TZD partial agonist of PPARγ and investigated its function on insulin sensitivity and white-to-brown conversion and energy expenditure in diet-induced obese mice.

Methods

A novel indole-based chemical WO95E was designed via medicinal chemistry and tested for PPARγ binding and activity and for the effect on PPARγ phosphorylation. Diet-induced obese mice were administered with WO95E for 4 weeks. Insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, body weight, fat tissue weight, adipocyte size, morphology, energy expenditure, and expression levels of genes involved in PPARγ activity, thermogenesis/browning, and TZD-related side effects were evaluated.

Results

WO95E binds to PPARγ with high affinity and acts as a PPARγ partial agonist. WO95E inhibits PPARγ phosphorylation and regulates PPARγ phosphorylation-dependent genes. WO95E ameliorates insulin resistance and glucose tolerance in mice of diet-induced obesity, with minimal TZD use-associated side effects. We found that WO95E promotes white-to-brown adipocyte conversion and energy expenditure and hence protects against diet-induced obesity. WO95E decreases the size of adipocytes and suppresses adipose tissue inflammation. WO95E also suppresses obesity-associated liver steatosis.

Conclusions

WO95E improves insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis and promotes browning and energy expenditure by acting as a novel PPARγ phosphorylation inhibitor/partial agonist. Our findings suggest the potential of this compound or its derivative for the therapeutic treatment of insulin resistance and obesity.

 

2020 impact factor: 7.4

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