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      Metabolic dysfunction in female mice with disruption of 5α-reductase 1


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          5α-Reductases irreversibly catalyse A-ring reduction of pregnene steroids, including glucocorticoids and androgens. Genetic disruption of 5α-reductase 1 in male mice impairs glucocorticoid clearance and predisposes to glucose intolerance and hepatic steatosis upon metabolic challenge. However, it is unclear whether this is driven by changes in androgen and/or glucocorticoid action. Female mice with transgenic disruption of 5α-reductase 1 (5αR1-KO) were studied, representing a ‘low androgen’ state. Glucocorticoid clearance and stress responses were studied in mice aged 6 months. Metabolism was assessed in mice on normal chow (aged 6 and 12 m) and also in a separate cohort following 1-month high-fat diet (aged 3 m). Female 5αR1-KO mice had adrenal suppression (44% lower AUC corticosterone after stress), and upon corticosterone infusion, accumulated hepatic glucocorticoids (~27% increased corticosterone). Female 5αR1-KO mice aged 6 m fed normal chow demonstrated insulin resistance (~35% increased area under curve (AUC) for insulin upon glucose tolerance testing) and hepatic steatosis (~33% increased hepatic triglycerides) compared with controls. This progressed to obesity (~12% increased body weight) and sustained insulin resistance (~38% increased AUC insulin) by age 12 m. Hepatic transcript profiles supported impaired lipid β-oxidation and increased triglyceride storage. Female 5αR1-KO mice were also predisposed to develop high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance. Exaggerated predisposition to metabolic disorders in female mice, compared with that seen in male mice, after disruption of 5αR1 suggests phenotypic changes may be underpinned by altered metabolism of glucocorticoids rather than androgens.

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          Steroid 5 alpha-reductase: two genes/two enzymes.

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            Cortisol effects on body mass, blood pressure, and cholesterol in the general population.

            The effects of excess cortisol secretion on blood pressure and fat deposition are well documented, but the importance of this glucocorticoid in controlling these processes in normal individuals is less clear. We studied the relationship between cortisol excretion rate (tetrahydrocortisol [THF]+allo-THF+tetrahydrocortisone [THE]) and a range of important cardiovascular risk factors in 439 normal subjects (238 male) sampled from the North of Glasgow (Scotland) population. There were marked gender differences: female subjects were lighter and had lower blood pressures and cortisol levels, whereas HDL cholesterol was higher. The pattern of cortisol metabolism was also different; the index of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity (THF+allo-THF/THE) was lower and that of 5alpha-reductase (allo-THF/THF) was higher. There was a strong correlation of blood pressure (positive), cholesterol (positive), and HDL cholesterol (negative in women, positive in men) with age. Cortisol excretion rate did not correlate with blood pressure but correlated strongly with parameters of body habitus (body mass index and waist and hip measurements [positive]) and HDL cholesterol (negative). With multiple regression analysis, there remained a significant association of cortisol excretion rate with HDL cholesterol in men and women and with body mass index in men. These results suggest that glucocorticoids regulate key components of cardiovascular risk.
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              Increased hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance in mice lacking hepatic androgen receptor.

              Early studies demonstrated that whole-body androgen receptor (AR)-knockout mice with hypogonadism exhibit insulin resistance. However, details about the mechanisms underlying how androgen/AR signaling regulates insulin sensitivity in individual organs remain unclear. We therefore generated hepatic AR-knockout (H-AR(-/y)) mice and found that male H-AR(-/y) mice, but not female H-AR(-/-) mice, fed a high-fat diet developed hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, and aging male H-AR(-/y) mice fed chow exhibited moderate hepatic steatosis. We hypothesized that increased hepatic steatosis in obese male H-AR(-/y) mice resulted from decreased fatty acid beta-oxidation, increased de novo lipid synthesis arising from decreased PPARalpha, increased sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c, and associated changes in target gene expression. Reduced insulin sensitivity in fat-fed H-AR(-/y) mice was associated with decreased phosphoinositide-3 kinase activity and increased phosphenolpyruvate carboxykinase expression and correlated with increased protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B expression. Together, our results suggest that hepatic AR may play a vital role in preventing the development of insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. AR agonists that specifically target hepatic AR might be developed to provide a better strategy for treatment of metabolic syndrome in men.

                Author and article information

                J Endocrinol
                J. Endocrinol
                The Journal of Endocrinology
                Bioscientifica Ltd (Bristol )
                November 2016
                11 November 2016
                : 232
                : 1
                : 29-36
                [1 ]University/British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science University of Edinburgh, Queen’s Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK
                [2 ]Centre for Integrative Physiology University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence should be addressed to D E W Livingstone; Email: Dawn.Livingstone@ 123456ed.ac.uk
                © 2017 The authors

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

                : 26 August 2016
                : 19 September 2016

                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                glucocorticoid,steroid metabolising hormones,metabolism,obesity
                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                glucocorticoid, steroid metabolising hormones, metabolism, obesity


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