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      Inhibition of Hypothalamic Inflammation Reverses Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in the Liver

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          Abstract

          Defective liver gluconeogenesis is the main mechanism leading to fasting hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes, and, in concert with steatosis, it is the hallmark of hepatic insulin resistance. Experimental obesity results, at least in part, from hypothalamic inflammation, which leads to leptin resistance and defective regulation of energy homeostasis. Pharmacological or genetic disruption of hypothalamic inflammation restores leptin sensitivity and reduces adiposity. Here, we evaluate the effect of a hypothalamic anti-inflammatory approach to regulating hepatic responsiveness to insulin. Obese rodents were treated by intracerebroventricular injections, with immunoneutralizing antibodies against Toll-like receptor (TLR)4 or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α, and insulin signal transduction, hepatic steatosis, and gluconeogenesis were evaluated. The inhibition of either TLR4 or TNFα reduced hypothalamic inflammation, which was accompanied by the reduction of hypothalamic resistance to leptin and improved insulin signal transduction in the liver. This was accompanied by reduced liver steatosis and reduced hepatic expression of markers of steatosis. Furthermore, the inhibition of hypothalamic inflammation restored defective liver glucose production. All these beneficial effects were abrogated by vagotomy. Thus, the inhibition of hypothalamic inflammation in obesity results in improved hepatic insulin signal transduction, leading to reduced steatosis and reduced gluconeogenesis. All these effects are mediated by parasympathetic signals delivered by the vagus nerve.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Analysis of serial measurements in medical research.

          In medical research data are often collected serially on subjects. The statistical analysis of such data is often inadequate in two ways: it may fail to settle clinically relevant questions and it may be statistically invalid. A commonly used method which compares groups at a series of time points, possibly with t tests, is flawed on both counts. There may, however, be a remedy, which takes the form of a two stage method that uses summary measures. In the first stage a suitable summary of the response in an individual, such as a rate of change or an area under a curve, is identified and calculated for each subject. In the second stage these summary measures are analysed by simple statistical techniques as though they were raw data. The method is statistically valid and likely to be more relevant to the study questions. If this method is borne in mind when the experiment is being planned it should promote studies with enough subjects and sufficient observations at critical times to enable useful conclusions to be drawn. Use of summary measures to analyse serial measurements, though not new, is potentially a useful and simple tool in medical research.
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            Fat accumulation in the liver is associated with defects in insulin suppression of glucose production and serum free fatty acids independent of obesity in normal men.

            We determined whether interindividual variation in hepatic insulin sensitivity could be attributed to variation in liver fat content (LFAT) independent of obesity. We recruited 30 healthy nondiabetic men whose LFAT (determined by proton spectroscopy); intraabdominal, sc, and total (determined by magnetic resonance imaging) fat; and insulin sensitivity of endogenous glucose rate of production (R(a)) and suppression of serum FFA [euglycemic insulin clamp combined with [3-(3)H]glucose (0-300 min); insulin infusion rate, 0.3 mU/kg.min, 120-300 min] were measured. The men were divided into groups of low (mean +/- SD, 1.7 +/- 0.2%) and high (10.5 +/- 2.0%) LFAT based on their median fat content. The low and high LFAT groups were comparable with respect to age (44 +/- 2 vs. 42 +/- 2 yr), body mass index (25 +/- 1 vs. 26 +/- 1 kg/m(2) ), waist to hip ratio (0.953 +/- 0.013 vs. 0.953 +/- 0.013), maximal oxygen uptake (35.6 +/- 1.5 vs. 33.5 +/- 1.5 ml/kg.min), and intraabdominal, sc, and total fat. The high compared with the low LFAT group had several features of insulin resistance, including fasting hyperinsulinemia (7.3 +/- 0.6 vs. 5.3 +/- 0.6 mU/liter; P < 0.02, high vs. low LFAT) hypertriglyceridemia (1.4 +/- 0.2 vs. 0.9 +/- 0.1 mmol/liter; P < 0.02), a low high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration (1.4 +/- 0.1 vs. 1.6 +/- 0.1 mmol/liter; P < 0.05), and a higher ambulatory 24-h systolic blood pressure (130 +/- 3 vs. 122 +/- 3 mm Hg; P < 0.05). Basal glucose R(a) and serum FFA were comparable between the groups, whereas insulin suppression of glucose R(a) [51 +/- 8 vs. 20 +/- 12 mg/m(2).min during 240-300 min (P < 0.05) or -55 +/- 7 vs. -85 +/- 12% below basal (P < 0.05, high vs. low LFAT)] and of serum FFA (299 +/- 33 vs. 212 +/- 13 micromol/liter; 240-300 min; P < 0.02) were impaired in the high compared with the low LFAT group. Insulin stimulation of glucose Rd were comparable in the men with high LFAT (141 +/- 12 mg/m(2).min) and those with low LFAT (156 +/- 14 mg/m(2).min; P = NS). Fat accumulation in the liver is, independent of body mass index and intraabdominal and overall obesity, characterized by several features of insulin resistance in normal weight and moderately overweight subjects.
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              Review: The role of insulin resistance in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

              Insulin resistance is an almost universal finding in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This review outlines the evidence linking insulin resistance and NAFLD, explores whether liver fat is a cause or consequence of insulin resistance, and reviews the current evidence for treatment of NAFLD. Evidence from epidemiological, experimental, and clinical research studies investigating NAFLD and insulin resistance was reviewed. Insulin resistance in NAFLD is characterized by reductions in whole-body, hepatic, and adipose tissue insulin sensitivity. The mechanisms underlying the accumulation of fat in the liver may include excess dietary fat, increased delivery of free fatty acids to the liver, inadequate fatty acid oxidation, and increased de novo lipogenesis. Insulin resistance may enhance hepatic fat accumulation by increasing free fatty acid delivery and by the effect of hyperinsulinemia to stimulate anabolic processes. The impact of weight loss, metformin, and thiazolidinediones, all treatments aimed at improving insulin sensitivity, as well as other agents such as vitamin E, have been evaluated in patients with NAFLD and have shown some benefit. However, most intervention studies have been small and uncontrolled. Insulin resistance is a major feature of NAFLD that, in some patients, can progress to steatohepatitis. Treatments aimed at reducing insulin resistance have had some success, but larger placebo-controlled studies are needed to fully establish the efficacy of these interventions and possibly others in reducing the deleterious effects of fat accumulation in the liver.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Diabetes
                Diabetes
                diabetes
                diabetes
                Diabetes
                Diabetes
                American Diabetes Association
                0012-1797
                1939-327X
                June 2012
                14 May 2012
                : 61
                : 6
                : 1455-1462
                Affiliations
                1Laboratory of Cell Signaling, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
                2Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
                3Department of Internal Medicine, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Licio A. Velloso, lavelloso.unicamp@ 123456gmail.com .

                M.M. and A.P.A. contributed equally to this article.

                Article
                0390
                10.2337/db11-0390
                3357298
                22522614
                © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association.

                Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

                Product
                Categories
                Obesity Studies

                Endocrinology & Diabetes

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