Metabolic effects of intra-abdominal fat in GHRKO mice.
ABSTRACT: Mice with targeted deletion of the growth hormone receptor (GHRKO mice) are growth hormone (GH) resistant, small, obese, hypoinsulinemic, highly insulin sensitive and remarkably long-lived. To elucidate the unexpected coexistence of adiposity with improved insulin sensitivity and extended longevity, we examined effects of surgical removal of visceral (epididymal and perinephric) fat on metabolic traits related to insulin signaling and longevity. Comparison of results obtained in GHRKO mice and in normal animals from the same strain revealed disparate effects of visceral fat removal (VFR) on insulin and glucose tolerance, adiponectin levels, accumulation of ectopic fat, phosphorylation of insulin signaling intermediates, body temperature, and respiratory quotient (RQ). Overall, VFR produced the expected improvements in insulin sensitivity and reduced body temperature and RQ in normal mice and had opposite effects in GHRKO mice. Some of the examined parameters were altered by VFR in opposite directions in GHRKO and normal mice, and others were affected in only one genotype or exhibited significant genotype × treatment interactions. Functional differences between visceral fat of GHRKO and normal mice were confirmed by measurements of adipokine secretion, lipolysis, and expression of genes related to fat metabolism. We conclude that in the absence of GH signaling, the secretory activity of visceral fat is profoundly altered and unexpectedly promotes enhanced insulin sensitivity. The apparent beneficial effects of visceral fat in GHRKO mice may also explain why reducing adiposity by calorie restriction fails to improve insulin signaling or further extend longevity in these animals.
Project description:Mice homozygous for the targeted disruption of the growth hormone (GH) receptor (Ghr) gene (GH receptor knockout; GHRKO; KO) are hypoinsulinemic, highly insulin sensitive, normoglycemic, and long-lived. Visceral fat removal (VFR) is a surgical intervention which improves insulin signaling in normal (N) mice and rats and extends longevity in rats. We have previously demonstrated decreased expression level of certain pro-apoptotic genes in skeletal muscles and suggested that this may contribute to the regulation of longevity in GHRKO mice. Alterations in apoptosis-related genes expression in the kidneys also may potentially lead to lifespan extension. In this context, we decided to examine the renal expression of the following genes: caspase-3, caspase-9, caspase-8, bax, bad, bcl-2, Smac/DIABLO, Apaf-1, p53, and cytochrome c1 (cyc1) in male GHRKO and N mice subjected to VFR or sham surgery, at approximately 6 months of age. The kidneys were collected 2 months after VFR. As a result, caspase-3, caspase-9, and bax expressions were decreased in KO mice as compared to N animals. Expressions of Smac/DIABLO, caspase-8, bcl-2, bad, and p53 did not differ between KOs and N mice. VFR did not change the expression of the examined genes in KO or N mice. In conclusion, endocrine abnormalities in GHRKO mice result in decreased expression of pro-apoptotic genes and VFR did not alter the examined genes expression in N and KO mice. These data are consistent with a model in which alterations of GH signaling and/or insulin sensitivity lead to increased lifespan mediated by decreased renal expression of pro-apoptotic genes.
Project description:Ames dwarf (Prop1(df), df/df) mice are characterized by growth hormone (GH), prolactin, and thyrotropin deficiency, remarkable extension of longevity and increased insulin sensitivity with low levels of fasting insulin and glucose. Plasma levels of anti-inflammatory adiponectin are increased in df/df mice, while pro-inflammatory IL-6 is decreased in plasma and epididymal fat. This represents an important shift in the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory adipokines in adipose tissue, which was not exposed to GH signals during development or adult life. To determine the role of adipose tissue in the control of insulin signaling in these long-living mutants, we examined the effects of surgical removal of visceral (epididymal and perinephric) adipose tissue. Comparison of the results obtained in df/df mice and their normal (N) siblings indicated different effects of visceral fat removal (VFR) on insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. The analysis of the expression of genes related to insulin signaling indicated that VFR improved insulin action in skeletal muscle in N mice. Interestingly, this surgical intervention did not improve insulin signaling in df/df mice skeletal muscle but caused suppression of the signal in subcutaneous fat. We conclude that altered profile of adipokines secreted by visceral fat of Ames dwarf mice may act as a key contributor to increased insulin sensitivity and extended longevity of these animals.
Project description:Growth hormone (GH) signaling influences longevity in mice, with decreased GH signaling associated with longer life span and increased GH signaling with shortened life span. A proposed mechanism through which GH signaling influences life span postulates that decreased GH signaling lowers metabolic rate, thus slowing aging by decreasing production of damaging free radicals. The influence of altered GH signaling on metabolism was tested by monitoring oxygen consumption (VO(2)), respiratory quotient (RQ), and heat production in long-lived GH receptor knockout (GHRKO) and Ames dwarf mice, and short-lived bovine GH-overexpressing transgenic (bGH TG) mice. Intriguingly, both GHRKO and Ames dwarf mice have increased VO(2) and heat per gram body weight, and decreased RQ, whereas bGH TG mice have decreased VO(2) and heat per gram body weight and increased RQ. In conclusion, decreased GH signaling associates with increased metabolism per body weight and may beneficially affect mitochondrial flexibility by increasing the capacity for fat oxidation; generally, GH excess produces opposite metabolic effects.
Project description:Insulin, growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) play key roles in the regulation of ? cell growth and function. Although ? cells express the GH receptor, the direct effects of GH on ? cells remain largely unknown. Here we have employed a rat insulin II promoter-driven (RIP-driven) Cre recombinase to disrupt the GH receptor in ? cells (?GHRKO). ?GHRKO mice fed a standard chow diet exhibited impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion but had no changes in ? cell mass. When challenged with a high-fat diet, ?GHRKO mice showed evidence of a ? cell secretory defect, with further deterioration of glucose homeostasis indicated by their altered glucose tolerance and blunted glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Interestingly, ?GHRKO mice were impaired in ? cell hyperplasia in response to a high-fat diet, with decreased ? cell proliferation and overall reduced ? cell mass. Therefore, GH receptor plays critical roles in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and ? cell compensation in response to a high-fat diet.
Project description:Disruption of the growth hormone (GH) signaling pathway promotes insulin sensitivity and is associated with both delayed aging and extended longevity. Two kinds of long-lived mice-Ames dwarfs (df/df) and GH receptor gene-disrupted knockouts (GHRKO) are characterized by a suppressed GH axis with a significant reduction of body size and decreased plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin levels. Ames dwarf mice are deficient in GH, prolactin, and thyrotropin, whereas GHRKOs are GH resistant and are dwarf with decreased circulating IGF-1 and increased GH. Crossing Ames dwarfs and GHRKOs produced a new mouse line (df/KO), lacking both GH and GH receptor. These mice are characterized by improved glucose tolerance and increased adiponectin level, which could imply that these mice should be also characterized by additional life-span extension when comparing with GHRKOs and Ames dwarfs. Importantly, our longevity experiments showed that df/KO mice maintain extended longevity when comparing with N control mice; however, they do not live longer than GHRKO and Ames df/df mice. These important findings indicate that silencing GH signal is important to extend the life span; however, further decrease of body size in mice with already inhibited GH signal does not extend the life span regardless of improved some health-span markers.
Project description:Growth hormone receptor knockout (GHRKO) mice are remarkably long-lived and have improved glucose homeostasis along with altered energy metabolism which manifests through decreased respiratory quotient (RQ) and increased oxygen consumption (VO2 ). Short-term exposure of these animals to increased environmental temperature (eT) at 30°C can normalize their VO2 and RQ. We hypothesized that increased heat loss in the diminutive GHRKO mice housed at 23°C and the consequent metabolic adjustments to meet the increased energy demand for thermogenesis may promote extension of longevity, and preventing these adjustments by chronic exposure to increased eT will reduce or eliminate their longevity advantage. To test these hypotheses, GHRKO mice were housed at increased eT (30°C) since weaning. Here, we report that contrasting with the effects of short-term exposure of adult GHRKO mice to 30°C, transferring juvenile GHRKO mice to chronic housing at 30°C did not normalize the examined parameters of energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis. Moreover, despite decreased expression levels of thermogenic genes in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and elevated core body temperature, the lifespan of male GHRKO mice was not reduced, while the lifespan of female GHRKO mice was increased, along with improved glucose homeostasis. The results indicate that GHRKO mice have intrinsic features that help maintain their delayed, healthy aging, and extended longevity at both 23°C and 30°C.
Project description:Growth hormone (GH) signaling stimulates the production of IGF-1; however, increased GH signaling may induce insulin resistance and can reduce life expectancy in both mice and humans. Interestingly, disruption of GH signaling by reducing plasma GH levels significantly improves health span and extends lifespan in mice, as observed in Ames dwarf mice. In addition, these mice have increased adiposity, yet are more insulin sensitive compared to control mice. Metabolic stressors such as high-fat diet (HFD) promote obesity and may alter longevity through the GH signaling pathway. Therefore, our objective was to investigate the effects of a HFD (metabolic stressor) on genetic mechanisms that regulate metabolism during aging. We show that Ames dwarf mice fed HFD for 12 weeks had an increase in subcutaneous and visceral adiposity as a result of diet-induced obesity, yet are more insulin sensitive and have higher levels of adiponectin compared to control mice fed HFD. Furthermore, energy expenditure was higher in Ames dwarf mice fed HFD than in control mice fed HFD. Additionally, we show that transplant of epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT) from Ames dwarf mice fed HFD into control mice fed HFD improves their insulin sensitivity. We conclude that Ames dwarf mice are resistant to the detrimental metabolic effects of HFD and that visceral adipose tissue of Ames dwarf mice improves insulin sensitivity in control mice fed HFD.
Project description:Mitochondrial biogenesis is essential for cell viability. Growth hormone receptor knockout (GHRKO), calorie restriction, and surgical visceral fat removal constitute experimental interventions to delay aging and increase life span. We examined the expression of known regulators of mitochondriogenesis: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? co-activator 1? (PGC-1?), adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK), sirtuin-1 (SIRT-1) and sirtuin-3 (SIRT-3), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), nuclear respiratory factor-1, mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), and mitofusin-2 (MFN-2) in the skeletal muscles and hearts of control and calorie-restricted female GHRKO mice and in the kidneys of male GHRKOs after visceral fat removal or sham surgery. Expression of PGC-1? in skeletal muscles, AMPK, SIRT-1, SIRT-3, eNOS, and MFN-2 in the heart and PGC-1?, AMPK, SIRT-3, eNOS, and MFN-2 in kidneys was increased in GHRKO mice but was not affected by calorie restriction or visceral fat removal. GHRKO mice have increased expression of key regulators of mitochondriogenesis, which is not improved further by calorie restriction or visceral fat removal.