A multiscale modelling approach to assess the impact of metabolic zonation and microperfusion on the hepatic carbohydrate metabolism.
ABSTRACT: The capacity of the liver to convert the metabolic input received from the incoming portal and arterial blood into the metabolic output of the outgoing venous blood has three major determinants: The intra-hepatic blood flow, the transport of metabolites between blood vessels (sinusoids) and hepatocytes and the metabolic capacity of hepatocytes. These determinants are not constant across the organ: Even in the normal organ, but much more pronounced in the fibrotic and cirrhotic liver, regional variability of the capillary blood pressure, tissue architecture and the expression level of metabolic enzymes (zonation) have been reported. Understanding how this variability may affect the regional metabolic capacity of the liver is important for the interpretation of functional liver tests and planning of pharmacological and surgical interventions. Here we present a mathematical model of the sinusoidal tissue unit (STU) that is composed of a single sinusoid surrounded by the space of Disse and a monolayer of hepatocytes. The total metabolic output of the liver (arterio-venous glucose difference) is obtained by integration across the metabolic output of a representative number of STUs. Application of the model to the hepatic glucose metabolism provided the following insights: (i) At portal glucose concentrations between 6-8 mM, an intra-sinusoidal glucose cycle may occur which is constituted by glucose producing periportal hepatocytes and glucose consuming pericentral hepatocytes, (ii) Regional variability of hepatic blood flow is higher than the corresponding regional variability of the metabolic output, (iii) a spatially resolved metabolic functiogram of the liver is constructed. Variations of tissue parameters are equally important as variations of enzyme activities for the control of the arterio-venous glucose difference.
Project description:1. Ketone-body utilization in fed and starved adult and suckling rats has been investigated by measuring arterio-venous differences across the brain. Venous blood was collected from the confluence of sinuses and arterial blood from the femoral artery in adult rats and by cardiac puncture in suckling rats. 2. During starvation the arterio-venous difference of ketone bodies increased in proportion to their concentrations in the blood and reached a value of 0.16mm at 48h. At a given concentration of the respective ketone bodies the arterio-venous differences of acetoacetate were about twice those of 3-hydroxybutyrate. 3. Fed rats in which the concentrations of ketone bodies were raised by intravenous infusion of sodium acetoacetate had the same arterio-venous differences as starved rats at corresponding ketone-body concentrations. Thus the ability of the rat brain to utilize ketone bodies is independent of the nutritional state. 4. The concentrations of glucose, acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate were much lower in the brain than in the arterial blood. The measured (blood concentration)/(brain concentration) ratio was 4.4 for glucose, 4.5 for acetoacetate and 8.1 for 3-hydroxybutyrate in 48h-starved rats. 5. The mean arterio-venous difference of glucose across the brain was 0.51mm in fed rats and 0.43mm in 96h-starved rats. 6. Conversion of glucose into lactate rose from negligible values in the fed state to 0.2mm after 48h starvation and decreased to zero after 96h starvation. 7. In 16-22-day-old suckling rats the arterio-venous differences of ketone bodies across the brain were also proportional to the ketone-body concentration, but they were about 3-4 times greater than in adult rats at the same blood ketone-body concentration. 8. Arterio-venous differences of glucose were about the same in adult and suckling rats. 9. The brain of fed suckling rats formed more lactate from glucose than fed adult rats. 10. The results indicate that ketone bodies are major metabolic fuels of the brain of the suckling rat under normal conditions.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>The placental transfer of nutrients is influenced by maternal metabolic state, placenta function and fetal demands. Human in vivo studies of this interplay are scarce and challenging. We aimed to establish a method to study placental nutrient transfer in humans. Focusing on glucose, we tested a hypothesis that maternal glucose concentrations and uteroplacental arterio-venous difference (reflecting maternal supply) determines the fetal venous-arterial glucose difference (reflecting fetal consumption).<h4>Methods</h4>Cross-sectional in vivo study of 40 healthy women with uncomplicated term pregnancies undergoing planned caesarean section. Glucose and insulin were measured in plasma from maternal and fetal sides of the placenta, at the incoming (radial artery and umbilical vein) and outgoing vessels (uterine vein and umbilical artery).<h4>Results</h4>There were significant mean (SD) uteroplacental arterio-venous 0.29 (0.23) mmol/L and fetal venous-arterial 0.38 (0.31) mmol/L glucose differences. The transplacental maternal-fetal glucose gradient was 1.22 (0.42) mmol/L. The maternal arterial glucose concentration was correlated to the fetal venous glucose concentration (r = 0.86, p<0.001), but not to the fetal venous-arterial glucose difference. The uteroplacental arterio-venous glucose difference was neither correlated to the level of glucose in the umbilical vein, nor fetal venous-arterial glucose difference. The maternal-fetal gradient was correlated to fetal venous-arterial glucose difference (r = 0.8, p<0.001) and the glucose concentration in the umbilical artery (r = -0.45, p = 0.004). Glucose and insulin concentrations were correlated in the mother (r = 0.52, p = 0.001), but not significantly in the fetus. We found no significant correlation between maternal and fetal insulin values.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We did not find a relation between indicators of maternal glucose supply and the fetal venous-arterial glucose difference. Our findings indicate that the maternal-fetal glucose gradient is significantly influenced by the fetal venous-arterial difference and not merely dependent on maternal glucose concentration or the arterio-venous difference on the maternal side of the placenta.
Project description:1. The effects of varying the plasma insulin concentration by infusion while maintaining euglycaemia by infusion of glucose on nutrient arterio-venous differences across the hind-limb and mammary gland in lactating and non-lactating sheep were investigated. 2. Insulin infusion increased the glucose arterio-venous difference across the hind-limb; this effect of insulin was decreased by lactation, suggesting that lactation induces insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. 3. Lactation increased but insulin infusion decreased the plasma concentrations of acetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and non-esterified fatty acids. 4. Insulin infusion decreased the arterio-venous differences of acetate and hydroxybutyrate across the hind-limb; this effect of insulin is probably indirect, resulting from the decrease in plasma concentrations of these metabolites. 5. Infusion of insulin had no effect on the glucose arterio-venous difference across the mammary gland, but did decrease the oxygen arterio-venous difference. 6. The results suggest that lactation results in insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, at least with respect to glucose utilization; this should facilitate the preferential utilization of glucose by the mammary gland.
Project description:1. Choline production by various tissues of the sheep was measured by determining venous and arterial free choline concentrations in blood samples taken from various vessels in conscious multicannulated sheep. 2. Significant production of free choline occurred in the upper and lower body regions, and specifically in the heart, brain and hind-limb muscles of sheep, but there was no significant uptake or output of phosphatidylcholine across these tissues, as determined by arterio-venous differences. 3. In contrast, in the rat there were no significant arterio-venous differences in the concentrations of free choline or phosphatidylcholine across the hind-body. 4. Synthesis of phosphatidylcholine from endogenous phosphatidylethanolamine and S-adenosyl-L-[methyl-14C]methionine was measured in experiments in vitro using microsomal preparations from a variety of sheep and rat tissues. 5. The biosynthetic activity was highest in liver from sheep and rats, although the activity in sheep microsomal preparations was about one-quarter of that in rat microsomal preparations. 6. Microsomal preparations from sheep lung, kidney, gut epithelium, brain, heart and skeletal muscles also showed considerable biosynthetic activity, but in the rat the activity was virtually confined to the liver. 7. Overall, the results show a significant production of choline in extrahepatic tissues of the sheep, with skeletal muscle contributing some 60% of this extrahepatic activity. Thus the extrahepatic production of choline in the sheep, together with the extensive reutilization of bile choline, can explain the maintenance of the large endogenous body pool of choline in this species.
Project description:Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) appears to have impaired effect on subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue metabolism in obese subjects. The aim of the present study was to examine whether weight loss may reverse the impaired effect of GIP on subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue in obese subjects.Five obese males participated in a 12-week weight loss program, which consisted of caloric restriction (800 Cal day(-)(1)) followed by 4 weeks of weight-maintenance diet. Before and after weight loss, subcutaneous adipose tissue lipid metabolism was studied by conducting regional measurements of arterio-venous plasma concentrations of metabolites and blood flow (adipose tissue blood flow, ATBF) across a segment of the abdominal adipose tissue in the fasting state and during GIP infusion (1.5 pmol kg(-)(1 )min(-)(1)) in combination with a hyperinsulinemic-hyperglycemic clamp.After weight loss (7.5±0.8 kg), glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity increased significantly as expected. No significant differences were seen in basal ATBF before (1.3±0.4 ml min(-1) 100 g tissue(-1)) and after weight loss (2.1±0.4 ml min(-1) 100 g tissue)(-1); however, a tendency to increase was seen. After weight loss, GIP infusion increased ATBF significantly (3.2±0.1 ml min(-1) 100 g tissue(-1)) whereas there was no increase before weight loss. Triacylglycerol (TAG) uptake did not change after weight loss. Baseline free fatty acid (FFA) and glycerol output increased significantly after weight loss, P<0.001. During the clamp period, FFA and glycerol output declined significantly, P<0.05, with no differences before and after weight loss. Weight loss increased glucose uptake and decreased FFA/glycerol ratio during the clamp period, P<0.05.In obese subjects, weight loss, induced by calorie restriction, improves the blunted effect of GIP on subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue metabolism.
Project description:The Parkes Weber syndrome is a congenital vascular malformation, characterized by varicose veins, arterio-venous fistulas and overgrown limbs. No broadly accepted animal model of Parkes Weber syndrome has been described. We created side-to-side arterio-venous fistula between common femoral vessels with proximal non-absorbable ligature on common femoral vein limiting the enlargement of the vein diameter in Wistar rats. Contralateral limb was sham operated. Invasive blood pressure measurements in both iliac and inferior cava veins were performed in rats 30 days after fistula creation. Tight circumference and femoral bone length were measured. Histopathology and morphology of soleus muscle, extensor digitorum longus muscle, and the common femoral vessel were analyzed. 30 days following arterio-venous fistula creation, a statistically significant elevation of blood pressure in common iliac vein and limb overgrowth was observed. Limb enlargement was caused by muscle overgrowth, varicose veins formation and bone elongation. Arterio-venous fistula with proximal outflow limitation led to significant increase of femoral vein circumference and venous wall thickness. Our study indicates that the described rat model mimics major clinical features characteristic for the human Parkes Weber syndrome: presence of arterio-venous fistula, venous hypertension and dilatation, varicose veins formation, and the limb hypertrophy. We reveal that limb overgrowth is caused by bone elongation, muscle hypertrophy, and venous dilatation. The newly established model will permit detailed studies on the mechanisms underlying the disease and on the efficacy of novel therapeutic strategies for the Parkes Weber syndrome treatment.
Project description:1. Heat output by suspensions of isolated rat hepatocytes was determined by using a modified batch-type microcalorimeter. 2. The ratio of O(2) uptake (determined polarographically) to heat output was used to assess the metabolic efficiency of isolated hepatocytes. 3. Cells from starved or fed rats incubated in either bicarbonate-buffered physiological saline containing gelatin, or bicarbonate-buffered physiological saline containing amino acids, serum albumin and glucose showed no significant difference with respect to the ratio of O(2) uptake to heat output. 4. For liver cells from 24h-starved rats, the addition of 10mm-dihydroxyacetone and 2.5mm-fructose significantly decreased the ratio of O(2) uptake to heat output from 1.94+/-0.05 in the controls to 1.52+/-0.04 and 1.54+/-0.01mumol/J respectively. 5. Glucagon (1mum), which slightly increased both O(2) uptake and heat output, did not significantly alter the ratio. 6. The addition of extracellular 10mm-NH(4)Cl and urease to provide an energetically wasteful cycle by ensuring hydrolysis of newly synthesized urea, lowered the ratio of O(2) uptake to heat output from 1.81+/-0.08 to 1.47+/-0.06mumol/J, indicating a reduced metabolic efficiency. 7. Metabolic efficiency in rats of different dietary regimen, age and genetically based obesity was also assessed. No differences in the ratio of O(2) uptake to heat output were found between liver cell suspensions prepared from rats maintained on colony diet and high-fat diet or sucrose-rich diet nor between animals ranging from 38 to 179 days of age. Comparison of the ratio of liver cell O(2) uptake to heat output between homozygote Zucker fa/fa obese rats and their lean littermates showed no significant difference. 8. It is concluded that the ratio of O(2) uptake to heat output for isolated hepatocytes is relatively constant unless perturbed by conditions that markedly enhance substrate cycling.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Insulin-induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling and interleukin-6 (IL-6)-instigated JAK/STAT3-signaling pathways in the liver inhibit the expression of gluconeogenic genes to decrease hepatic glucose output. The insulin receptor (IR) and JAK1 tyrosine kinases and STAT3 can serve as direct substrates for the T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP). Homozygous TCPTP-deficiency results in perinatal lethality prohibiting any informative assessment of TCPTP's role in glucose homeostasis. Here we have used Ptpn2+/- mice to investigate TCPTP's function in glucose homeostasis.<h4>Research design and methods</h4>We analyzed insulin sensitivity and gluconeogenesis in chow versus high-fat-fed (HFF) Ptpn2+/- and Ptpn2+/+ mice and insulin and IL-6 signaling and gluconeogenic gene expression in Ptpn2+/- and Ptpn2+/+ hepatocytes.<h4>Results</h4>HFF Ptpn2+/- mice exhibited lower fasted blood glucose and decreased hepatic glucose output as determined in hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps and by the decreased blood glucose levels in pyruvate tolerance tests. The reduced hepatic glucose output coincided with decreased expression of the gluconeogenic genes G6pc and Pck1 and enhanced hepatic STAT3 phosphorylation and PI3K/Akt signaling in the fasted state. Insulin-induced IR-beta-subunit Y1162/Y1163 phosphorylation and PI3K/Akt signaling and IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation were also enhanced in isolated Ptpn2+/- hepatocytes. The increased insulin and IL-6 signaling resulted in enhanced suppression of G6pc and Pck1 mRNA.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Liver TCPTP antagonises both insulin and STAT3 signaling pathways to regulate gluconeogenic gene expression and hepatic glucose output.
Project description:The liver is a highly vascularized organ receiving a dual input of oxygenated blood from the hepatic artery and portal vein. The impact of decreased blood flow on glucose metabolism and how hepatocytes could adapt to this restrictive environment are still unclear. Using the left portal vein ligation (LPVL) rat model, we found that cellular injury was delayed after the onset of liver ischemia. We hypothesized that a metabolic adaptation by hepatocytes to maintain energy homeostasis could account for this lag phase. Liver glucose metabolism was characterized by 13C- and 1H-NMR spectroscopy and analysis of high-energy metabolites. ALT levels and caspase 3 activity in LPVL animals remained normal during the first 12 h following surgery (P<0.05). Ischemia rapidly led to decreased intrahepatic tissue oxygen tension and blood flow (P<0.05) and increased expression of Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha. Intrahepatic glucose uptake, ATP/ADP ratio and energy charge level remained stable for up to 12 h after ligation. Entry of glucose in the Krebs cycle was impaired with lowered incorporation of 13C from [U-13C]glucose into glutamate and succinate from 0.25 to 12 h after LPVL. However, total hepatic succinate and glutamate increased 6 and 12 h after ischemia (P<0.05). Glycolysis was initially reduced (P<0.05) but reached maximum 13C-lactate (P<0.001) and 13C-alanine (P<0.01) enrichments 12 h after LPVL. In conclusion, early liver homeostasis stems from an inherent ability of ischemic hepatocytes to metabolically adapt through increased Krebs cycle and glycolysis activity to preserve bioenergetics and cell viability. This metabolic plasticity of hepatocytes could be harnessed to develop novel metabolic strategies to prevent ischemic liver damage.
Project description:Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are global emergencies and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are regulatory transcripts with elusive functions in metabolism. Here we show that a high fraction of lncRNAs, but not protein-coding mRNAs, are repressed during diet-induced obesity (DIO) and refeeding, whilst nutrient deprivation induced lncRNAs in mouse liver. Similarly, lncRNAs are lost in diabetic humans. LncRNA promoter analyses, global cistrome and gain-of-function analyses confirm that increased MAFG signaling during DIO curbs lncRNA expression. Silencing Mafg in mouse hepatocytes and obese mice elicits a fasting-like gene expression profile, improves glucose metabolism, de-represses lncRNAs and impairs mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation. We find that obesity-repressed LincIRS2 is controlled by MAFG and observe that genetic and RNAi-mediated LincIRS2 loss causes elevated blood glucose, insulin resistance and aberrant glucose output in lean mice. Taken together, we identify a MAFG-lncRNA axis controlling hepatic glucose metabolism in health and metabolic disease.