Loss of Muscle Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase 2 Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance despite Long-Chain Acylcarnitine Accumulation.
ABSTRACT: To assess the effects of acylcarnitine accumulation on muscle insulin sensitivity, a model of muscle acylcarnitine accumulation was generated by deleting carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2) specifically from skeletal muscle (Cpt2Sk-/- mice). CPT2 is an irreplaceable enzyme for mitochondrial long-chain fatty acid oxidation, converting matrix acylcarnitines to acyl-CoAs. Compared with controls, Cpt2Sk-/- muscles do not accumulate anabolic lipids but do accumulate ?22-fold more long-chain acylcarnitines. High-fat-fed Cpt2Sk-/- mice resist weight gain, adiposity, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and impairments in insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation. Obesity resistance of Cpt2Sk-/- mice could be attributed to increases in lipid excretion via feces, GFD15 production, and energy expenditure. L-carnitine supplement intervention lowers acylcarnitines and improves insulin sensitivity independent of muscle mitochondrial fatty acid oxidative capacity. The loss of muscle CPT2 results in a high degree of long-chain acylcarnitine accumulation, simultaneously protecting against diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.
Project description:Insulin resistance may be linked to incomplete fatty acid ?-oxidation and the subsequent increase in acylcarnitine species in different tissues including skeletal muscle. It is not known if acylcarnitines participate in muscle insulin resistance or simply reflect dysregulated metabolism. The aims of this study were to determine whether acylcarnitines can elicit muscle insulin resistance and to better understand the link between incomplete muscle fatty acid ?-oxidation, oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin-resistance development. Differentiated C2C12, primary mouse, and human myotubes were treated with acylcarnitines (C4:0, C14:0, C16:0) or with palmitate with or without carnitine acyltransferase inhibition by mildronate. Treatment with C4:0, C14:0, and C16:0 acylcarnitines resulted in 20-30% decrease in insulin response at the level of Akt phosphorylation and/or glucose uptake. Mildronate reversed palmitate-induced insulin resistance concomitant with an ?25% decrease in short-chain acylcarnitine and acetylcarnitine secretion. Although proinflammatory cytokines were not affected under these conditions, oxidative stress was increased by 2-3 times by short- or long-chain acylcarnitines. Acylcarnitine-induced oxidative stress and insulin resistance were reversed by treatment with antioxidants. Results are consistent with the conclusion that incomplete muscle fatty acid ?-oxidation causes acylcarnitine accumulation and associated oxidative stress, raising the possibility that these metabolites play a role in muscle insulin resistance.
Project description:Carnitine plays an essential role in the transfer of long-chain fatty acids across the inner mitochondrial membrane. This transfer requires enzymes and transporters that accumulate carnitine within the cell (OCTN2 carnitine transporter), conjugate it with long chain fatty acids (carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1, CPT1), transfer the acylcarnitine across the inner plasma membrane (carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase, CACT), and conjugate the fatty acid back to Coenzyme A for subsequent beta oxidation (carnitine palmitoyl transferase 2, CPT2). Deficiency of the OCTN2 carnitine transporter causes primary carnitine deficiency, characterized by increased losses of carnitine in the urine and decreased carnitine accumulation in tissues. Patients can present with hypoketotic hypoglycemia and hepatic encephalopathy, or with skeletal and cardiac myopathy. This disease responds to carnitine supplementation. Defects in the liver isoform of CPT1 present with recurrent attacks of fasting hypoketotic hypoglycemia. The heart and the muscle, which express a genetically distinct form of CPT1, are usually unaffected. These patients can have elevated levels of plasma carnitine. CACT deficiency presents in most cases in the neonatal period with hypoglycemia, hyperammonemia, and cardiomyopathy with arrhythmia leading to cardiac arrest. Plasma carnitine levels are extremely low. Deficiency of CPT2 present more frequently in adults with rhabdomyolysis triggered by prolonged exercise. More severe variants of CPT2 deficiency present in the neonatal period similarly to CACT deficiency associated or not with multiple congenital anomalies. Treatment for deficiency of CPT1, CPT2, and CACT consists in a low-fat diet supplemented with medium chain triglycerides that can be metabolized by mitochondria independently from carnitine, carnitine supplements, and avoidance of fasting and sustained exercise.
Project description:Inefficient muscle long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) combustion is associated with insulin resistance, but molecular links between mitochondrial fat catabolism and insulin action remain controversial. We hypothesized that plasma acylcarnitine profiling would identify distinct metabolite patterns reflective of muscle fat catabolism when comparing individuals bearing a missense G304A uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3 g/a) polymorphism to controls, because UCP3 is predominantly expressed in skeletal muscle and g/a individuals have reduced whole-body fat oxidation. MS analyses of 42 carnitine moieties in plasma samples from fasting type 2 diabetics (n = 44) and nondiabetics (n = 12) with or without the UCP3 g/a polymorphism (n = 28/genotype: 22 diabetic, 6 nondiabetic/genotype) were conducted. Contrary to our hypothesis, genotype had a negligible impact on plasma metabolite patterns. However, a comparison of nondiabetics vs. type 2 diabetics revealed a striking increase in the concentrations of fatty acylcarnitines reflective of incomplete LCFA beta-oxidation in the latter (i.e. summed C10- to C14-carnitine concentrations were approximately 300% of controls; P = 0.004). Across all volunteers (n = 56), acetylcarnitine rose and propionylcarnitine decreased with increasing hemoglobin A1c (r = 0.544, P < 0.0001; and r = -0.308, P < 0.05, respectively) and with increasing total plasma acylcarnitine concentration. In proof-of-concept studies, we made the novel observation that C12-C14 acylcarnitines significantly stimulated nuclear factor kappa-B activity (up to 200% of controls) in RAW264.7 cells. These results are consistent with the working hypothesis that inefficient tissue LCFA beta-oxidation, due in part to a relatively low tricarboxylic acid cycle capacity, increases tissue accumulation of acetyl-CoA and generates chain-shortened acylcarnitine molecules that activate proinflammatory pathways implicated in insulin resistance.
Project description:Large for gestational age (LGA) newborns have an increased risk of obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. Acylcarnitine profiles in obese children and adults are characterized by increased levels of C3, C5, and certain medium-chain (C12) and long-chain (C14:1 and C16) acylcarnitines. C2 is also increased in insulin-resistant states. In this 1-year observational study of 2514 newborns (246 LGA newborns, 250 small for gestational age (GA) newborns, and 2018 appropriate for GA newborns), we analyzed and compared postnatal acylcarnitine profiles in LGA newborns with profiles described for obese individuals. Acylcarnitine analysis was performed by tandem mass spectrometry on dried-blood spots collected on day 3 of life. LGA newborns had higher levels of total short-chain acylcarnitines (p?<?0.001), C2 (p?<?0.01) and C3 (p?<?0.001) acylcarnitines, and all C12, C14, and C16 acylcarnitines except C12:1. They also had a higher tendency towards carnitine insufficiency (p?<?0.05) and carnitine deficiency (p?<?0.001). No significant differences were observed between LGA newborns born to mothers with or without a history of gestational diabetes. This novel study describes a postnatal acylcarnitine profile in LGA with higher levels of C2, C3, total acylcarnitines, and total short-chain acylcarnitines that is characteristic of childhood and adult obesity and linked to an unhealthy metabolic phenotype.
Project description:Carnitine acetyltransferase (CRAT) deficiency has previously been shown to result in muscle insulin resistance due to accumulation of long-chain acylcarnitines. However, differences in the acylcarnitine profile and/or changes in gene expression and protein abundance of CRAT in myotubes obtained from obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and glucose-tolerant obese and lean controls remain unclear. The objective of the study was to examine whether myotubes from obese patients with T2DM express differences in gene expression and protein abundance of CRAT and in acylcarnitine species pre-cultured under glucose and insulin concentrations similar to those observed in healthy individuals in the over-night fasted, resting state. Primary myotubes obtained from obese persons with or without T2DM and lean controls (n=9 in each group) were cultivated and harvested for LC-MS-based profiling of acylcarnitines. The mRNA expression and protein abundance of CRAT were determined by qPCR and Western Blotting, respectively. Our results suggest that the mRNA levels and protein abundance of CRAT were similar between groups. Of the 14 different acylcarnitine species measured by LC-MS, the levels of palmitoylcarnitine (C16) and octadecanoylcarnitine (C18) were slightly reduced in myotubes derived from T2DM patients (p<0.05) compared to glucose-tolerant obese and lean controls. This suggests that the CRAT function is not the major contributor to primary insulin resistance in cultured myotubes obtained from obese T2DM patients.
Project description:Patients with beta-thalassemia major (BTM) suffer from fatigue, poor physical fitness, muscle weakness, lethargy, and cardiac complications which are related to an energy crisis. Carnitine and acylcarnitine derivatives play important roles in fatty acid oxidation, and deregulation of carnitine and acylcarnitine metabolism may lead to an energy crisis. The present study aimed to investigate carnitine and acylcarnitine metabolites to gain an insight into the pathophysiology of BTM. Dried blood spots of 45 patients with BTM and 96 age-matched healthy controls were analyzed for free carnitine and 24 acylcarnitines by using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Although medium chain acylcarnitine levels were similar in the patients with BTM and healthy controls, free carnitine, short chain acylcarnitines, long chain acylcarnitines, and total acylcarnitine levels were significantly lower in patients with BTM than in the healthy controls (P?<?0.05). Moreover, an impaired fatty acid oxidation rate was observed in the patients with BTM, as manifested by decreased fatty acid oxidation indicator ratios, namely C2/C0 and (C2?+?C3)/C0. Furthermore, an increase in the C0/(C16?+?C18) ratio indicated reduced carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1) activity in the patients with BTM compared with that in the healthy controls. Thus, a low level of free carnitine and acylcarnitines together with impaired CPT-1 activity contribute to energy crisis-related complications in the patients with BTM.
Project description:Metabolic disturbance of lipids is a hallmark of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In this study, we measured the serum levels of 15 acylcarnitine species of various carbon chain lengths from 2 to 18 in 241 patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD, including 23 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and analyzed the relationship between serum acylcarnitine profile and NAFLD status. Long-chain acylcarnitines AC14:1 and AC18:1 increased gradually with the progression of fibrosis and further increased in patients with HCC, whereas the middle-chain acylcarnitine AC5:0 exhibited the opposite trend. In particular, AC18:1, which we previously showed to possess a tumor promoting effect, was significantly elevated in patients with HCC compared to those without HCC. In addition, long-chain acylcarntines including AC18:1 were positively correlated with serum levels of inflammatory cytokines. Although none of the acylcarnitine species were independently associated with the presence of HCC, (AC16:0?+?AC18:1)/AC2:0, an index for the diagnosis of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2) deficiency, was independently associated with the presence of HCC after adjusting for age and liver fibrosis stage, likely reflecting the downregulation of CPT2 in HCC tissues. Thus, serum acylcarnitine profiles changed significantly according to the status of NAFLD, which may be implicated in the pathogenesis of NAFLD.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Metabolic reprogramming of tumour cells that allows for adaptation to their local environment is a hallmark of cancer. Interestingly, obesity-driven and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-driven hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) mouse models commonly exhibit strong steatosis in tumour cells as seen in human steatohepatitic HCC (SH-HCC), which may reflect a characteristic metabolic alteration. DESIGN:Non-tumour and HCC tissues obtained from diethylnitrosamine-injected mice fed either a normal or a high-fat diet (HFD) were subjected to comprehensive metabolome analysis, and the significance of obesity-mediated metabolic alteration in hepatocarcinogenesis was evaluated. RESULTS:The extensive accumulation of acylcarnitine species was seen in HCC tissues and in the serum of HFD-fed mice. A similar increase was found in the serum of patients with NASH-HCC. The accumulation of acylcarnitine could be attributed to the downregulation of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2), which was also seen in human SH-HCC. CPT2 downregulation induced the suppression of fatty acid ?-oxidation, which would account for the steatotic changes in HCC. CPT2 knockdown in HCC cells resulted in their resistance to lipotoxicity by inhibiting the Src-mediated JNK activation. Additionally, oleoylcarnitine enhanced sphere formation by HCC cells via STAT3 activation, suggesting that acylcarnitine accumulation was a surrogate marker of CPT2 downregulation and directly contributed to hepatocarcinogenesis. HFD feeding and carnitine supplementation synergistically enhanced HCC development accompanied by acylcarnitine accumulation in vivo. CONCLUSION:In obesity-driven and NASH-driven HCC, metabolic reprogramming mediated by the downregulation of CPT2 enables HCC cells to escape lipotoxicity and promotes hepatocarcinogenesis.
Project description:How endurance training alters muscle lipid metabolism while preserving insulin sensitivity remains unclear. Because acute free fatty acid (FFA) elevation by lipid infusion reduces insulin sensitivity, we hypothesized that training status would alter accumulation of muscle triacylglycerol (TAG), diacylglycerol (DAG), ceramide, and acylcarnitine during acute FFA elevation. Trained (n = 15) and sedentary (n = 13) participants matched for age, sex, and BMI received either a 6-h infusion of lipid (20% Intralipid at 90 ml/h) or glycerol (2.25 g/100 ml at 90 ml/h) during a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. Muscle biopsies were taken at 0, 120, and 360 min after infusion initiation to measure intramyocellular concentrations of TAG, DAG, ceramides, and acylcarnitines by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Trained participants had a higher Vo2 max and insulin sensitivity than sedentary participants. The lipid infusion produced a comparable elevation of FFA (594 ± 90 ?mol/l in trained, 721 ± 30 ?mol/l in sedentary, P = 0.4) and a decline in insulin sensitivity (-44.7% trained vs. -47.2% sedentary, P = 0.89). In both groups, lipid infusion increased the linoleic and linolenic acid content of TAG without changing total TAG. In the sedentary group, lipid infusion increased total, oleic, and linoleic acid and linolenic acid content of DAG. Regardless of training status, lipid infusion did not alter total ceramide, saturated ceramide, palmitoyl-carnitine, or oleoyl-carnitine. We conclude that during acute FFA elevation, trained adults have a similar decline in insulin sensitivity with less accumulation of muscle DAG than sedentary adults, suggesting that lipid-induced insulin resistance can occur without elevation of total muscle DAG.
Project description:What is the central question of this study? Does improved metabolic health and insulin sensitivity following a weight-loss and fitness intervention in sedentary, obese women alter exercise-associated fuel metabolism and incomplete mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation (FAO), as tracked by blood acylcarnitine patterns? What is the main finding and its importance? Despite improved fitness and blood sugar control, indices of incomplete mitochondrial FAO increased in a similar manner in response to a fixed load acute exercise bout; this indicates that intramitochondrial muscle FAO is inherently inefficient and is tethered directly to ATP turnover. With insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes mellitus, mismatches between mitochondrial fatty acid fuel delivery and oxidative phosphorylation/tricarboxylic acid cycle activity may contribute to inordinate accumulation of short- or medium-chain acylcarnitine fatty acid derivatives [markers of incomplete long-chain fatty acid oxidation (FAO)]. We reasoned that incomplete FAO in muscle would be ameliorated concurrent with improved insulin sensitivity and fitness following a ?14 week training and weight-loss intervention in obese, sedentary, insulin-resistant women. Contrary to this hypothesis, overnight-fasted and exercise-induced plasma C4-C14 acylcarnitines did not differ between pre- and postintervention phases. These metabolites all increased robustly with exercise (?45% of pre-intervention peak oxygen consumption) and decreased during a 20 min cool-down. This supports the idea that, regardless of insulin sensitivity and fitness, intramitochondrial muscle ?-oxidation and attendant incomplete FAO are closely tethered to absolute ATP turnover rate. Acute exercise also led to branched-chain amino acid acylcarnitine derivative patterns suggestive of rapid and transient diminution of branched-chain amino acid flux through the mitochondrial branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase complex. We confirmed our prior novel observation that a weight-loss/fitness intervention alters plasma xenometabolites [i.e. cis-3,4-methylene-heptanoylcarnitine and ?-butyrobetaine (a co-metabolite possibly derived in part from gut bacteria)], suggesting that host metabolic health regulated gut microbe metabolism. Finally, we considered whether acylcarnitine metabolites signal to muscle-innervating afferents; palmitoylcarnitine at concentrations as low as 1-10 ?m activated a subset (?2.5-5%) of these neurons ex vivo. This supports the hypothesis that in addition to tracking exercise-associated shifts in fuel metabolism, muscle acylcarnitines act as signals of exertion to short-loop somatosensory-motor circuits or to the brain.