Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and wound vascularization are two critical interrelated processes that enable cutaneous wound healing. Zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1), primarily studied in the context of tumor biology, is a potent EMT activator. ZEB1 is also known to contribute to endothelial cell survival as well as stimulate tumor angiogenesis. The role of ZEB1 in cutaneous wounds was assessed using Zeb1(+/-) mice, as Zeb1(-/-) mice are not viable. Quantitative stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) proteomics was used to elucidate the effect of elevated ZEB1, as noted during hyperglycemia. Under different glycemic conditions, ZEB1 binding to E-cadherin promoter was investigated using chromatin immunoprecipitation. Cutaneous wounding resulted in loss of epithelial marker E-cadherin with concomitant gain of ZEB1. The dominant proteins downregulated after ZEB1 overexpression functionally represented adherens junction pathway. Zeb1(+/-) mice exhibited compromised wound closure complicated by defective EMT and poor wound angiogenesis. Under hyperglycemic conditions, ZEB1 lost its ability to bind E-cadherin promoter. Keratinocyte E-cadherin, thus upregulated, resisted EMT required for wound healing. Diabetic wound healing was improved in ZEB(+/-) as well as in db/db mice subjected to ZEB1 knockdown. This work recognizes ZEB1 as a key regulator of cutaneous wound healing that is of particular relevance to diabetic wound complication.
Diabetic retinopathy is a common diabetes complication that threatens the eyesight and may eventually lead to acquired visual impairment or blindness. While a substantial heritability has been reported for proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), only a few genetic risk factors have been identified. Using genome-wide sib pair linkage analysis including 361 individuals with type 1 diabetes, we found suggestive evidence of linkage with PDR at chromosome 10p12 overlapping the CACNB2 gene (logarithm of odds = 2.73). Evidence of association between variants in CACNB2 and PDR was also found in association analysis of 4,005 individuals with type 1 diabetes with an odds ratio of 0.83 and P value of 8.6 x 10(-4) for rs11014284. Sequencing of CACNB2 revealed two coding variants, R476C/rs202152674 and S502L/rs137886839. CACNB2 is abundantly expressed in retinal cells and encodes the beta 2 subunit of the L-type calcium channel. Blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by intravitreous anti-VEGF injections is a promising clinical therapy to treat PDR. Our data show that L-type calcium channels regulate VEGF expression and secretion from retinal pigment epithelial cells (ARPE19) and support the role of CACNB2 via regulation of VEGF in the pathogenesis of PDR. However, further genetic and functional studies are necessary to consolidate the findings.
In observational studies, type 2 diabetes is associated with two- to fourfold higher risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Using data from the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB), we examined associations of genetically predicted type 2 diabetes with CVD among similar to 160,000 participants to assess whether these relationships are causal. A type 2 diabetes genetic risk score (comprising 48 established risk variants) was associated with the presence of carotid plaque (odds ratio 1.17 [95% CI 1.05, 1.29] per 1 unit higher log-odds of type 2 diabetes; n = 6,819) and elevated risk of ischemic stroke (IS) (1.08 [1.02, 1.14]; n = 17,097), nonlacunar IS (1.09 [1.03, 1.16]; n = 13,924), and major coronary event (1.12 [1.02, 1.23]; n = 5,081). There was no significant association with lacunar IS (1.03 [0.91, 1.16], n = 3,173) or intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) (1.01 [0.94, 1.10], n = 6,973), although effect estimates were imprecise. These associations were consistent with observational associations of type 2 diabetes with CVD in CKB (P for heterogeneity >0.3) and with the associations of type 2 diabetes with IS, ICH, and coronary heart disease in two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses based on summary statistics from European population genome-wide association studies (P for heterogeneity >0.2). In conclusion, among Chinese adults, genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes was associated with atherosclerotic CVD, consistent with a causal association.
While peripheral neuropathy is the most common complication of long-term diabetes, cognitive deficits associated with encephalopathy and myelopathy also occur. Diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD) and increases the risk of progression from mild cognitive impairment to AD. The only current recommendation for preventing or slowing the progression of peripheral neuropathy is to maintain close glycemic control, while there is no recommendation for central nervous system disorders. NSI-189 is a new chemical entity that when orally administered promotes neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, increases hippocampal volume, enhances synaptic plasticity, and reduces cognitive dysfunction. To establish the potential for impact on peripheral neuropathy, we first showed that NSI-189 enhances neurite outgrowth and mitochondrial functions in cultured adult rat primary sensory neurons. Oral delivery of NSI-189 to murine models of type 1 (female) and type 2 (male) diabetes prevented multiple functional and structural indices of small and large fiber peripheral neuropathy, increased hippocampal neurogenesis, synaptic markers and volume, and protected long-term memory. NSI-189 also halted progression of established peripheral and central neuropathy. NSI-189, which is currently in clinical trials for treatment of major depressive disorder, offers the opportunity for the development of a single therapeutic agent against multiple indices of central and peripheral neuropathy.
Deficiency of endothelial progenitor cells, including endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) and circulating angiogenic cells (CACs), plays an important role in retinal vascular degeneration in diabetic retinopathy (DR). Fenofibrate, an agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR alpha), has shown therapeutic effects on DR in both patients and diabetic animal models. However, the function of PPAR alpha in ECFC/CACs has not been defined. In this study, we determined the regulation of ECFC/CAC by PPAR alpha. As shown by flow cytometry and Seahorse analysis, ECFC/CAC numbers and mitochondrial function were decreased in the bone marrow, circulation, and retina of db/db mice, correlating with PPAR alpha downregulation. Activation of PPAR alpha by fenofibrate normalized ECFC/CAC numbers and mitochondrial function in diabetes. In contrast, PPAR alpha knockout exacerbated ECFC/CAC number decreases and mitochondrial dysfunction in diabetic mice. Primary ECFCs from PPAR alpha(-/-) mice displayed impaired proliferation, migration, and tube formation. Furthermore, PPAR alpha(-/-) ECFCs showed reduced mitochondrial oxidation and glycolysis compared with wild type, correlating with decreases of Akt phosphorylation and expression of its downstream genes regulating ECFC fate and metabolism. These findings suggest that PPAR alpha is an endogenous regulator of ECFC/CAC metabolism and cell fate. Diabetes-induced downregulation of PPAR alpha contributes to ECFC/CAC deficiency and retinal vascular degeneration in DR.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common complication in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but any treatment toward the development of DPN is not yet available. Axon degeneration is an early feature of many peripheral neuropathies, including DPN. Delay of axon degeneration has beneficial effects on various neurodegenerative diseases, but its effect on DPN is yet to be elucidated. Deficiency of Sarm1 significantly attenuates axon degeneration in several models, but the effect of Sarm1 deficiency on DPN is still unclear. In this study, we show that Sarm1 knockout mice exhibit normal glucose metabolism and pain sensitivity, and deletion of the Sarm1 gene alleviates hypoalgesia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Moreover, Sarm1 gene deficiency attenuates intraepidermal nerve fiber loss in footpad skin; alleviates axon degeneration, the change of g-ratio in sciatic nerves, and NAD(+) decrease; and relieves axonal outgrowth retardation of dorsal root ganglia from diabetic mice. In addition, Sarm1 gene deficiency markedly diminishes the changes of gene expression profile induced by streptozotocin in the sciatic nerve, especially some abundant genes involved in neurodegenerative diseases. These findings demonstrate that Sarm1 gene deficiency attenuates DPN in mice and suggest that slowing down axon degeneration is a potential promising strategy to combat DPN.
The contribution of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) versus the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) in mediating fatal cardiac arrhythmias during insulin-induced severe hypoglycemia is not well understood. Therefore, experimental protocols were performed in nondiabetic Sprague-Dawley rats to test the SNS with 1) adrenal demedullation and 2) chemical sympathectomy, and to test the PSNS with 3) surgical vagotomy, 4) nicotinic receptor (mecamylamine) and muscarinic receptor (AQ-RA 741) blockade, and 5) ex vivo heart perfusions with normal or low glucose, acetylcholine (ACh), and/or mecamylamine. In protocols 1-4, 3-h hyperinsulinemic (0.2 units/kg/min) and hypoglycemic (10-15 mg/dL) clamps were performed. Adrenal demedullation and chemical sympathectomy had no effect on mortality or arrhythmias during severe hypoglycemia compared with controls. Vagotomy led to a 6.9-fold decrease in mortality; reduced first- and second-degree heart block 4.6- and 4-fold, respectively; and prevented third-degree heart block compared with controls. Pharmacological blockade of nicotinic receptors, but not muscarinic receptors, prevented heart block and mortality versus controls. Ex vivo heart perfusions demonstrated that neither low glucose nor ACh alone caused arrhythmias, but their combination induced heart block that could be abrogated by nicotinic receptor blockade. Taken together, ACh activation of nicotinic receptors via the vagus nerve is the primary mediator of severe hypoglycemia-induced fatal cardiac arrhythmias.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) imposes a significant health burden by negatively affecting tissue regeneration during wound healing. The adverse effect of diabetes is attributed to high levels of inflammation, but the cellular mechanisms responsible remain elusive. In this study, we show that intrinsic skeletal stem cells (SSCs), a subset of mesenchymal stem cells, are essential for resolution of inflammation to occur during osseous healing by using genetic approaches to selectively ablate SSCs. T1D caused aberrant nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) activation in SSCs and substantially enhanced inflammation in vivo. Constitutive or tamoxifen-induced inhibition of NF-kappa B in SSCs rescued the impact of diabetes on inflammation, SSC expansion, and tissue formation. In contrast, NF-kappa B inhibition in chondrocytes failed to reverse the effect of T1D. Mechanistically, diabetes caused defective proresolving macrophage (M2) polarization by reducing TGF-beta 1 expression by SSCs, which was recovered by NF-kappa B inhibition or exogenous TGF-beta 1 treatment. These data identify an underlying mechanism for altered healing in T1D and demonstrate that diabetes induces NF-kappa B hyperactivation in SSCs to disrupt their ability to modulate M2 polarization and resolve inflammation.
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have a considerably high risk of developing dementia, especially for those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The investigation of the microstructural change of white matter (WM) between T2DM with amnesic MCI (T2DM-aMCI) and T2DM with normal cognition (T2DM-NC) and their relationships to cognitive performances can help to understand the brain variations in T2DM-related amnesic cognitive impairment. In the current study, 36 T2DM-aMCI patients, 40 T2DM-NC patients, and 40 healthy control (HC) individuals underwent diffusion tensor image and T1-weighted MRI scans and comprehensive cognition assessments. All of these cognitive functions exhibited intergroup ranking differences in patients. The T2DM-NC patients and HC individuals did not reveal any significant differences in WM integrity. The T2DM-aMCI patients showed disrupted integrity in multiple WM tracts compared with HC and T2DM-NC. Specifically, the damaged WM integrity of the right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and the right inferior longitudinal fasciculus exhibited significant correlations with episodic memory and attention function impairment in T2DM patients. Furthermore, cognitive impairment-related WM microstructural damage was associated with the degeneration of cortex connected to the affected WM tract. These findings indicate that degeneration exists extensively in WM tracts in T2DM-aMCI, whereas no brain WM damage is evident in T2DM-NC.
We examined the relationship between insulin clearance, insulin sensitivity, and beta-cell function and the longitudinal effect of insulin clearance on beta-cell function in lean and obese insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant adolescents. A hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic and a hyperglycemic clamp were performed in 110 youths to quantify hepatic and peripheral clearance, insulin sensitivity, and beta-cell function (disposition index, DIh-clamp). Participants underwent an oral glucose tolerance test at baseline and after 2 years to assess glucose tolerance and oral beta-cell function (oDI(cpep)) and were sorted into four groups (lean and obese normal glucose tolerance, insulin sensitive, insulin resistant, and impaired glucose tolerance). Insulin sensitivity was defined based on the median of insulin stimulated glucose disposal (M) measured during the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. Lean and obese insulin-sensitive participants did not differ with respect to hepatic and peripheral clearance or for insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity was linearly correlated with whole-body insulin clearance. Hepatic insulin extraction at baseline acted as an independent determinant of beta-cell function at follow-up. The decline in insulin sensitivity, even in the absence of an impairment of glucose tolerance, is associated with lowering of hepatic insulin clearance in obese youth, which in turn may contribute to the decline in beta-cell function over time.
CCR2 has been proven to play an important role in diabetes. However, the role of CCR2 in diabetic cardiomyopathy has not been examined. In this study, we investigated the effects of cardiac CCR2 on diabetic cardiomyopathy. We created a model of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic cardiomyopathy. Expression of CCR2 was upregulated in the hearts of STZ-induced diabetic mice. CCR2 knockout significantly improved STZ-induced cardiac dysfunction and fibrosis. Moreover, deletion of CCR2 inhibited STZ-induced apoptosis and the production of STZ-induced reactive oxygen species in the heart. CCR2 knockout resulted in M2 polarization in hearts of STZ-treated mice. Treatment with a CCR2 inhibitor reversed hyperglycemia-induced cardiac dysfunction in db/db mice. These results suggest that CCR2-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in the heart are involved in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy and that CCR2 could be a novel target for therapy.
Disruption of the adaptor protein SH2B1 (SH2-B, PSM) is associated with severe obesity, insulin resistance, and neurobehavioral abnormalities in mice and humans. Here, we identify 15 SH2B1 variants in severely obese children. Four obesity-associated human SH2B1 variants lie in the Pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, suggesting that the PH domain is essential for SH2B1's function. We generated a mouse model of a human variant in this domain (P322S). P322S/P322S mice exhibited substantial prenatal lethality. Examination of the P322S/+ metabolic phenotype revealed late-onset glucose intolerance. To circumvent P322S/P322S lethality, mice containing a two-amino acid deletion within the SH2B1 PH domain (Delta P317, R318 [Delta PR]) were studied. Mice homozygous for Delta PR were born at the expected Mendelian ratio and exhibited obesity plus insulin resistance and glucose intolerance beyond that attributable to their increased adiposity. These studies demonstrate that the PH domain plays a crucial role in how SH2B1 controls energy balance and glucose homeostasis.