To address which mitochondria-related nuclear differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and related pathways are altered during human oocyte maturation, single-cell analysis was performed in three oocyte states: in vivo matured (M-IVO), in vitro matured (M-IVT), and failed to mature in vitro (IM-IVT). There were 691 DEGs and 16 mitochondria-related DEGs in the comparison of M-IVT vs. IM-IVT oocytes, and 2281 DEGs and 160 mitochondria-related DEGs in the comparison of M-IVT vs. M-IVO oocytes, respectively. The GO and KEGG analyses showed that most of them were involved in pathways such as oxidative phosphorylation, pyruvate metabolism, peroxisome, and amino acid metabolism, i.e., valine, leucine, isoleucine, glycine, serine, and threonine metabolism or degradation. During the progress of oocyte maturation, the metabolic pathway, which derives the main source of ATP, shifted from glucose metabolism to pyruvate and fatty acid oxidation in order to maintain a low level of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Although the immature oocytes could be cultured to a mature stage by an in vitro technique (IVM), there were still some differences in mitochondria-related regulations, which showed that the mitochondria were regulated by nuclear genes to compensate for their developmental needs. Meanwhile, the results indicated that the current IVM culture medium should be optimized to compensate for the special need for further development according to this disclosure, as it was a latent strategy to improve the effectiveness of the IVM procedure.
Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are known to have mitochondrial dysfunction and increased insulin resistance (IR), but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. We reported previously that (a) adequacy of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) is necessary for optimal mitochondrial fatty-acid oxidation (MFO); (b) supplementing the GSH precursors glycine and N-acetylcysteine (GlyNAC) in mice corrected GSH deficiency, reversed impaired MFO, and lowered oxidative stress (OxS) and IR; and (c) supplementing GlyNAC in patients with T2D improved GSH synthesis and concentrations, and lowered OxS. However, the effect of GlyNAC on MFO, MGO (mitochondrial glucose oxidation), IR and plasma FFA (free-fatty acid) concentrations in humans with T2D remains unknown. This manuscript reports the effect of supplementing GlyNAC for 14-days on MFO, MGO, IR and FFA in 10 adults with T2D and 10 unsupplemented non-diabetic controls. Fasted T2D participants had 36% lower MFO (p < 0.001), 106% higher MGO (p < 0.01), 425% higher IR (p < 0.001) and 76% higher plasma FFA (p < 0.05). GlyNAC supplementation significantly improved fasted MFO by 30% (p < 0.001), lowered MGO by 47% (p < 0.01), decreased IR by 22% (p < 0.01) and lowered FFA by 25% (p < 0.01). These results provide proof-of-concept that GlyNAC supplementation could improve mitochondrial dysfunction and IR in patients with T2D, and warrant additional research.
Neonatal inherited metabolic disorders (IMDs) are closely associated with early neonatal death and abnormal growth and development. Increasing attention has been paid to IMDs because of their high incidence and diversity. However, there are no reports about the incidence of IMDs in Changsha, China. Therefore, we retrospectively analyzed the screening results of neonates to evaluate the characteristics of IMDs in the area. From January 2016 to December 2020, 300,849 neonates were enrolled for expanded newborn screening by tandem mass spectrometry in the Neonatal Disease Screening Center of the Changsha Hospital for Maternal & Child Health Care. Newborns with mild initial results were recalled for repeated tests; if the second test was still positive, the patient was referred for confirmatory tests. A total of 71 confirmed cases were identified in our study, with an incidence rate of 1:4,237. There were 28 cases of amino acid metabolic disorders, representing 39.44% of the IMDs diagnosed, with an incidence rate of 1:10,745. Twelve newborns were diagnosed with organic acid metabolic disorders, accounting for 16.66% of IMDs, with an incidence rate of 1:25,071. There were 31 cases of fatty acid oxidation disorders, representing 43.05% of IMDs, with an incidence rate of 1:9,705. Overall, 14 types of IMDs were found in Changsha. The most common disorders in the region were primary carnitine deficiency, hyperphenylalaninemia and short-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency. Their incidence rate is respectively 1:13,675, 1:16,714 and 1:42,978. The mutations in PAH, SLC22A5, and ACADS are the leading causes of IMDs in this area. This study demonstrates the importance of utilizing MS/MS in IMD screening for early diagnosis and treatment. This strategy may be used for prenatal genetic counseling to avoid irreversible growth and intellectual development disorders in children.
Background: Generally, food intake occurs in a three-meal per 24 h fashion with in-between meal snacking. As such, most humans spend more than ∼ 12–16 h per day in the postprandial state. It may be reasoned from an evolutionary point of view, that the human body is physiologically habituated to less frequent meals. Metabolic flexibility (i.e., reciprocal changes in carbohydrate and fatty acid oxidation) is a characteristic of metabolic health and is reduced by semi-continuous feeding. The effects of time-restricted feeding (TRF) on metabolic parameters and physical performance in humans are equivocal.Methods: To investigate the effect of TRF on metabolism and physical performance in free-living healthy lean individuals, we compared the effects of eucaloric feeding provided by a single meal (22/2) vs. three meals per day in a randomized crossover study. We included 13 participants of which 11 (5 males/6 females) completed the study: age 31.0 ± 1.7 years, BMI 24.0 ± 0.6 kg/m2 and fat mass (%) 24.0 ± 0.6 (mean ± SEM). Participants consumed all the calories needed for a stable weight in either three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) or one meal per day between 17:00 and 19:00 for 11 days per study period.Results: Eucaloric meal reduction to a single meal per day lowered total body mass (3 meals/day –0.5 ± 0.3 vs. 1 meal/day –1.4 ± 0.3 kg, p = 0.03), fat mass (3 meals/day –0.1 ± 0.2 vs. 1 meal/day –0.7 ± 0.2, p = 0.049) and increased exercise fatty acid oxidation (p < 0.001) without impairment of aerobic capacity or strength (p > 0.05). Furthermore, we found lower plasma glucose concentrations during the second half of the day during the one meal per day intervention (p < 0.05).Conclusion: A single meal per day in the evening lowers body weight and adapts metabolic flexibility during exercise via increased fat oxidation whereas physical performance was not affected.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), manifested as the aberrant accumulation of lipids in hepatocytes and inflammation, has become an important cause of advanced liver diseases and hepatic malignancies worldwide. However, no effective therapy has been approved yet. Aurantio-obtusin (AO) is a main bioactive compound isolated from Cassia semen that has been identified with multiple pharmacological activities, including improving adiposity and insulin resistance. However, the ameliorating effects of AO on diet-induced NAFLD and underlying mechanisms remained poorly elucidated. Our results demonstrated that AO significantly alleviated high-fat diet and glucose-fructose water (HFSW)-induced hepatic steatosis in mice and oleic acid and palmitic acid (OAPA)-induced lipid accumulation in hepatocytes. Remarkably, AO was found to distinctly promote autophagy flux and influence the degradation of lipid droplets by inducing AMPK phosphorylation. Additionally, the induction of AMPK triggered TFEB activation and promoted fatty acid oxidation (FAO) by activating PPARα and ACOX1 and decreasing the expression of genes involved in lipid biosynthesis. Meanwhile, the lipid-lowing effect of AO was significantly prevented by the pretreatment with inhibitors of autophagy, PPARα or ACOX1, respectively. Collectively, our study suggests that AO ameliorates hepatic steatosis via AMPK/autophagy- and AMPK/TFEB-mediated suppression of lipid accumulation, which opens new opportunities for pharmacological treatment of NAFLD and associated complications.
AbstractDevelopment of reversible and stable catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 is of great interest. Here, we elucidate the atomistic details of how a palladium electrocatalyst inhibits CO poisoning during both formic acid oxidation to carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide reduction to formic acid. We compare results obtained with a platinum single-crystal electrode modified with and without a single monolayer of palladium. We combine (high-scan-rate) cyclic voltammetry with density functional theory to explain the absence of CO poisoning on the palladium-modified electrode. We show how the high formate coverage on the palladium-modified electrode protects the surface from poisoning during formic acid oxidation, and how the adsorption of CO precursor dictates the delayed poisoning during CO2 reduction. The nature of the hydrogen adsorbed on the palladium-modified electrode is considerably different from platinum, supporting a model to explain the reversibility of this reaction. Our results help in designing catalysts for which CO poisoning needs to be avoided.
AbstractAs a common endocrinopathy of reproductive-aged women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by hyperandrogenism, oligo-anovulation and polycystic ovarian morphology. It is linked with insulin resistance through preferential abdominal fat accumulation that is worsened by obesity. Over the past two millennia, menstrual irregularity, male-type habitus and sub-infertility have been described in women and confirm that these clinical features of PCOS were common in antiquity. Recent findings in normal-weight hyperandrogenic PCOS women show that exaggerated lipid accumulation by subcutaneous (SC) abdominal stem cells during development to adipocytes in vitro occurs in combination with reduced insulin sensitivity and preferential accumulation of highly-lipolytic intra-abdominal fat in vivo. This PCOS phenotype may be an evolutionary metabolic adaptation to balance energy storage with glucose availability and fatty acid oxidation for optimal energy use during reproduction. This review integrates fundamental endocrine-metabolic changes in healthy, normal-weight PCOS women with similar PCOS-like traits present in animal models in which tissue differentiation is completed during fetal life as in humans to support the evolutionary concept that PCOS has common ancestral and developmental origins.
An increasing body of evidence implicates the resident gut microbiota as playing a critical role in type 2 diabetes (T2D) pathogenesis. We previously reported significant improvement in postprandial glucose control in human participants with T2D following 12-week administration of a 5-strain novel probiotic formulation (‘WBF-011’) in a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled setting (NCT03893422). While the clinical endpoints were encouraging, additional exploratory measurements were needed in order to link the motivating mechanistic hypothesis - increased short-chain fatty acids - with markers of disease.
Here we report targeted and untargeted metabolomic measurements on fasting plasma (n = 104) collected at baseline and end of intervention. Butyrate and ursodeoxycholate increased among participants randomized to WBF-011, along with compelling trends between butyrate and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). In vitro monoculture experiments demonstrated that the formulation’s C. butyricum strain efficiently synthesizes ursodeoxycholate from the primary bile acid chenodeoxycholate during butyrogenic growth. Untargeted metabolomics also revealed coordinated decreases in intermediates of fatty acid oxidation and bilirubin, potential secondary signatures for metabolic improvement. Finally, improvement in HbA1c was limited almost entirely to participants not using sulfonylurea drugs. We show that these drugs can inhibit growth of formulation strains in vitro.
To our knowledge, this is the first description of an increase in circulating butyrate or ursodeoxycholate following a probiotic intervention in humans with T2D, adding support for the possibility of a targeted microbiome-based approach to assist in the management of T2D. The efficient synthesis of UDCA by C. butyricum is also likely of interest to investigators of its use as a probiotic in other disease settings. The potential for inhibitory interaction between sulfonylurea drugs and gut microbiota should be considered carefully in the design of future studies.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by a long-term loss of kidney function and, in most cases, by progressive fibrosis. Zinc-alpha2-glycoprotein (AZGP1) is a secreted protein, which is expressed in many different tissues and has been associated with a variety of functions. In a previous study, we have shown in cell culture and in AZGP1 deficient mice that AZGP1 has protective anti-fibrotic effects. In the present study, we tested the therapeutic potential of an experimental increase in AZGP1 using two different strategies. (1) C57Bl/6J mice were treated systemically with recombinant AZGP1, and (2) a transgenic mouse strain was generated to overexpress AZGP1 conditionally in proximal tubular cells. Mice underwent unilateral uretic obstruction as a pro-fibrotic kidney stress model, and kidneys were examined after 14 days. Recombinant AZGP1 treatment was accompanied by better preservation of tubular integrity, reduced collagen deposition, and lower expression of injury and fibrosis markers. Weaker but similar tendencies were observed in transgenic AZGP1 overexpressing mice. Higher AZGP1 levels led to a significant reduction in stress-induced accumulation of tubular lipid droplets, which was paralleled by improved expression of key players in lipid metabolism and fatty acid oxidation. Together these data show beneficial effects of elevated AZGP1 levels in fibrotic kidney disease and highlight a novel link to tubular cell lipid metabolism, which might open up new opportunities for CKD treatment.