Insulin regulates liver metabolism in vivo in the absence of hepatic Akt and Foxo1.

The Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Nature medicine (Impact Factor: 28.05). 02/2012; 18(3):388-95. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2686
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Considerable data support the idea that forkhead box O1 (Foxo1) drives the liver transcriptional program during fasting and is then inhibited by thymoma viral proto-oncogene 1 (Akt) after feeding. Here we show that mice with hepatic deletion of Akt1 and Akt2 were glucose intolerant, insulin resistant and defective in their transcriptional response to feeding in the liver. These defects were normalized with concomitant liver-specific deletion of Foxo1. Notably, in the absence of both Akt and Foxo1, mice adapted appropriately to both the fasted and fed state, and insulin suppressed hepatic glucose production normally. A gene expression analysis revealed that deletion of Akt in liver led to the constitutive activation of Foxo1-dependent gene expression, but again, concomitant ablation of Foxo1 restored postprandial regulation, preventing the inhibition of the metabolic response to nutrient intake caused by deletion of Akt. These results are inconsistent with the canonical model of hepatic metabolism in which Akt is an obligate intermediate for proper insulin signaling. Rather, they show that a major role of hepatic Akt is to restrain the activity of Foxo1 and that in the absence of Foxo1, Akt is largely dispensable for insulin- and nutrient-mediated hepatic metabolic regulation in vivo.

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    ABSTRACT: Impaired insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic glucose production (HGP) plays a major role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D), yet the molecular mechanism by which this occurs remains unknown. Using a novel in vivo metabolomics approach, we show that the major mechanism by which insulin suppresses HGP is through reductions in hepatic acetyl CoA by suppression of lipolysis in white adipose tissue (WAT) leading to reductions in pyruvate carboxylase flux. This mechanism was confirmed in mice and rats with genetic ablation of insulin signaling and mice lacking adipose triglyceride lipase. Insulin's ability to suppress hepatic acetyl CoA, PC activity, and lipolysis was lost in high-fat-fed rats, a phenomenon reversible by IL-6 neutralization and inducible by IL-6 infusion. Taken together, these data identify WAT-derived hepatic acetyl CoA as the main regulator of HGP by insulin and link it to inflammation-induced hepatic insulin resistance associated with obesity and T2D. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell 02/2015; · 33.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our current understanding of glucose homeostasis is centered on glucose-induced secretion of insulin from pancreatic islets and insulin action on glucose metabolism in peripheral tissues. In addition, however, recent evidence suggests that neurocircuits located within a brain-centered glucoregulatory system work cooperatively with pancreatic islets to promote glucose homeostasis. Among key observations is evidence that, in addition to insulin-dependent mechanisms, the brain has the capacity to potently lower blood glucose levels via mechanisms that are insulin-independent, some of which are activated by signals emanating from the gastrointestinal tract. This review highlights evidence supporting a key role for a "gut-brain-liver axis" in control of glucose homeostasis by the brain-centered glucoregulatory system and the implications of this regulatory system for diabetes pathogenesis and treatment.
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