Hyperketonemia decreases mitochondrial membrane potential and its normalization with chromium (III) supplementation in monocytes.
ABSTRACT Altered cellular mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) has been implicated in the increased insulin resistance and the risk for diabetes. Hyperketonemia is increasingly being identified in type 2 diabetic patients in addition to those with type 1 diabetes. No previous study has examined the effect of hyperketonemia and trivalent chromium on cellular mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in any cell type. Using a U937 monocyte cell culture model, this study examined the hypothesis that hyperketonemia decreases and trivalent chromium normalizes the cellular MMP level. Cells were cultured with control and ketone bodies [acetoacetate (AA), β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)] in the absence or the presence (0.5-100 μM) of Cr(3+) at 37°C for 24 h. The MMP was determined using DiOC6 and flow cytometry. The results show a significant decrease in MMP in cells treated with AA, but not in the cells treated with BHB. The effect of AA on cellular MMP was prevented in chromium (III)-pretreated cells. Thus, hyperketonemia decreases the MMP, and supplementation with chromium (III) normalizes altered MMP, which may play a role in the improvement in glucose metabolism seen after chromium (III) supplementation in some studies with diabetic animals and patients.