Mechanistic modeling of the effects of glucocorticoids and circadian rhythms on adipokine expression.
ABSTRACT A mechanism-based model was developed to describe the effects of methylprednisolone (MPL), circadian rhythms, and the glucose/free fatty acid (FFA)/insulin system on leptin and adiponectin expression in white adipose tissue in rats. Fifty-four normal Wistar rats received 50 mg/kg MPL intramuscularly and were sacrificed at various times. An additional set of 54 normal Wistar rats were sacrificed at 18 time points across the 24-h light/dark cycle and served as controls. Measurements included plasma MPL, glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA, leptin mRNA, adiponectin mRNA, plasma leptin, adiponectin, glucose, FFA, and insulin. MPL pharmacokinetics was described by a two-compartment model with two absorption components. All measured plasma markers and mRNA expression exhibited circadian patterns except for adiponectin and were described by Fourier harmonic functions. MPL caused significant down-regulation in GR mRNA with the nadir occurring at 5 h. MPL disrupted the circadian patterns in plasma glucose and FFA by stimulating their production. Plasma glucose and FFA subsequently caused an increase in plasma insulin. Furthermore, MPL disrupted the circadian patterns in leptin mRNA expression by stimulating its production. This rise was closely followed by an increase in plasma leptin. Both leptin mRNA and plasma leptin peaked at 12 h after MPL and eventually returned back to their circadian baselines. MPL and insulin had opposing effects on adiponectin mRNA expression and plasma adiponectin, which resulted in biphasic pharmacodynamic profiles. This small systems model quantitatively describes, integrates, and provides additional insights into various factors controlling adipokine gene expression.