Changes in the Expression of Hypothalamic Lipid Sensing Genes in Rat Model of Intrauterine Growth Retardation (IUGR)

Department of Public Health and Cell Biology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.
Pediatric Research (Impact Factor: 2.31). 05/2007; 61(4):433-7. DOI: 10.1203/pdr.0b013e3180332d4e
Source: PubMed


Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes in later life. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are unknown. Recent data suggest that some of the molecular defects underlying type 2 diabetes reside in the CNS. The enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT1) regulates long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) entry into mitochondria, where LCFA undergo beta-oxidation. Hypothalamic inhibition of CPT1 decreases food intake and suppresses endogenous glucose production. Our aim was to investigate the effects of uterine artery ligation, a procedure that mimics uteroplacental insufficiency, on the CNS expression of CPT1 and other key enzymes of LCFA metabolism. Bilateral uterine artery ligation was performed on d 19 of gestation in the pregnant rat; sham-operated pregnant rats served as controls. Hypothalamus, cerebellum, hippocampus, and cortex were dissected and analyzed at birth by real-time PCR. Nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) serum levels were significantly higher in IUGR pups (p<0.0001). In IUGR rats, the hypothalamic expression of CPT1 isoform C (p=0.005) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) isoforms alpha (p<0.05) and beta (p=0.005) were significantly decreased. The data presented here support the hypothesis that an abnormal intrauterine milieu can induce changes in hypothalamic lipid sensing.

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Available from: Daniela Germani, Apr 15, 2014
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    • "Therefore, the final effect of reduced expression of both ACS and ACCα would be the decrease of intramuscular LCFAs. This finding is consistent with our recent study in hypothalamus of IUGR rats, showing significant decreased ACCα and ACCβ expression at birth [10]. Taken together these findings suggest that intrauterine programming may affect key enzymes of lipid metabolism at multiple levels. "
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have revealed a relationship between early growth restriction and the subsequent development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Ligation of the uterine arteries in rats mimics uteroplacental insufficiency and serves as a model of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and subsequent developmental programming of impaired glucose tolerance, hyperinsulinemia and adiposity in the offspring. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of uterine artery ligation on the skeletal muscle expression of insulin receptor and key enzymes of LCFA metabolism. Bilateral uterine artery ligation was performed on day 19 of gestation in Sprague-Dawley pregnant rats. Muscle of the posterior limb was dissected at birth and processed by real-time RT-PCR to analyze the expression of insulin receptor, ACCalpha, ACCbeta (acetyl-CoA carboxylase alpha and beta subunits), ACS (acyl-CoA synthase), AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase, alpha2 catalytic subunit), CPT1B (carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 beta subunit), MCD (malonyl-CoA decarboxylase) in 14 sham and 8 IUGR pups. Muscle tissue was treated with lysis buffer and Western immunoblotting was performed to assay the protein content of insulin receptor and ACC. A significant down regulation of insulin receptor protein (p < 0.05) and reduced expression of ACS and ACCalpha mRNA (p < 0.05) were observed in skeletal muscle of IUGR newborns. Immunoblotting showed no significant change in ACCalpha content. Our data suggest that uteroplacental insufficiency may affect skeletal muscle metabolism down regulating insulin receptor and reducing the expression of key enzymes involved in LCFA formation and oxidation.
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    ABSTRACT: IUGR has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Recent data suggest that some of the molecular defects underlying type 2 diabetes reside in the CNS. Disruption of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in the hypothalamic neurons expressing leptin receptor, results in severe obesity, hyperglycaemia, and hyperinsulinemia. Our aim was to investigate the expression of STAT3 and its downstream effector proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in IUGR rats obtained by uterine artery ligation. On day 19 of gestation, time-dated Sprague-Dawley pregnant rats were anesthetized, and both the uterine arteries were ligated. At birth, hypothalamus was dissected and processed to evaluate the expression of STAT3, its phosphorylated form, and POMC. STAT3 mRNA, STAT3 protein, phosphorylated STAT3, POMC mRNA, and POMC protein were significantly reduced in IUGR versus sham animals (p < 0.0001, p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, p < 0.01, p < 0.01, respectively). No significant differences either in serum leptin concentrations or in hypothalamic leptin receptor expression were observed. Our results suggest that an abnormal intrauterine milieu can affect the hypothalamic expression of STAT3 and POMC at birth, altering the hypothalamic signaling pathways that regulate the energy homeostasis.
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