Ryan P McMillan

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States

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Publications (12)74.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Metabolic flexibility is the capacity of a system to adjust fuel (primarily glucose and fatty acids) oxidation based on nutrient availability. The ability to alter substrate oxidation in response to nutritional state depends on the genetically influenced balance between oxidation and storage capacities. Competition between fatty acids and glucose for oxidation occurs at the level of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). The PDC is normally active in most tissues in the fed state, and suppressing PDC activity by pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) kinase (PDK) is crucial to maintain energy homeostasis under some extreme nutritional conditions in mammals. Conversely, inappropriate suppression of PDC activity might promote the development of metabolic diseases. This review summarizes PDKs' pivotal role in control of metabolic flexibility under various nutrient conditions and in different tissues, with emphasis on the best characterized PDK4. Understanding the regulation of PDC and PDKs and their roles in energy homeostasis could be beneficial to alleviate metabolic inflexibility and to provide possible therapies for metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes (T2D).
    Nutrition & Metabolism 02/2014; 11(1):10. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective:The Virginia lines of chickens have resulted from more than 55 generations of artificial selection for low (LWS) or high (HWS) juvenile body weight. We hypothesized that the relative hyperphagia and greater body weight in juvenile HWS chickens are associated with altered fatty acid oxidation efficiency and metabolic flexibility in tissues associated with energy sensing and storage, and relative cellular hypertrophy in white adipose tissue.Methods:Hypothalamus, liver, Pectoralis major, gastrocnemius, abdominal fat, clavicular fat and subcutaneous fat were collected from juvenile (56-65 day-old) LWS and HWS chickens for metabolic, gene expression and histological assays.Results:The HWS chickens had reduced fatty acid oxidation efficiency in abdominal fat (P<0.0001) and reduced rates of oxidation in abdominal fat and gastrocnemius (P<0.0001) as compared to LWS. There was reduced citrate synthase activity in white adipose tissue (P<0.0001) and greater metabolic inflexibility in skeletal muscle (P=0.006) of HWS compared to LWS. Greater pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) and forkhead box O1A (FoxO1) mRNA were found in skeletal muscle and white adipose tissue of 56-day-old HWS than LWS. Expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in all adipose tissue depots was greater (P<0.05) in LWS than in HWS chickens. The HWS chickens had larger (P<0.0001) and fewer (P<0.0001) adipocytes per unit area than LWS.Conclusion:Compared to LWS, the HWS chickens have impaired metabolic flexibility and fatty acid oxidation efficiency due to greater pyruvate dehydrogenase activity to accommodate the influx of acetyl CoA from fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. These metabolic adaptations can be linked to differences in gene expression regulation, adipocyte cellularity and body composition between the lines, which may provide valuable insight into metabolic disorders in other species.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 20 January 2014. doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.8.
    International journal of obesity (2005) 01/2014; · 5.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An inverse relationship exists between skeletal muscle fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) and oxidative capacity, which suggests muscle fibers hypertrophy at the expense of oxidative capacity. Therefore, our objective was to utilize pigs possessing mutations associated with increased oxidative capacity (AMP-activated protein kinase, AMPKγ3(R200Q)) or fiber hypertrophy (ryanodine receptor 1, RyR1(R615C)) to determine if these events occur in parallel. Longissimus muscle was collected from wild type (control), AMPKγ3(R200Q), RyR1(R615C), and AMPKγ3(R200Q)- RyR1R615C pigs. Regardless of AMPK genotype, RyR(R615C) increased fiber CSA by 35%. In contrast, AMPKγ3(R200Q) pig muscle exhibited greater citrate synthase and β-hydroxyacyl coA dehydrogenase activity. Isolated mitochondria from AMPKγ3(R200Q) muscle had greater maximal, ADP-stimulated oxygen consumption rate. Additionally, AMPKγ3(R200Q) muscle contained increased (~50%) content of mitochondrial proteins succinate dehydrogenase and cytochrome c oxidase and greater mitochondrial DNA. Surprisingly, RyR1(R615C) increased mitochondrial proteins and DNA, but this was not associated with improved oxidative capacity, suggesting that altered energy metabolism in RyR1(R615C) muscle influences mitochondrial proliferation and protein turnover. Thus, pigs that possess both AMPKγ3(R200Q) and RyR(R615C) exhibit increased muscle fiber CSA as well as greater oxidative capacity. Altogether, this supports that hypertrophy and enhanced oxidative capacity can occur simultaneously in skeletal muscle, and suggests the signaling mechanisms controlling these events are independently regulated.
    AJP Cell Physiology 12/2013; · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor cells often exhibit an altered metabolic phenotype. However, it is unclear as to when this switch takes place in ovarian cancer, and the potential for these changes to serve as therapeutic targets in clinical prevention and intervention trials. We used our recently developed and characterized mouse ovarian surface epithelial (MOSE) cancer progression model to study metabolic changes in distinct disease stages. As ovarian cancer progresses, complete oxidation of glucose and fatty acids were significantly decreased, concurrent with increases in lactate excretion and (3)H-deoxyglucose uptake by the late-stage cancer cells, shifting the cells towards a more glycolytic phenotype. These changes were accompanied by decreases in TCA flux but an increase in citrate synthase activity, providing substrates for de novo fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. Also, uncoupled maximal respiration rates in mitochondria decreased as cancer progressed. Treatment of the MOSE cells with 1.5μM sphingosine, a bioactive sphingolipid metabolite, decreased citrate synthase activity, increased TCA flux, decreased cholesterol synthesis and glycolysis. Together, our data confirm metabolic changes during ovarian cancer progression, indicate a stage specificity of these changes, and suggest that multiple events in cellular metabolism are targeted by exogenous sphingosine which may be critical for future prevention trials.
    Experimental Cell Research 03/2013; · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fish oil (FO) is a potent anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering agent. Because inflammation can modulate lipid metabolism and vice versa, we hypothesized that combining FO with cyclooxygenase inhibitors (COXIBs), well-known anti-inflammatory drugs, can enhance the anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering effect of FO. LDLR (-/-) mice were fed a high-fat diet supplemented with 6% olive oil or FO for 12 wk in the presence or absence of indomethacin (Indo, 6 mg/l drinking water). FO reduced plasma total cholesterol by 30% but, in combination with Indo, exerted a greater decrease (44%). The reduction of liver cholesterol ester (CE) and triglycerides (TG) by FO (63% and 41%, respectively) was enhanced by Indo (80% in CE and 64% in TG). FO + Indo greatly increased the expression of genes modulating lipid metabolism and reduced the expression of inflammatory genes compared with control. The mRNA and/or protein expression of pregnane X receptor (PXR) and cytochrome P450 isoforms that alter inflammation and/or lipid metabolism are increased to a greater extent in mice that received FO + Indo. Moroever, the nuclear level of PXR is significantly increased in FO + Indo group. Combining FO with COXIBs may exert their beneficial effects on inflammation and lipid metabolism via PXR and cytochrome P450.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 07/2012; 53(10):2186-97. · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle resistance to the key metabolic hormones, leptin and insulin, is an early defect in obesity. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) is a major negative regulator of both leptin and insulin signaling, thereby implicating SOCS3 in the pathogenesis of obesity and associated metabolic abnormalities. Here, we demonstrate that SOCS3 mRNA expression is increased in murine skeletal muscle in the setting of diet-induced and genetic obesity, inflammation, and hyperlipidemia. To further evaluate the contribution of muscle SOCS3 to leptin and insulin resistance in obesity, we generated transgenic mice with muscle-specific overexpression of SOCS3 (MCK/SOCS3 mice). Despite similar body weight, MCK/SOCS3 mice develop impaired systemic and muscle-specific glucose homeostasis and insulin action based on glucose and insulin tolerance tests, hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps, and insulin signaling studies. With regards to leptin action, MCK/SOCS3 mice exhibit suppressed basal and leptin-stimulated activity and phosphorylation of alpha2 AMP-activated protein kinase (α2AMPK) and its downstream target, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). Muscle SOCS3 overexpression also suppresses leptin-regulated genes involved in fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial function. These studies demonstrate that SOC3 within skeletal muscle is a critical regulator of leptin and insulin action and that increased SOCS may mediate insulin and leptin resistance in obesity.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e47493. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs modulate cellular phenotypes by inhibiting expression of mRNA targets. In this study, we have shown that the muscle-specific microRNAs miR-133a-1 and miR-133a-2 are essential for multiple facets of skeletal muscle function and homeostasis in mice. Mice with genetic deletions of miR-133a-1 and miR-133a-2 developed adult-onset centronuclear myopathy in type II (fast-twitch) myofibers, accompanied by impaired mitochondrial function, fast-to-slow myofiber conversion, and disarray of muscle triads (sites of excitation- contraction coupling). These abnormalities mimicked human centronuclear myopathies and could be ascribed, at least in part, to dysregulation of the miR-133a target mRNA that encodes dynamin 2, a GTPase implicated in human centronuclear myopathy. Our findings reveal an essential role for miR-133a in the maintenance of adult skeletal muscle structure, function, bioenergetics, and myofiber identity; they also identify a potential modulator of centronuclear myopathies.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 07/2011; 121(8):3258-68. · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and aging are characterized by insulin resistance and impaired mitochondrial energetics. In lower organisms, remodeling by the protease pcp1 (PARL ortholog) maintains the function and lifecycle of mitochondria. We examined whether variation in PARL protein content is associated with mitochondrial abnormalities and insulin resistance. PARL mRNA and mitochondrial mass were both reduced in elderly subjects and in subjects with T2DM. Muscle knockdown of PARL in mice resulted in malformed mitochondrial cristae, lower mitochondrial content, decreased PGC1alpha protein levels, and impaired insulin signaling. Suppression of PARL protein in healthy myotubes lowered mitochondrial mass and insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis and increased reactive oxygen species production. We propose that lower PARL expression may contribute to the mitochondrial abnormalities seen in aging and T2DM.
    Cell metabolism 05/2010; 11(5):412-26. · 17.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), a protein integral to innate immunity, is elevated in skeletal muscle of obese and type 2 diabetic humans and has been implicated in the development of lipid-induced insulin resistance. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of TLR4 as a modulator of basal (non-insulin-stimulated) substrate metabolism in skeletal muscle with the hypothesis that its activation would result in reduced fatty acid oxidation and increased partitioning of fatty acids toward neutral lipid storage. Human skeletal muscle, rodent skeletal muscle, and skeletal muscle cell cultures were employed to study the functional consequences of TLR4 activation on glucose and fatty acid metabolism. Herein, we demonstrate that activation of TLR4 with low (metabolic endotoxemia) and high (septic conditions) doses of LPS results in increased glucose utilization and reduced fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle and that these changes in metabolism in vivo occur in concert with increased circulating triglycerides. Moreover, animals with a loss of TLR4 function possess increased oxidative capacity in skeletal muscle and present with lower fasting levels of triglycerides and nonesterified free fatty acids. Evidence is also presented to suggest that these changes in substrate metabolism under metabolic endotoxemic conditions are independent of skeletal muscle-derived proinflammatory cytokine production. This report illustrates that skeletal muscle is a target for circulating endotoxin and may provide critical insight into the link between a proinflammatory state and dysregulated metabolism as observed with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 02/2010; 298(5):E988-98. · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanocortin-3 receptors (Mc3rs) in the central nervous system are involved in expression of anticipatory rhythms and synchronizing clocks maintaining circadian rhythms during restricted feeding (RF) [mice housed under a 12-h light-dark cycle with lights on between zeitgeber time (ZT) 0 to ZT12 fed 60% of normal calories between ZT7 and ZT11]. Because the systems governing circadian rhythms are important for adaptation to RF, we investigated whether Mc3rs are required for metabolic adaption to RF. Mc3r(-/-) mice subjected to RF exhibited normal weight loss; however, they developed hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, increased expression of lipogenic genes, and increased ketogenesis relative to controls. Rhythmic expression of transcription factors regulating liver clock activity and energy metabolism (Bmal1, Rev-erbalpha, Pgc1, Foxo1, Hnf4alpha, and Pck1) was severely compromised in Mc3r(-/-) mice during RF. Inhibition of neural melanocortin receptors by agouti-related peptide also attenuated rhythmicity in the hepatic expression of these genes during RF. Collectively, these data suggest that neural Mc3rs are important for adapting metabolism and maintaining rhythms of liver metabolism during periods when feeding is restricted to the light cycle.-Sutton, G. M., Begriche, K., Kumar, K. G., Gimble, J. M., Perez-Tilve, D., Nogueiras, R., McMillan, R. P., Hulver, M. W., Tschöp, M. H., Butler, A. A. Central nervous system melanocortin-3 receptors are required for synchronizing metabolism during entrainment to restricted feeding during the light cycle.
    The FASEB Journal 10/2009; 24(3):862-72. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is characterized by the absence of dystrophin from muscle cells. Dystrophic muscle cells are susceptible to oxidative stress. We tested the hypothesis that 3 wk of endurance exercise starting at age 21 days in young male mdx mice would blunt oxidative stress and improve dystrophic skeletal muscle function, and these effects would be enhanced by the antioxidant green tea extract (GTE). In mice fed normal diet, average daily running distance increased 300% from week 1 to week 3, and total distance over 3 wk was improved by 128% in mice fed GTE. Running, independent of diet, increased serum antioxidant capacity, extensor digitorum longus tetanic stress, and total contractile protein content, heart citrate synthase, and heart and quadriceps beta-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase activities. GTE, independent of running, decreased serum creatine kinase and heart and gastrocnemius lipid peroxidation and increased gastrocnemius citrate synthase activity. These data suggest that both endurance exercise and GTE may be beneficial as therapeutic strategies to improve muscle function in mdx mice.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 07/2008; 105(3):923-32. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of brain melanocortin receptors (Mc3rKO and Mc4rKO) causes increased adiposity and exacerbates diet-induced obesity (DIO). Little is known about how Mc3r or Mc4r genotype, diet, and obesity affect insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance, assessed by insulin and glucose tolerance tests, Ser(307) phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1, and activation of protein kinase B, was examined in control and DIO wild-type (WT), Mc3rKO and Mc4rKO C57BL/6J mice. Mc4rKO mice were hyperphagic and had increased metabolic efficiency (weight gain per kilojoule consumed) relative to WT; both parameters increased further on high-fat diet. Obesity of Mc3rKO was more dependent on fat intake, involving increased metabolic efficiency. Fat mass of DIO Mc3rKO and Mc4rKO was similar, although Mc4rKO gained weight more rapidly. Mc4rKO develop hepatic insulin resistance and severe hepatic steatosis with obesity, independent of diet. DIO caused further deterioration of insulin action in Mc4rKO of either sex and, in male Mc3rKO, compared with controls, associated with increased fasting insulin, severe glucose intolerance, and reduced insulin signaling in muscle and adipose tissue. DIO female Mc3rKO exhibited very modest perturbations in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Consistent with previous data suggesting impaired fat oxidation, both Mc3rKO and Mc4rKO had reduced muscle oxidative metabolism, a risk factor for weight gain and insulin resistance. Energy expenditure was, however, increased in Mc4rKO compared with Mc3rKO and controls, perhaps due to hyperphagia and metabolic costs associated with rapid growth. In summary, DIO affects insulin sensitivity more severely in Mc4rKO compared with Mc3rKO, perhaps due to a more positive energy balance.
    Endocrinology 05/2006; 147(5):2183-96. · 4.72 Impact Factor