[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FGF21 is a key metabolic regulator modulating physiological processes and its pharmacological administration improves metabolic profile in preclinical species and humans. We used native-FGF21 and a long-acting FGF21 (PF-05231023), to determine the contribution of liver and brown adipose tissue (BAT) towards metabolic improvements in Zucker rats and DIO mice (DIOs). FGF21 improved glucose tolerance and liver insulin sensitivity in Zuckers without affecting BW and improved liver function by decreased lipogenesis, increased fatty acid oxidation and improved insulin signaling. Through detailed lipidomic analyses of liver metabolites in DIOs, we demonstrate that FGF21 favorably alters liver metabolism. We observed a dose-dependent increase of [(18)F]-FDG-glucose uptake in interscapular BAT (iBAT) of DIOs upon FGF21 administration. Upon excision of iBAT (X-BAT) and administration of FGF21 to mice housed at 80 °F or 72 °F, the favorable effects of FGF21 on BW and glucose excursion were fully retained in both sham and X-BAT animals. Taken together, we demonstrate the liver as an organ that integrates the actions of FGF21 and provide metabolic benefits of FGF21 in Zucker rats and DIOs. Finally, our data demonstrates iBAT does not play a role in mediating favorable metabolic effects of FGF21 administration in DIOs housed at 80 °F or 72 °F.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Adipose tissue is the primary site for lipid deposition that protects the organisms in cases of nutrient excess during obesogenic diets. The histone deacetylase Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) inhibits adipocyte differentiation by targeting the transcription factor peroxisome proliferator activated-receptor gamma (PPARg).
To assess the specific role of SIRT1 in adipocytes, we generated Sirt1 adipocyte-specific knockout mice (ATKO) driven by aP2 promoter onto C57BL/6 background. Sirt1flx/flx aP2Cre+ (ATKO) and Sirt1flx/flx aP2Cre- 10 (WT) mice were fed high-fat diet for 5 weeks (short-term) or 15 weeks (chronic-term). Metabolic studies were combined with gene expression analysis and phosphorylation/acetylation patterns in adipose tissue.
On standard chow, ATKO mice exhibit low-grade chronic inflammation in adipose tissue, along with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance compared with control fed mice. On short-term HFD, ATKO mice become more glucose intolerant, hyperinsulinemic, insulin resistant and display increased inflammation. During chronic HFD, WT mice developed a metabolic dysfunction, higher than ATKO mice, and thereby, knockout mice are more glucose tolerant, insulin sensitive and less inflamed relative to control mice. SIRT1 attenuates adipogenesis through PPARg repressive acetylation and, in the ATKO mice adipocyte PPARg was hyperacetylated. This high acetylation was associated with a decrease in Ser273-PPARg phosphorylation. Dephosphorylated PPARg is constitutively active and results in higher expression of genes associated with increased insulin sensitivity.
Together, these data establish that SIRT1 downregulation in adipose tissue plays a previously unknown role in long-term inflammation resolution mediated by PPARg activation. Therefore, in the context of obesity, the development of new therapeutics that activate PPARg by targeting SIRT1 may provide 1 novel approaches to the treatment of T2DM.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance results from several pathophysiologic mechanisms, including chronic tissue inflammation and defective insulin signaling. We found that liver, muscle and adipose tissue exhibit higher levels of the chemotactic eicosanoid LTB4 in obese high-fat diet (HFD)–fed mice. Inhibition of the LTB4 receptor Ltb4r1, through either genetic or pharmacologic loss of function, led to an anti-inflammatory phenotype with protection from insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. In vitro treatment with LTB4 directly enhanced macrophage chemotaxis, stimulated inflammatory pathways, reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in L6 myocytes, and impaired insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic glucose output in primary mouse hepatocytes. This was accompanied by lower insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation and higher Irs-1/2 serine phosphorylation, and all of these events were dependent on Gαi and Jnk1, two downstream mediators of Ltb4r1 signaling. These observations elucidate a novel role of the LTB4–Ltb4r1 signaling pathway in hepatocyte and myocyte insulin resistance, and they show that in vivo inhibition of Ltb4r1 leads to robust insulin-sensitizing effects.
Nature Medicine 02/2015; 21(3). DOI:10.1038/nm.3800 · 22.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current dogma is that obesity-associated hepatic inflammation is due to increased Kupffer cell (KC) activation. However, recently it has been shown that recruited hepatic macrophages (RHMs) represent a sizable liver macrophage population in the context of obesity. Therefore, we assessed whether KCs and RHMs, or both, represent the major liver inflammatory cell type in obesity. We used a combination of in vivo macrophage tracking methodologies, and adoptive transfer techniques in which KCs and RHMs are differentially labeled with fluorescent markers. With these approaches the inflammatory phenotype of these distinct macrophage populations was determined under lean and obese conditions. In vivo macrophage tracking revealed an ∼6 fold higher number of RHMs in obese mice than lean mice, while the number of KCs was comparable. In addition, RHMs comprised smaller size, immature, monocyte-derived cells compared to KCs. Furthermore, RHMs from obese mice were more inflamed, and expressed higher levels of TNF-α and IL-6 than RHMs from lean mice. A comparison of the MCP-1/CCR2 chemokine system between the two cell types showed that the ligand (MCP-1) is more highly expressed in KCs than RHMs, whereas, CCR2 expression is ∼5 fold greater in RHMs. We conclude that KCs can participate in obesity-induced inflammation, by causing the recruitment of RHMs, which are distinct from KCs and are not precursors to KCs. These RHMs then enhance the severity of obesity-induced inflammation and hepatic insulin resistance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucokinase (GK) is a hexokinase isozyme that catalyzes the phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate. Glucokinase activators are being investigated as potential diabetes therapies because of their effects on hepatic glucose output and/or insulin secretion. Here, we have examined the efficacy and mechanisms of action of a novel glucokinase activator, GKA23. In vitro, GKA23 increased the affinity of rat and mouse glucokinase for glucose, and increased glucose uptake in primary rat hepatocytes. In vivo, GKA23 treatment improved glucose homeostasis in rats by enhancing beta cell insulin secretion and suppressing hepatic glucose production. Sub-chronic GKA23 treatment of mice fed a high-fat diet resulted in improved glucose homeostasis and lipid profile.
PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88431. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0088431 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chromogranin A-derived peptide pancreastatin (PST) is a dysglycemic, counter-regulatory peptide for insulin action, especially in liver. Although previous evidence for a PST binding protein has been reported, such a receptor has not been identified or sequenced.
We used ligand affinity to purify the PST target, with biotinylated human PST (hCHGA273-301-amide) as "bait" and mouse liver homogenate as "prey", and identified GRP78 (a.k.a. "78 kDa Glucose Regulated Protein", HSPA5, BIP) as a major interacting partner of PST. GRP78 belongs to the family of heat shock proteins (chaperones), involved in several cellular processes including protein folding and glucose metabolism. We analyzed expression of GRP78 in the absence of PST in a mouse knockout model lacking its precursor CHGA: hepatic transcriptome data revealed global over-expression of not only GRP78 but also other heat shock transcripts (of the "adaptive UPR") in CHGA(-/-) mice compared to wild-type (+/+). By contrast, we found a global decline in expression of hepatic pro-apoptotic transcripts in CHGA(-/-) mice. GRP78's ATPase enzymatic activity was dose-dependently inhibited by PST (IC50∼5.2 µM). PST also inhibited the up-regulation of GRP78 expression during UPR activation (by tunicamycin) in hepatocytes. PST inhibited insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes, and increased hepatic expression of G6Pase (the final step in gluconeogenesis/glycogenolysis). In hepatocytes not only PST but also other GRP78-ATPase inhibitors (VER-155008 or ADP) increased G6Pase expression. GRP78 over-expression inhibited G6Pase expression in hepatocytes, with partial restoration by GRP78-ATPase inhibitors PST, VER-155008, or ADP.
Our results indicate that an unexpected major hepatic target of PST is the adaptive UPR chaperone GRP78. PST not only binds to GRP78 (in pH-dependent fashion), but also inhibits GRP78's ATPase enzymatic activity, and impairs its biosynthetic response to UPR activation. PST decreases insulin-stimulated cellular glucose uptake, and PST as well as other chaperone ATPase activity inhibitors augment expression of G6Pase; GRP78 over-expression antagonizes this PST action. Analysis of the novel PST/GRP78 interaction may provide a new avenue of investigation into cellular glycemic control as well as dysglycemia.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e84132. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0084132 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophage-mediated inflammation is a major contributor to obesity-associated insulin resistance. The corepressor NCoR interacts with inflammatory pathway genes in macrophages, suggesting that its removal would result in increased activity of inflammatory responses. Surprisingly, we find that macrophage-specific deletion of NCoR instead results in an anti-inflammatory phenotype along with robust systemic insulin sensitization in obese mice. We present evidence that derepression of LXRs contributes to this paradoxical anti-inflammatory phenotype by causing increased expression of genes that direct biosynthesis of palmitoleic acid and ω3 fatty acids. Remarkably, the increased ω3 fatty acid levels primarily inhibit NF-κB-dependent inflammatory responses by uncoupling NF-κB binding and enhancer/promoter histone acetylation from subsequent steps required for proinflammatory gene activation. This provides a mechanism for the in vivo anti-inflammatory insulin-sensitive phenotype observed in mice with macrophage-specific deletion of NCoR. Therapeutic methods to harness this mechanism could lead to a new approach to insulin-sensitizing therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sirt1 is a NAD+ dependent class III deacetylase that functions as a cellular energy sensor. In addition to its well-characterized effects in peripheral tissues, emerging evidence suggests that neuronal Sirt1 activity plays a role in the central regulation of energy balance and glucose metabolism. To assess this idea, we generated Sirt1 neuron-specific knockout (SINKO) mice. On both standard chow and HFD, SINKO mice were more insulin sensitive than Sirt1f/f mice. Thus, SINKO mice had lower fasting insulin levels, improved glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance, and enhanced systemic insulin sensitivity during hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp studies. Hypothalamic insulin sensitivity of SINKO mice was also increased over controls, as assessed by hypothalamic activation of PI3K, phosphorylation of Akt and FoxO1 following systemic insulin injection. Intracerebroventricular injection of insulin led to a greater systemic effect to improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in SINKO mice compared to controls. In line with the in vivo results, insulin-induced AKT and FoxO1 phosphorylation were potentiated by inhibition of Sirt1 in a cultured hypothalamic cell line. Mechanistically, this effect was traced to a reduced effect of Sirt1 to directly deacetylate and repress IRS-1 function. The enhanced central insulin signaling in SINKO mice was accompanied by increased insulin receptor signal transduction in liver, muscle and adipose tissue. In summary, we conclude that neuronal Sirt1 negatively regulates hypothalamic insulin signaling, leading to systemic insulin resistance. Interventions that reduce neuronal Sirt1 activity have the potential to improve systemic insulin action and limit weight gain on an obesigenic diet.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal bypass surgeries that result in rerouting and subsequent exclusion of nutrients from the duodenum appear to rapidly alleviate hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia independent of weight loss. While the mechanism(s) responsible for normalization of glucose homeostasis remains to be fully elucidated, this rapid normalization coupled with the well-known effects of vagal inputs into glucose homeostasis suggests a neurohormonally mediated mechanism. Our results show that duodenal bypass surgery on obese, insulin-resistant Zucker fa/fa rats restored insulin sensitivity in both liver and peripheral tissues independent of body weight. Restoration of normoglycemia was attributable to an enhancement in key insulin-signaling molecules, including insulin receptor substrate-2, and substrate metabolism through a multifaceted mechanism involving activation of AMP-activated protein kinase and downregulation of key regulatory genes involved in both lipid and glucose metabolism. Importantly, while central nervous system-derived vagal nerves were not essential for restoration of insulin sensitivity, rapid normalization in hepatic gluconeogenic capacity and basal hepatic glucose production required intact vagal innervation. Lastly, duodenal bypass surgery selectively altered the tissue concentration of intestinally derived glucoregulatory hormone peptides in a segment-specific manner. The present data highlight and support the significance of vagal inputs and intestinal hormone peptides toward normalization of glucose and lipid homeostasis after duodenal bypass surgery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic low-grade adipose tissue and liver inflammation is a major cause of systemic insulin resistance and is a key component of the low degree of insulin sensitivity that exists in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Immune cells, such as macrophages, T cells, B cells, mast cells and eosinophils, have all been implicated as having a role in this process. Neutrophils are typically the first immune cells to respond to inflammation and can exacerbate the chronic inflammatory state by helping to recruit macrophages and by interacting with antigen-presenting cells. Neutrophils secrete several proteases, one of which is neutrophil elastase, which can promote inflammatory responses in several disease models. Here we show that treatment of hepatocytes with neutrophil elastase causes cellular insulin resistance and that deletion of neutrophil elastase in high-fat-diet-induced obese (DIO) mice leads to less tissue inflammation that is associated with lower adipose tissue neutrophil and macrophage content. These changes are accompanied by improved glucose tolerance and increased insulin sensitivity. Taken together, we show that neutrophils can be added to the extensive repertoire of immune cells that participate in inflammation-induced metabolic disease.
Nature medicine 08/2012; 18(9). DOI:10.1038/nm.2885 · 27.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity-associated hepatic steatosis is a manifestation of selective insulin resistance whereby lipogenesis remains sensitive to insulin but the ability of insulin to suppress glucose production is impaired. We created a mouse model of liver-specific knockdown of p70 S6 kinase (S6K) (L-S6K-KD) by systemic delivery of an adeno-associated virus carrying a shRNA for S6K and examined the effects on steatosis and insulin resistance. High fat diet (HFD) fed L-S6K-KD mice showed improved glucose tolerance and systemic insulin sensitivity compared with controls, with no changes in food intake or body weight. The induction of lipogenic gene expression was attenuated in the L-S6K-KD mice with decreased sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1c expression and mature SREBP-1c protein, as well as decreased steatosis on HFD. Our results demonstrate the importance of S6K: 1) as a modulator of the hepatic response to fasting/refeeding, 2) in the development of steatosis, and 3) as a key node in selective hepatic insulin resistance in obese mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance, tissue inflammation, and adipose tissue dysfunction are features of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. We generated adipocyte-specific Nuclear Receptor Corepressor (NCoR) knockout (AKO) mice to investigate the function of NCoR in adipocyte biology, glucose and insulin homeostasis. Despite increased obesity, glucose tolerance was improved in AKO mice, and clamp studies demonstrated enhanced insulin sensitivity in liver, muscle, and fat. Adipose tissue macrophage infiltration and inflammation were also decreased. PPARγ response genes were upregulated in adipose tissue from AKO mice and CDK5-mediated PPARγ ser-273 phosphorylation was reduced, creating a constitutively active PPARγ state. This identifies NCoR as an adaptor protein that enhances the ability of CDK5 to associate with and phosphorylate PPARγ. The dominant function of adipocyte NCoR is to transrepress PPARγ and promote PPARγ ser-273 phosphorylation, such that NCoR deletion leads to adipogenesis, reduced inflammation, and enhanced systemic insulin sensitivity, phenocopying the TZD-treated state.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In adipose tissue, muscle, liver and macrophages, signaling by the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) is a determinant of insulin sensitivity and this receptor mediates the insulin-sensitizing effects of thiazolidinediones (TZDs). As PPAR-γ is also expressed in neurons, we generated mice with neuron-specific Pparg knockout (Pparg brain knockout (BKO)) to determine whether neuronal PPAR-γ signaling contributes to either weight gain or insulin sensitivity. During high-fat diet (HFD) feeding, food intake was reduced and energy expenditure increased in Pparg-BKO mice compared to Pparg(f/f) mice, resulting in reduced weight gain. Pparg-BKO mice also responded better to leptin administration than Pparg(f/f) mice. When treated with the TZD rosiglitazone, Pparg-BKO mice were resistant to rosiglitazone-induced hyperphagia and weight gain and, relative to rosiglitazone-treated Pparg(f/f) mice, experienced only a marginal improvement in glucose metabolism. Hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp studies showed that the increase in hepatic insulin sensitivity induced by rosiglitazone treatment during HFD feeding was completely abolished in Pparg-BKO mice, an effect associated with the failure of rosiglitazone to improve liver insulin receptor signal transduction. We conclude that excess weight gain induced by HFD feeding depends in part on the effect of neuronal PPAR-γ signaling to limit thermogenesis and increase food intake. Neuronal PPAR-γ signaling is also required for the hepatic insulin sensitizing effects of TZDs.
Nature medicine 05/2011; 17(5):618-22. DOI:10.1038/nm.2332 · 27.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation is an important etiology underlying obesity-related disorders such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, and recent findings indicate that the macrophage can be the initiating cell type responsible for this chronic inflammatory state. The mammalian silent information regulator 2 homolog SIRT1 modulates several physiological processes important for life span, and a potential role of SIRT1 in the regulation of insulin sensitivity has been shown. However, with respect to inflammation, the role of SIRT1 in regulating the proinflammatory pathway within macrophages is poorly understood. Here, we show that knockdown of SIRT1 in the mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cell line and in intraperitoneal macrophages broadly activates the JNK and IKK inflammatory pathways and increases LPS-stimulated TNFalpha secretion. Moreover, gene expression profiles reveal that SIRT1 knockdown leads to an increase in inflammatory gene expression. We also demonstrate that SIRT1 activators inhibit LPS-stimulated inflammatory pathways, as well as secretion of TNFalpha, in a SIRT1-dependent manner in RAW264.7 cells and in primary intraperitoneal macrophages. Treatment of Zucker fatty rats with a SIRT1 activator leads to greatly improved glucose tolerance, reduced hyperinsulinemia, and enhanced systemic insulin sensitivity during glucose clamp studies. These in vivo insulin-sensitizing effects were accompanied by a reduction in tissue inflammation markers and a decrease in the adipose tissue macrophage proinflammatory state, fully consistent with the in vitro effects of SIRT1 in macrophages. In conclusion, these results define a novel role for SIRT1 as an important regulator of macrophage inflammatory responses in the context of insulin resistance and raise the possibility that targeting of SIRT1 might be a useful strategy for treating the inflammatory component of metabolic diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activators of 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-beta-d-ribofuranoside (AICAR), metformin, and exercise activate atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) and ERK and stimulate glucose transport in muscle by uncertain mechanisms. Here, in cultured L6 myotubes: AICAR- and metformin-induced activation of AMPK was required for activation of aPKC and ERK; aPKC activation involved and required phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1) phosphorylation of Thr410-PKC-zeta; aPKC Thr410 phosphorylation and activation also required MEK1-dependent ERK; and glucose transport effects of AICAR and metformin were inhibited by expression of dominant-negative AMPK, kinase-inactive PDK1, MEK1 inhibitors, kinase-inactive PKC-zeta, and RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of PKC-zeta. In mice, muscle-specific aPKC (PKC-lambda) depletion by conditional gene targeting impaired AICAR-stimulated glucose disposal and stimulatory effects of both AICAR and metformin on 2-deoxyglucose/glucose uptake in muscle in vivo and AICAR stimulation of 2-[(3)H]deoxyglucose uptake in isolated extensor digitorum longus muscle; however, AMPK activation was unimpaired. In marked contrast to AICAR and metformin, treadmill exercise-induced stimulation of 2-deoxyglucose/glucose uptake was not inhibited in aPKC-knockout mice. Finally, in intact rodents, AICAR and metformin activated aPKC in muscle, but not in liver, despite activating AMPK in both tissues. The findings demonstrate that in muscle AICAR and metformin activate aPKC via sequential activation of AMPK, ERK, and PDK1 and the AMPK/ERK/PDK1/aPKC pathway is required for metformin- and AICAR-stimulated increases in glucose transport. On the other hand, although aPKC is activated by treadmill exercise, this activation is not required for exercise-induced increases in glucose transport, and therefore may be a redundant mechanism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic low-grade inflammation, particularly in adipose tissue, is an important modulator of obesity-induced insulin resistance. The Toll-like receptor 4 (Tlr4) is a key initiator of inflammatory responses in macrophages. We performed bone marrow transplantation (BMT) of Tlr4lps-del or control C57Bl/10J donor cells into irradiated wild-type C57Bl6 recipient mice to generate hematopoietic cell-specific Tlr4 deletion mutant (BMT-Tlr4(-/-)) and control (BMT-WT) mice. After 16 weeks of a high-fat diet (HFD), BMT-WT mice developed obesity, hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. In contrast, BMT-Tlr4(-/-) mice became obese but did not develop fasting hyperinsulinemia and had improved hepatic and adipose insulin sensitivity during euglycemic clamp studies, compared to HFD BMT-WT controls. HFD BMT-Tlr4(-/-) mice also showed markedly reduced adipose tissue inflammatory markers and macrophage content. In summary, our results indicate that Tlr4 signaling in hematopoietic-derived cells is important for the development of hepatic and adipose tissue insulin resistance in obese mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromogranin A (CHGA/Chga), a proprotein, widely distributed in endocrine and neuroendocrine tissues (not expressed in muscle,
liver, and adipose tissues), generates at least four bioactive peptides. One of those peptides, pancreastatin (PST), has been
reported to interfere with insulin action. We generated a Chga knock-out (KO) mouse by the targeted deletion of the Chga gene in neuroendocrine tissues. KO mice displayed hypertension, higher plasma catecholamine, and adipokine levels and lower
IL-6 and lipid levels compared with wild type mice. Liver glycogen content was elevated, but the nitric oxide (NO) level was
diminished. Glucose, insulin, and pyruvate tolerance tests and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies established increased
insulin sensitivity in liver but decreased glucose disposal in muscle. Despite higher catecholamine and ketone body levels
and muscle insulin resistance, KO mice maintained euglycemia due to increased liver insulin sensitivity. Suppressed mRNA abundance
of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) in KO mice further support this conclusion. PST administration
in KO mice stimulated phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and G6Pase mRNA abundance and raised the blood glucose level. In liver
cells transfected with G6Pase promoter, PST caused transcriptional activation in a protein kinase C (PKC)- and NO synthase-dependent
manner. Thus, PST action may be mediated by suppressing IRS1/2-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt-FOXO-1 signaling and insulin-induced
maturation of SREBP1c by PKC and a high level of NO. The combined effects of conventional PKC and endothelial NO synthase
activation by PST can suppress insulin signaling. The rise in blood PST level with age and in diabetes suggests that PST is
a negative regulator of insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2009; 284(42):28498-28509. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcription factor TORC2 [transducer of regulated cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) activity 2] is a major regulator of hepatic gluconeogenesis and is increased in hyperglycemic rodent models. Because chronic hyperglycemia and increased hepatic glucose production, via increased gluconeogenesis, is a key feature of type 2 diabetes, an effective in vivo method to efficiently knock down TORC2 could provide a potential therapy for treating hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes. To assess this, primary mouse hepatocytes, high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice, and Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats were treated with a siRNA against TORC2 (siTORC2), which was delivered via a novel lipid nanoparticle system, or control siRNA (siCON). Compared with siCON, administration of siTORC2 resulted in highly efficient, sustained (1-3 wk) knockdown of TORC2 and its gluconeogenic target genes phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glucose-6-phophatase in primary mouse hepatocytes and in the livers of HFD-fed mice. In mice, this knockdown was specific to the liver and did not occur in kidney, skeletal muscle, or adipose tissue. In HFD-fed mice, siTORC2 reduced in vivo gluconeogenic capacity, fasting hepatic glucose production, and hyperglycemia, and led to improved hepatic and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. siTORC2 treatment also improved systemic hyperglycemia in ZDF rats. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the importance of TORC2 in modulating HGP in vivo and highlight a novel, liver-specific siRNA approach for the potential treatment of hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes.