W N Paul Lee

Boston Biomedical Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Are you W N Paul Lee?

Claim your profile

Publications (18)78.24 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Enhanced de novo lipogenesis (DNL), an adult hepatic adaption, is seen with high carbohydrate or low-fat diets. We hypothesized that ad libitum intake after prenatal calorie restriction will result in adult-onset glucose intolerance and enhanced DNL with modified lipid metabolic gene expression profile. Stable isotopes were used in 15-month-old adult male rat offspring exposed to prenatal (IUGR), pre- and postnatal (IPGR), or postnatal (PNGR) caloric restriction vs. controls (CON). IUGR vs. CON were heavier with hepatomegaly but unchanged visceral white adipose tissue (WAT), glucose intolerant with reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), pancreatic β-cell mass, and total glucose clearance rate but unsuppressed hepatic glucose production. Liver glucose transporter (Glut) 1 and DNL increased with decreased hepatic acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase but increased WAT fatty acid transport protein-1 and peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor-γ, resistin, and visfatin gene expression. In contrast, PNGR and IPGR were lighter, had reduced visceral WAT, and were glucose tolerant with unchanged hepatic glucose production but with increased GSIS, β-cell mass, glucose clearance rate, and WAT insulin receptor. Hepatic Glut1 and DNL were also increased in lean IPGR and PNGR with increased hepatic ACC, phosphorylated ACC, and pAMPK and reduced WAT fatty acid transport protein-1, peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor-γ, and ACCα. We conclude the following: 1) the heavy, glucose-intolerant and insulin-resistant IUGR adult phenotype is ameliorated by postnatal caloric restriction; 2) increased DNL paralleling hepatic Glut1 is a biomarker of exposure to early caloric restriction rather than the adult metabolic status; 3) hepatic lipid enzyme expression reflects GSIS rather than DNL; and 4) WAT gene expression reflects an obesogenic vs. lean phenotype.
    Endocrinology 11/2012; · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To describe the uncommon presentation of hyperinsulinism in an 8-year-old boy. We describe the patient's clinical findings, results from biochemical and imaging studies, surgical approach, and outcome. The discussion encompasses a review of literature that provided the basis for the diagnostic and surgical approach applied to this patient's case. An obese 8.5-year-old boy initially presented with hypoglycemic seizures after initiation of dietary changes to treat obesity. Biochemical analysis indicated hyperinsulinism. Endoscopic ultrasonography showed no pancreatic lesions suggestive of insulinoma. Genetic studies identified no known mutations in the ABCC8, KCNJ11, GCK, or GLUD1 genes. Selective arterial calcium stimulation and hepatic venous sampling did not document a focal source for hyperinsulinism in the pancreas, and positron emission tomography with 18-fluoro-L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine showed diffusely increased uptake in the pancreas. The patient ultimately required partial pancreatectomy because of continued hypoglycemia while taking diazoxide and octreotide. Intraoperative glucose monitoring directed the extent of surgical resection. A 45% pancreatectomy was performed, which resolved the hypoglycemia but led to impaired glucose tolerance after surgery. The unusual presentation of hyperinsulinism in childhood required a personalized approach to diagnosis and surgical management using intraoperative glucose monitoring that resulted in a conservative pancreatectomy.
    Endocrine Practice 05/2012; 18(3):e52-6. · 2.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The importance of PDHK (pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase) 2 and 4 in regulation of the PDH complex (pyruvate dehydrogenase complex) was assessed in single- and double-knockout mice. PDHK2 deficiency caused higher PDH complex activity and lower blood glucose levels in the fed, but not the fasted, state. PDHK4 deficiency caused similar effects, but only after fasting. Double deficiency intensified these effects in both the fed and fasted states. PDHK2 deficiency had no effect on glucose tolerance, PDHK4 deficiency produced only a modest effect, but double deficiency caused a marked improvement and also induced lower insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity. In spite of these beneficial effects, the double-knockout mice were more sensitive than wild-type and single-knockout mice to long-term fasting, succumbing to hypoglycaemia, ketoacidosis and hypothermia. Stable isotope flux analysis indicated that hypoglycaemia was due to a reduced rate of gluconeogenesis and that slightly more glucose was converted into ketone bodies in the double-knockout mice. The findings establish that PDHK2 is more important in the fed state, PDHK4 is more important in the fasted state, and survival during long-term fasting depends upon regulation of the PDH complex by both PDHK2 and PDHK4.
    Biochemical Journal 02/2012; 443(3):829-39. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rosiglitazone (RGZ), a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) agonist, significantly enhances lung maturation without affecting blood biochemical and metabolic profiles in the newborn period. However, whether this exposure to RGZ in neonatal life alters the adult metabolic phenotype is not known. To determine the effects of early postnatal administration of RGZ on the young adult metabolic phenotype. Methods: Newborn rat pups were administered either saline or RGZ for the first 7 days of life. At 11-14 weeks, glucose and insulin tolerance tests and deuterium labeling were performed. Blood and tissues were analyzed for various metabolic parameters. Overall, there was no effect of early postnatal RGZ administration on young adult body weight, glucose and insulin tolerance, plasma cholesterol and triglyceride profiles, insulin, glucagon, cardiac troponin, fatty acid synthesis, or tissue adipogenic differentiation. Treatment with RGZ in early neonatal life does not alter later developmental metabolic programming or lead to an altered metabolic phenotype in the young adult, further re-enforcing the safety of PPARγ agonists as a novel lung-protective strategy.
    Neonatology 11/2011; 101(3):217-24. · 2.57 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cardiolipin (CL) is a unique phospholipid (PL) found in the mitochondria of mammalian cells. CL remodeling is accompanied by turnover of its fatty acid acyl groups. Abnormalities in CL remodeling have been found in Barth's syndrome, diabetes, and obesity. The objective of this study was to determine nonessential fatty acid turnover in CL and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in the rat heart in vivo. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a regular chow or a high-fat diet for 15 weeks, and consumed 6% deuterium-enriched drinking water as a tracer for 14 days. CL and PE were extracted from cardiac tissue and isolated by TLC. Fatty acids from CL, PE, and plasma were analyzed by GC/MS for deuterium incorporation. Results showed oleate and vaccenate turnover were the highest in CL whereas palmitate and stearate turnover were low. Among the nonessential fatty acids in PE, turnover of stearate and vaccenate were the highest. The high turnover rate in vaccenate was unexpected, because vaccenate previously had no known metabolic or physiologic function. In conclusion, the similarly high turnover rates of both oleate and vaccenate readily suggest that remodeling is an important functional aspect of PL metabolism in CL.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 09/2011; 52(12):2226-33. · 4.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) routinely exhibit cerebral glucose uptake in excess of that expected by the low levels of oxygen consumption and lactate production. This brings into question the metabolic fate of glucose. Prior studies have shown increased flux through the pentose phosphate cycle (PPC) during cellular stress. This study assessed the PPC after TBI in humans. [1,2-(13)C(2)]glucose was infused for 60 mins in six consented, severe-TBI patients (GCS<9) and six control subjects. Arterial and jugular bulb blood sampled during infusion was analyzed for (13)C-labeled isotopomers of lactate by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. The product of lactate concentration and fractional abundance of isotopomers was used to determine blood concentration of each isotopomer. The difference of jugular and arterial concentrations determined cerebral contribution. The formula PPC=(m1/m2)/(3+(m1/m2)) was used to calculate PPC flux relative to glycolysis. There was enrichment of [1,2-(13)C(2)]glucose in arterial-venous blood (enrichment averaged 16.6% in TBI subjects and 28.2% in controls) and incorporation of (13)C-label into lactate, showing metabolism of labeled substrate. The PPC was increased in TBI patients relative to controls (19.6 versus 6.9%, respectively; P=0.002) and was excellent for distinguishing the groups (AUC=0.944, P<0.0001). No correlations were found between PPC and other clinical parameters, although PPC was highest in patients studied within 48 h of injury (averaging 33% versus 13% in others; P=0.0006). This elevation in the PPC in the acute period after severe TBI likely represents a shunting of substrate into alternative biochemical pathways that may be critical for preventing secondary injury and initiating recovery.
    Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 10/2007; 27(9):1593-602. · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • Thuy D Vo, W N Paul Lee, Bernhard O Palsson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Leigh's syndrome is a complex neurological disease with little known correlation between causes and symptoms. Mutations in pyruvate dehydrogenase and electron transport chain complexes have been associated with this syndrome, although the identification of affected enzymes is difficult, if not impossible, with non-invasive clinical tests. In this study, isotopomer analysis is used to characterize the metabolic phenotype of normal and Leigh's syndrome fibroblasts (GM01503), thereby identifying affected enzymes in the diseased cells. Fibroblasts are grown with DMEM media enriched with (13)C labeled glucose. Amino acids from media and proteins as well as lactate are analyzed with GC-MS to identify their label distributions. A computational model accounting for all major pathways in fibroblast metabolism (including 430 metabolites and 508 reactions) is built to determine the metabolic steady states of the normal and Leigh's cell lines based on measured substrate uptake and secretion rates and isotopomer data. Results show that (i) Leigh's syndrome affected cells have slower metabolism than control fibroblasts as evidenced by their overall slower substrate utilization and lower secretion of end products; (ii) intracellular fluxes predicted by the models, some of which are validated by biochemical studies published in the literature, show that the respiratory chain in Leigh's affected cells can produce ATP at a similar rate as the controls, but with a more restricted flux range; and (iii) mutations causing the defects observed in the Leigh's cells are likely to be in succinate cytochrome c reductase.
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 06/2007; 91(1):15-22. · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite altered regulation of insulin signaling, Pten(+/-) heterodeficient standard diet-fed mice, approximately 4 months old, exhibit normal fasting glucose and insulin levels. We report here a stable isotope flux phenotyping study of this "silent" phenotype, in which tissue-specific insulin effects in whole-body Pten(+/-)-deficient mice were dissected in vivo. Flux phenotyping showed gain of function in Pten(+/-) mice, seen as increased peripheral glucose disposal, and compensation by a metabolic feedback mechanism that 1) decreases hepatic glucose recycling via suppression of glucokinase expression in the basal state to preserve hepatic glucose production and 2) increases hepatic responsiveness in the fasted-to-fed transition. In Pten(+/-) mice, hepatic gene expression of glucokinase was 10-fold less than wild-type (Pten(+/+)) mice in the fasted state and reached Pten(+/+) values in the fed state. Glucose-6-phosphatase expression was the same for Pten(+/-) and Pten(+/+) mice in the fasted state, and its expression for Pten(+/-) was 25% of Pten(+/+) in the fed state. This study demonstrates how intra- and interorgan flux compensations can preserve glucose homeostasis (despite a specific gene defect that accelerates glucose disposal) and how flux phenotyping can dissect these tissue-specific flux compensations in mice presenting with a "silent" phenotype.
    Diabetes 01/2007; 55(12):3372-80. · 7.90 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fatty liver is a common feature of both obesity and lipodystrophy, reflecting compromised adipose tissue function. The lipin-deficient fatty liver dystrophy (fld) mouse is an exception, as there is lipodystrophy without a fatty liver. Using a combination of indirect calorimetry and stable-isotope flux phenotyping, we determined that fld mice exhibit abnormal fuel utilization throughout the diurnal cycle, with increased glucose oxidation near the end of the fasting period and increased fatty acid oxidation during the feeding period. The mechanisms underlying these alterations include a twofold increase compared with wild-type mice in tissue glycogen storage during the fed state, a 40% reduction in hepatic glucose production in the fasted state, and a 27-fold increase in de novo fatty acid synthesis in liver during the fed state. Thus, the inability to store energy in adipose tissue in the fld mouse leads to a compensatory increase in glycogen storage for use during the fasting period and reliance upon hepatic fatty acid synthesis to provide fuel for peripheral tissues during the fed state. The increase in hepatic fatty acid synthesis and peripheral utilization provides a potential mechanism to ameliorate fatty liver in the fld that would otherwise occur as a consequence of adipose tissue dysfunction.
    Diabetes 01/2007; 55(12):3429-38. · 7.90 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Understanding the metabolism of a cell requires knowledge about the intracellular biochemical structure as well as cellular responses to extracellular nutrients. Towards this goal, genomics and proteomics seek a complete description of the cell’s metabolic network, while the field of metabolomics aims to identify new metabolites and profile their distribution in such a network. Here we employed tracer-based metabolomics to characterize HepG2 metabolic responses to the nutritional environments of two DMEM media containing [1,2 13C2] glucose. A computational model describing 254 reactions of the HepG2 metabolic network was developed to systemically analyze the intracellular flux distribution based on tracer data. This is the largest and most comprehensive model used for isotopomer analysis to date. Estimated reaction fluxes from the model were benchmarked with those obtained from the traditional pathway-based method. Results from this study were as follows: (1) HepG2 cells grow equally well in two test media, including one where asparagine is substituted for the commonly used amino acid glutamine; (2) intracellular flux distributions, particularly in the TCA cycle, are markedly different between cells grown in the two cultures; and (3) compared to the pathway-based method, the network-based approach provides a more complete and detailed picture of substrate utilization as well as informs ways to improve the current media. In short, this network-based, systems biology-driven modeling approach to isotopomer analysis has proven to be a valuable tool for metabolic phenotyping and elucidating the nutrient–gene interactions.
    Metabolomics 11/2006; 2(4):243-256. · 4.43 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We studied glucose metabolic adaptations in the intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) rat offspring to decipher glucose homeostasis in metabolic programming. Glucose futile cycling (GFC), which is altered when there is imbalance between glucose production and utilization, was studied during a glucose tolerance test (GTT) in 2-day-old (n = 8), 2-mo-old (n = 22), and 15-mo-old (n = 22) female rat offspring. The IUGR rats exposed to either prenatal (CM/SP, n = 5 per age), postnatal (SM/CP, n = 6), or pre- and postnatal (SM/SP, n = 6) nutrient restriction were compared with age-matched controls (CM/CP, n = 5). At 2 days, IUGR pups (SP) were smaller and glucose intolerant and had increased hepatic glucose production and increased glucose disposal (P < 0.01) compared with controls (CP). At 2 mo, the GTT, glucose clearance, and GFC did not change. However, a decline in hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase (P < 0.05) and fructose-1,6-biphosphatase (P < 0.05) enzyme activities in the IUGR offspring was detected. At 15 mo, prenatal nutrient restriction (CM/SP) resulted in greater weight gain (P < 0.01) and hyperinsulinemia (P < 0.001) compared with postnatal nutrient restriction (SM/CP). A decline in GFC in the face of a normal GTT occurred in both the prenatal (CM/SP, P < 0.01) and postnatal calorie (SM/CP, P < 0.03) and growth-restricted offspring. The IUGR offspring with pre- and postnatal nutrient restriction (SM/SP) were smaller, hypoinsulinemic (P < 0.03), and hypoleptinemic (P < 0.03), with no change in GTT, hepatic glucose production, GFC, or glucose clearance. We conclude that there is pre- and postnatal programming that affects the postnatal compensatory adaptation of GFC and disposal initiated by changes in circulating insulin concentrations, thereby determining hepatic insulin sensitivity in a phenotype-specific manner.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 06/2006; 290(6):E1218-26. · 4.51 Impact Factor
  • E. Anne Bergner, W.‐N. Paul Lee
    Biological Mass Spectrometry 04/2005; 30(5):778 - 780. · 3.41 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 01/2005; 25. · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Low-birth-weight (LBW) infants have high energy requirements and are dependent on high fat intake to maintain adequate postnatal growth. Fat energy is transported in plasma as triglycerides, which are either derived from the diet or from de novo lipogenesis (DNL). It is our hypothesis that DNL plays an important physiologic role in adapting to exclusive breast milk (EBM) feeding or to parenteral nutrition (PN). We studied hepatic de novo lipogenesis in 14 LBW (<34-week gestation) appropriate for gestational age and receiving either EBM feedings or full PN support. Stable isotope tracer [2-(13)C] acetate was administered for 72 hours to achieve an estimated 10% enrichment of daily fat intake. Fatty acids were extracted from plasma for gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses. Percent new synthesis of palmitate was 13.1% +/- 2.5% in the EBM group and 14.9% +/- 0.7% in the PN group (NS), stearate was 11.1% +/- 2.7% in the EBM group and 10.6% +/- 14% in the PN group (NS) and cholesterol was 12.7% +/- 2.1% in the EBM group and 17.4% +/- 4.6% in the PN group (NS) after 72 hours of tracer administration (mean +/- SEM). The plasma lipid fatty acid composition in palmitate, oleate, and stearate with intake of 3.6 +/- 0.6 g/kg/d of IV lipids (ILs) was similar to EBM-feeding infants taking 6.3 +/- 0.13 g/kg/d of fat. De novo lipogenesis is active in stable LBW infants maintaining standard postnatal growth. Hepatic DNL permits newborn infants to meet the fat energy needs of peripheral tissues for growth and storage and to maintain plasma fatty acid composition in adaptation to different dietary fat intake.
    Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 01/2005; 29(2):81-6. · 2.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our previous work led to the hypothesis that peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR alpha) modulates insulin action in a compensatory fashion for hepatic glucose balance vs. peripheral glucose disposal. Therefore, we have examined the expression of insulin-dependent gluconeogenic/glycolytic/pentose cycle enzymes and compared these to insulin responsiveness for peripheral vs. hepatic substrate flux and futile cycling in the PPAR alpha knockout mouse. Hepatic gluconeogenic flux, glucose absorption, clearance and recycling, as well as in vivo glucose disposal were evaluated using new mass isotopomer methods. Insulin-dependent gluconeogenic/glycolytic/pentose cycle enzyme expression and glucose futile cycling were diminished; however, glucose disappearance was increased. This supports the hypothesis of hepatic insulin resistance and increased peripheral glucose uptake as compensatory events secondary to the decrease in fatty acid oxidation characteristic of the PPAR alpha knockout. We conclude that 1) the loss of PPAR alpha results in lower expression levels and diminished response to meal regulation for gluconeogenic/glycolytic enzyme expression; and 2) consequently, substrate/futile cycling of glucose is decreased when PPAR alpha is absent despite increased gluconeogenesis. The compensatory changes in liver and peripheral tissue substrate flux and the resultant adaptation for enzyme expression in the liver to have a diminished insulin dependence reflect the loosely linked correlation between phenotype and genotype in hepatic glucose metabolism.
    Endocrinology 04/2004; 145(3):1087-95. · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increased glucose cycling between glucose and glucose-6-phosphate is characteristic of insulin resistance and hyperglycemia seen with Type II diabetes. Traditionally, glucose cycling is determined by the difference between hepatic glucose output measured with separate [2-3H]glucose and [6-3H]glucose infusions. We demonstrate a novel method for determining hepatic glucose recycling from an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT). A single tracer, [1, 2-13C(2)]glucose (a M2 glucose isotopomer), was administered at 1mg/g body weight to 4-month-old C57BL/6 mice. Hepatic glucose recycling was monitored by the appearance of a plasma M1 isotopomer of glucose, which is produced by the action of the pentose cycle on the M2 glucose isotopomer in the liver. The initial M2 enrichment was 56% and decreased to 13% at the end of 3 h, and the M1 enrichment peaked at 2 h. The ratio of plasma M1/M2 glucose increased linearly with time to approximately 25%, and the regression of the M1/M2 ratio against time gives a slope, termed the in vivo glucose-dependent futile recycling rate constant k(HR). k(HR) estimates glucose/glucose-6-phosphate futile cycling, along with glucose recycling through the pentose cycle. These observations demonstrate complex substrate cycling during an IPGTT using a single stable isotope tracer.
    Analytical Biochemistry 05/2003; 315(2):238-46. · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The hypoglycemia seen in the fasting PPARalpha null mouse is thought to be due to impaired liver fatty acid beta-oxidation. The etiology of hypoglycemia in the PPARalpha null mouse was determined via stable isotope studies. Glucose, lactate, and glycerol flux was assessed in the fasted and fed states in 4-month-old PPARalpha null mice and in C57BL/6 WT maintained on standard chow using a new protocol for flux assessment in the fasted and fed states. Hepatic glucose production (HGP) and glucose carbon recycling were estimated using [U-(13)C(6)]glucose, and HGP, lactate, and glycerol turnover was estimated utilizing either [U-(13)C(3)]lactate or [2-(13)C]glycerol infused subcutaneously via Alza miniosmotic pumps. At the end of a 17-h fast, HGP was higher in the PPARalpha null mice than in WT by 37% (p < 0.01). However, recycling of glucose carbon from lactate back to glucose was lower in the PPARalpha null than in WT (39% versus 51%, p < 0.02). The lack of conversion of lactate to glucose was confirmed using an [U-(13)C(3)]lactate infusion. In the fasted state, HGP from lactate and lactate production were decreased by 65 and 55%, respectively (p < 0.05) in PPARalpha null mice. In contrast, when [2-(13)C]glycerol was infused, glycerol production and HGP from glycerol increased by 80 and 250%, respectively (p < 0.01), in the fasted state of PPARalpha null mice. The increased HGP from glycerol was not suppressed in the fed state. While little change was evident for phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) expression, pyruvate kinase expression was decreased 16-fold in fasted PPARalpha null mice as compared with the wild-type control. The fasted and fed insulin levels were comparable, but blood glucose levels were lower in the PPARalpha null mice than in controls. In conclusion, PPARalpha receptor function creates a setpoint for a metabolic network that regulates the rate and route of HGP in the fasted and fed states, in part, by controlling the flux of glycerol and lactate between the triose-phosphate and pyruvate/lactate pools.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2002; 277(52):50237-44. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Mass Spectrometry 01/1998; 33(7):627-630. · 3.21 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

243 Citations
78.24 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • Boston Biomedical Research Institute
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2005–2011
    • Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
      Torrance, California, United States
  • 2002–2007
    • Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Torrance, California, United States
  • 2002–2005
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      • • Molecular Biology Institute
      • • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, CA, United States