M Alemany

University of Barcelona, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (303)621.35 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Adipose tissue (AT) is distributed as large differentiated masses, and smaller depots covering vessels, and organs, as well as interspersed within them. The differences between types and size of cells makes AT one of the most disperse and complex organs. Lipid storage is partly shared by other tissues such as muscle and liver. We intended to obtain an approximate estimation of the size of lipid reserves stored outside the main fat depots. Both male and female rats were made overweight by 4-weeks feeding of a cafeteria diet. Total lipid content was analyzed in brain, liver, gastrocnemius muscle, four white AT sites: subcutaneous, perigonadal, retroperitoneal and mesenteric, two brown AT sites (interscapular and perirenal) and in a pool of the rest of organs and tissues (after discarding gut contents). Organ lipid content was estimated and tabulated for each individual rat. Food intake was measured daily. There was a surprisingly high proportion of lipid not accounted for by the main macroscopic AT sites, even when brain, liver and BAT main sites were discounted. Muscle contained about 8% of body lipids, liver 1-1.4%, four white AT sites lipid 28-63% of body lipid, and the rest of the body (including muscle) 38-44%. There was a good correlation between AT lipid and body lipid, but lipid in "other organs" was highly correlated too with body lipid. Brain lipid was not. Irrespective of dietary intake, accumulation of body fat was uniform both for the main lipid storage and handling organs: large masses of AT (but also liver, muscle), as well as in the "rest" of tissues. These storage sites, in specialized (adipose) or not-specialized (liver, muscle) tissues reacted in parallel against a hyperlipidic diet challenge. We postulate that body lipid stores are handled and regulated coordinately, with a more centralized and overall mechanisms than usually assumed.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e90995. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: White adipose tissue (WAT) produces lactate in significant amount from circulating glucose, especially in obesity;Under normoxia, 3T3L1 cells secrete large quantities of lactate to the medium, again at the expense of glucose and proportionally to its levels. Most of the glucose was converted to lactate with only part of it being used to synthesize fat. Cultured adipocytes were largely anaerobic, but this was not a Warburg-like process. It is speculated that the massive production of lactate, is a process of defense of the adipocyte, used to dispose of excess glucose. This way, the adipocyte exports glucose carbon (and reduces the problem of excess substrate availability) to the liver, but the process may be also a mechanism of short-term control of hyperglycemia. The in vivo data obtained from adipose tissue of male rats agree with this interpretation.
    Scientific Reports 01/2014; 4:3663. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperlipidic diets limit glucose oxidation and favor amino acid preservation, hampering the elimination of excess dietary nitrogen and the catabolic utilization of amino acids. We analyzed whether reduced urea excretion was a consequence of higher NO x ; (nitrite, nitrate, and other derivatives) availability caused by increased nitric oxide production in metabolic syndrome. Rats fed a cafeteria diet for 30 days had a higher intake and accumulation of amino acid nitrogen and lower urea excretion. There were no differences in plasma nitrate or nitrite. NO x and creatinine excretion accounted for only a small part of total nitrogen excretion. Rats fed a cafeteria diet had higher plasma levels of glutamine, serine, threonine, glycine, and ornithine when compared with controls, whereas arginine was lower. Liver carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase I activity was higher in cafeteria diet-fed rats, but arginase I was lower. The high carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase activity and ornithine levels suggest activation of the urea cycle in cafeteria diet-fed rats, but low arginine levels point to a block in the urea cycle between ornithine and arginine, thereby preventing the elimination of excess nitrogen as urea. The ultimate consequence of this paradoxical block in the urea cycle seems to be the limitation of arginine production and/or availability.
    BioMed research international. 01/2014; 2014:959420.
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    ABSTRACT: Background/Aims: There is ample consensus that there is a neurophysiological basis for eating disorders (ED). Traits of personality translate into behavioral traits, purging being a well-defined transversal example. The direct implication of steroid hormones on ED has seldom been studied, despite their effects on behavior. Methods: After psychological interview analysis, 57 ED female patients (31 purgative and 26 nonpurgative) and 17 female controls were studied. Metabolic parameters and analysis of androgen, estrogen and glucocorticoid hormones were determined in parallel to the psychopathological profile (EDI-2 and SCL-90-R) and anthropometric measurements. Results: Psychometric tests showed clear differences between ED and controls, but there were few hormonal-metabolic significant differences. In purgative ED there were repeated (significant) positive correlations with corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) and negative correlations with sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) versus eating and general psychopathology. In nonpurging ED there were positive correlations for deoxycortisol, free fatty acids and albumin and negative for aspartate aminotransferase and psychopathological traits. Conclusion: The data suggest that CBG/corticosteroids and sexual hormones/SHBG are involved in purging behavior and its psychopathology and severity scores. Correlations of selected psychometric data and the CBG/SHBG levels in purging may eventually result in clinical markers. This approach may provide additional clues for understanding the pathogenesis of ED.
    Neuropsychobiology 05/2013; 67(4):230-240. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of Transwells™ for routine cultures of 3T3L1 cells results in a much improved rate of differentiation of fibroblasts to adipocytes (100 % in 9 of 10 tests) compared with bottom-well layer cultures. Mean size of cells was not different, but the cell number and overall cell mass was 3× larger in transwell in spite of a smaller surface area. The difference between both models was the accessibility in transwells of both sides of the cells to the medium (and oxygen). Cells were counted, and their size estimated using a handheld cell counter, Scepter™, designed for blood cells, but adjusted to the larger size of adipocytes. Finally, the effect of nitric oxide was tested using spermineNONOate, a nitric oxide (NO·) donor. The product was released to cultures at a constant 1 μl/h rate for up to 3 days using osmotic Alzet™ minipumps held in wells with water and discharging their contents to the cultured cell-laden wells through a short capillary tube. A rate of 0.3 pmol/min/ml of medium did not affect the cells' size, but 0.4 pmol/min/ml significantly increased cell mass. The methodological improvements presented here allow for more uniform cultured cell yields and a more flexible environment for control of cell size and administration of signaling agents.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 04/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • Marià Alemany
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    ABSTRACT: Humans have evolved into efficient survivors, able to bridge periods of scarcity between times of food availability. Adaptation to these changes requires specific adaptations and the establishment of metabolic priorities. These include thermal homoeostasis, maintained tissue glucose availability and the selective utilization of energy substrates, depending on their availability. A consequence of these requirements is the necessary maintenance of body reserves of energy, largely triacylglycerols, controlled by an effective ponderostat system. Body triacylglycerol reserves are used to sustain most of the body’s energy needs in periods of scarcity. Protein, throughout evolution, has been difficult to obtain, and, as a consequence, it is not used as an energy substrate except under conditions of excess, but (also) as a source of glucose and energy. Under excess energy conditions (as found in many present-day diets), the finely tuned mechanisms to survive starvation are inadequate to eliminate this excess. Humans are essentially unprepared for sustained excess energy intake; thermogenesis, increased protein turnover, growth and lipid accretion help decrease the energy burden. However, in the long-term, excess lipid accumulation in adipose tissue elicits inflammation and immune system-derived responses that deeply affect the control of energy partition, including the ponderostat setting and the disposal of excess glucose and amino acids. These changes alter the function of white adipose tissue, muscle, liver and the intestine (including the microbiota), all subjected to a low-key inflammation condition that alters their function and elicits a number of associated diseases constituting metabolic syndrome. In summary, it is hypothesized that dietary plentifulness and the pre-established mechanisms to fight scarcity are both responsible for the development of metabolic syndrome, which can be thus defined as a disease of affluence.
    RSC Advances 01/2013; 3(6):1636-1651. · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Marià Alemany
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a widespread pathologic state that manifests as multiple intertwined diseases affecting the entire body. This review analyzes the contribution of adipose tissue inflammation to its development. The main factor in the appearance of MS is an excess of dietary energy (largely fats), eliciting insulin resistance and creating the problem of excess energy disposal. Under these conditions, amino acid catabolism is diminished, which indirectly alters the production of nitric oxide and affects blood flow regulation. The oxidation of nitric oxide to nitrite and nitrate affects microbiota composition and functions. Adipose tissue cannot incorporate excessive nutrients after cell enlargement and loss of function. Tissue damage is a form of aggression, and the response is proinflammatory cytokine release. Cytokines favor the massive penetration of immune system cells, such as macrophages, which unsuccessfully try to fight an elusive danger for which they are not prepared. The consequence is low-level maintenance of the inflammatory state, which affects endoplasmic reticulum function and the endothelial response to excess regulatory mechanisms affecting blood flow and substrate/oxygen supply. When inflammation becomes chronic, the pathologic consequences are disseminated throughout the body because unused substrates and signals from adipose tissue affect energy partitioning and organ function. This maintenance of an unbalanced state ultimately results in the establishment of MS and associated pathologies. New research should focus on identifying ways to disarm the inflammatory response of adipose tissue when the dangers of dietary excess have already been controlled.
    Nutrition research 01/2013; 33(1):1-11. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the metabolic syndrome, glucocorticoid activity is increased, but circulating levels show little change. Most of blood glucocorticoids are bound to corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG), which liver expression and circulating levels are higher in females than in males. Since blood hormones are also bound to blood cells, and the size of this compartment is considerable for androgens and estrogens, we analyzed whether sex or eating a cafeteria diet altered the compartmentation of corticosterone in rat blood. The main corticosterone compartment in rat blood is that specifically bound to plasma proteins, with smaller compartments bound to blood cells or free. Cafeteria diet increased the expression of liver CBG gene, binding plasma capacity and the proportion of blood cell-bound corticosterone. There were marked sex differences in blood corticosterone compartmentation in rats, which were unrelated to testosterone. The use of a monoclonal antibody ELISA and a polyclonal Western blot for plasma CBG compared with both specific plasma binding of corticosterone and CBG gene expression suggested the existence of different forms of CBG, with varying affinities for corticosterone in males and females, since ELISA data showed higher plasma CBG for males, but binding and Western blot analyses (plus liver gene expression) and higher physiological effectiveness for females. Good cross- reactivity to the antigen for polyclonal CBG antibody suggests that in all cases we were measuring CBG.The different immunoreactivity and binding affinity may help explain the marked sex-related differences in plasma hormone binding as sex-linked different proportions of CBG forms.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e57342. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oleoyl-estrone (OE) is a powerful slimming agent that is also present in plasma and adipose tissue, where it is synthesized. It acts through the formation of a derivative W. OE effects (and W levels) are proportional to the dose. OE reduces food intake but maintains energy expenditure (thermogenesis). The energy gap is fulfilled with adipose tissue fat, sparing body protein and maintaining glycemia (and glycogen) with lower insulin and leptin levels. OE (in fact W) acts through specific receptors, different from those of estrogen. OE increases cholesterol catabolism, reducing hypercholesterolemia in obese rats. The main metabolic effect on adipose tissue is lowering of lipid synthesis, maintaining unchanged the intracellular lipolytic processes; the imbalance favors the progressive loss of fat, which is largely used by the muscle. OE administration induces additive effects with other antiobesity agents, such as β(3) -adrenergic agonists, forcing a massive loss of lipid. Corticosteroids markedly limit OE action by altering the liver control of lipogenesis. OE also inhibits the action of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, decreasing the synthesis of β-estradiol and testosterone. Discontinuous treatment allows for maximal efficacy both in rats and humans. OE has the advantage that the loss of fat is maintained and does not require additional dietary limitations.
    Medicinal Research Reviews 11/2012; 32(6):1263-91. · 9.58 Impact Factor
  • Marià Alemany
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    ABSTRACT: Maintenance of blood flow rate is a critical factor for tissue oxygen and substrate supply. The potentially large mass of adipose tissue deeply influences the body distribution of blood flow. This is due to increased peripheral resistance in obesity and the role of this tissue as the ultimate destination of unused excess of dietary energy. However, adipose tissue cannot grow indefinitely, and the tissue must defend itself against the avalanche of nutrients provoking inordinate growth and inflammation. In the obese, large adipose tissue masses show lower blood flow, limiting the access of excess circulating substrates. Blood flow restriction is achieved by vasoconstriction, despite increased production of nitric oxide, the vasodilatation effects of which are overridden by catecholamines (and probably also by angiotensin II and endothelin). Decreased blood flow reduces the availability of oxygen, provoking massive glycolysis (hyperglycemic conditions), which results in the production of lactate, exported to the liver for processing. However, this produces local acidosis, which elicits the rapid dissociation of oxyhemoglobin, freeing bursts of oxygen in localized zones of the tissue. The excess of oxygen (and of nitric oxide) induces the production of reactive oxygen species, which deeply affect the endothelial, blood, and adipose cells, inducing oxidative and nitrosative damage and eliciting an increased immune response, which translates into inflammation. The result of the defense mechanism for adipose tissue, localized vasoconstriction, may thus help develop a more generalized pathologic response within the metabolic syndrome parameters, extending its effects to the whole body.
    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 04/2012; 52(10):2108-19. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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    Marià Alemany
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    ABSTRACT: Amino-N is preserved because of the scarcity and nutritional importance of protein. Excretion requires its conversion to ammonia, later incorporated into urea. Under conditions of excess dietary energy, the body cannot easily dispose of the excess amino-N against the evolutively adapted schemes that prevent its wastage; thus ammonia and glutamine formation (and urea excretion) are decreased. High lipid (and energy) availability limits the utilisation of glucose, and high glucose spares the production of ammonium from amino acids, limiting the synthesis of glutamine and its utilisation by the intestine and kidney. The amino acid composition of the diet affects the production of ammonium depending on its composition and the individual amino acid catabolic pathways. Surplus amino acids enhance protein synthesis and growth, and the synthesis of non-protein-N-containing compounds. But these outlets are not enough; consequently, less-conventional mechanisms are activated, such as increased synthesis of NO∙ followed by higher nitrite (and nitrate) excretion and changes in the microbiota. There is also a significant production of N(2) gas, through unknown mechanisms. Health consequences of amino-N surplus are difficult to fathom because of the sparse data available, but it can be speculated that the effects may be negative, largely because the fundamental N homeostasis is stretched out of normalcy, forcing the N removal through pathways unprepared for that task. The unreliable results of hyperproteic diets, and part of the dysregulation found in the metabolic syndrome may be an unwanted consequence of this N disposal conflict.
    Nutrition Research Reviews 02/2012; 25(1):18-28. · 5.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is generally assumed that steroid hormones are carried in the blood free and/or bound to plasma proteins. We investigated whether blood cells were also able to bind/carry sex-related hormones: estrone, estradiol, DHEA and testosterone. Wistar male and female rats were fed a cafeteria diet for 30 days, which induced overweight. The rats were fed the standard rat diet for 15 additional days to minimize the immediate effects of excess ingested energy. Controls were always kept on standard diet. After the rats were killed, their blood was used for 1) measuring plasma hormone levels, 2) determining the binding of labeled hormones to washed red blood cells (RBC), 3) incubating whole blood with labeled hormones and determining the distribution of label between plasma and packed cells, discounting the trapped plasma volume, 4) determining free plasma hormone using labeled hormones, both through membrane ultrafiltration and dextran-charcoal removal. The results were computed individually for each rat. Cells retained up to 32% estrone, and down to 10% of testosterone, with marked differences due to sex and diet (the latter only for estrogens, not for DHEA and testosterone). Sex and diet also affected the concentrations of all hormones, with no significant diet effects for estradiol and DHEA, but with considerable interaction between both factors. Binding to RBC was non-specific for all hormones. Estrogen distribution in plasma compartments was affected by sex and diet. In conclusion: a) there is a large non-specific RBC-carried compartment for estrone, estradiol, DHEA and testosterone deeply affected by sex; b) Prior exposure to a cafeteria (hyperlipidic) diet induced hormone distribution changes, affected by sex, which hint at sex-related structural differences in RBC membranes; c) We postulate that the RBC compartment may contribute to maintain free (i.e., fully active) sex hormone levels in a way similar to plasma proteins non-specific binding.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e34381. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Marià Alemany
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    ABSTRACT: The metabolic syndrome is basically a maturity-onset disease. Typically, its manifestations begin to flourish years after the initial dietary or environmental aggression began. Since most hormonal, metabolic, or defense responses are practically immediate, the procrastinated response do not seem justified. Only in childhood, the damages of the metabolic syndrome appear with minimal delay. Sex affects the incidence of the metabolic syndrome, but this is more an effect of timing than absolute gender differences, females holding better than males up to menopause, when the differences between sexes tend to disappear. The metabolic syndrome is related to an immune response, countered by a permanent increase in glucocorticoids, which keep the immune system at bay but also induce insulin resistance, alter the lipid metabolism, favor fat deposition, mobilize protein, and decrease androgen synthesis. Androgens limit the operation of glucocorticoids, which is also partly blocked by estrogens, since they decrease inflammation (which enhances glucocorticoid release). These facts suggest that the appearance of the metabolic syndrome symptoms depends on the strength (i.e., levels) of androgens and estrogens. The predominance of glucocorticoids and the full manifestation of the syndrome in men are favored by decreased androgen activity. Low androgens can be found in infancy, maturity, advanced age, or because of their inhibition by glucocorticoids (inflammation, stress, medical treatment). Estrogens decrease inflammation and reduce the glucocorticoid response. Low estrogen (infancy, menopause) again allow the predominance of glucocorticoids and the manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. It is postulated that the equilibrium between sex hormones and glucocorticoids may be a critical element in the timing of the manifestation of metabolic syndrome-related pathologies.
    Frontiers in Endocrinology 01/2012; 3:27.
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    Marià Alemany
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    ABSTRACT: After birth, the body shifts from glucose as primary energy substrate to milk-derived fats, with sugars from lactose taking a secondary place. At weaning, glucose recovers its primogeniture and dietary fat role decreases. In spite of human temporary adaptation to a high-fat (and sugars and protein) diet during lactation, the ability to thrive on this type of diet is lost irreversibly after weaning. We could not revert too the lactating period metabolic setting because of different proportions of brain/muscle metabolism in the total energy budget, lower thermogenesis needs and capabilities, and absence of significant growth in adults. A key reason for change was the limited availability of foods with high energy content at weaning and during the whole adult life of our ancestors, which physiological adaptations remain practically unchanged in our present-day bodies. Humans have evolved to survive with relatively poor diets interspersed by bouts of scarcity and abundance. Today diets in many societies are largely made up from choice foods, responding to our deeply ingrained desire for fats, protein, sugars, salt etc. Consequently our diets are not well adjusted to our physiological needs/adaptations but mainly to our tastes (another adaptation to periodic scarcity), and thus are rich in energy roughly comparable to milk. However, most adult humans cannot process the food ingested in excess because our cortical-derived craving overrides the mechanisms controlling appetite. This is produced not because we lack the biochemical mechanisms to use this energy, but because we are unprepared for excess, and wholly adapted to survive scarcity. The thrifty mechanisms compound the effects of excess nutrients and damage the control of energy metabolism, developing a pathologic state. As a consequence, an overflow of energy is generated and the disease of plenty develops.
    Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 07/2011; 9:101. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oleoyl-estrone (OE) is a powerful anti-obesity compound that decreases food intake, decreases insulin resistance and circulating cholesterol. OE stimulates a severe loss of body fat by decreasing adipose tissue lipid synthesis and maintaining lipolysis. Therefore, the body economy loses lipid energy because energy expenditure is maintained. This study analyses the discrepancy between OE effects and the distribution of labelled OE in plasma. Estrone radioimmunoassay of organic solvent plasma extracts of rats treated with OE showed the massive presence of acyl-estrone, but saponification did not release estrone, but containing similar unknown compound. Analysis of label distribution in plasma after oral gavages of (3)H-OE showed the presence of a more hydrophilic compound than OE or any estrogen as well as (3)H(2)O, formed from (3)H-OE in the acidic stomach medium. OE was not attached to a specific transporter in plasma. Through serum HPLC analysis we found W, a labelled derivative more hydrophilic than OE or estrone. The results were confirmed using (14)C-OE. HPLC-MS/MS studies showed that plasma OE levels were one order of magnitude lower than those of W. When liver cell cytosols from rats laden with (3)H-OE were incubated with nuclei from untreated rats, the OE-derived label (i.e., Ws) was found attached to nuclear DNA. Neither estradiol nor estrone interfered with its binding. W is a fairly hydrophilic compound of low molecular weight containing the estrone nucleus, but it is not an ester because saponification or esterases do not yield estrone as OE does. It is concluded that OE acts through its conversion to W, its active form; which binds to a nuclear receptor different from that of estrogen. The estimated W serum levels are proportional to the pharmacological OE effects in vivo. We postulate W as a new type of hormone that exerts the full range of in vivo effects thus far attributed to OE. The full identification of W is anticipated to open the way for the development of new OE-like anti-obesity drugs.
    The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 02/2011; 124(3-5):99-111. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    Marià Alemany
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    ABSTRACT: This review is focused on the fate of dietary glucose under conditions of chronically high energy (largely fat) intake, evolving into the metabolic syndrome. We are adapted to carbohydrate-rich diets similar to those of our ancestors. Glucose is the main energy staple, but fats are our main energy reserves. Starvation drastically reduces glucose availability, forcing the body to shift to fatty acids as main energy substrate, sparing glucose and amino acids. We are not prepared for excess dietary energy, our main defenses being decreased food intake and increased energy expenditure, largely enhanced metabolic activity and thermogenesis. High lipid availability is a powerful factor decreasing glucose and amino acid oxidation. Present-day diets are often hyperenergetic, high on lipids, with abundant protein and limited amounts of starchy carbohydrates. Dietary lipids favor their metabolic processing, saving glucose, which additionally spares amino acids. The glucose excess elicits hyperinsulinemia, which may derive, in the end, into insulin resistance. The available systems of energy disposal could not cope with the excess of substrates, since they are geared for saving not for spendthrift, which results in an unbearable overload of the storage mechanisms. Adipose tissue is the last energy sink, it has to store the energy that cannot be used otherwise. However, adipose tissue growth also has limits, and the excess of energy induces inflammation, helped by the ineffective intervention of the immune system. However, even under this acute situation, the excess of glucose remains, favoring its final conversion to fat. The sum of inflammatory signals and deranged substrate handling induce most of the metabolic syndrome traits: insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, liver steatosis, hyperlipidemia and their compounded combined effects. Thus, a maintained excess of energy in the diet may result in difficulties in the disposal of glucose, eliciting inflammation and the development of the metabolic syndrome.
    Nutrition & Metabolism 01/2011; 8(1):74. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In spite of their shared decrease of insulin resistance, oleoyl-estrone [OE], and rosiglitazone show diverging effects on body fat mass and distribution. In this study, we studied whether their effects on white adipose tissue [WAT] were due to a shared or synergistic mechanism of action. Combined effects of OE and rosiglitazone 10-day treatment on WAT lipid, cell mass/number, and the expression of key lipid metabolism and regulatory agents were studied using an adult male overweight rat model. OE decreased WAT cell mass and lipids, parameters not changed by rosiglitazone. The effects of OE and--specially--rosiglitazone were more marked in small-cell WAT (i.e., mesenteric and subcutaneous sites) than in larger cell WAT (retroperitoneal and perigonadal). OE decreased the expressions in WAT of lipogenic enzymes, lipoprotein lipase, PPARs, and SREBP1c, effects symmetrically reversed by rosiglitazone. OE showed no effects on hormone-sensitive lipase expression, which was increased by rosiglitazone. OE strongly inhibited WAT lipogenesis, leaving lipolysis unchanged, thus unbalancing (and helping mobilize) WAT lipid stores. Rosiglitazone acted practically only on small-cell WAT sites, where it favored lipogenesis, but also stimulated lipolysis, which resulted in limited changes in lipid stores. Combination of OE and rosiglitazone induced less fat loss than OE alone.
    Archiv für Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 03/2010; 381(4):339-48. · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The combination of oleoyl-estrone (OE) and a selective beta3-adrenergic agonist (B3A; CL316,243) treatment in rats results in a profound and rapid wasting of body reserves (lipid). In the present study we investigated the effect of OE (oral gavage) and/or B3A (subcutaneous constant infusion) administration for 10 days to overweight male rats, compared with controls, on three distinct white adipose tissue (WAT) sites: subcutaneous inguinal, retroperitoneal and epididymal. Tissue weight, DNA (and, from these values cellularity), cAMP content and the expression of several key energy handling metabolism and control genes were analyzed and computed in relation to the whole site mass. Both OE and B3A significantly decreased WAT mass, with no loss of DNA (cell numbers). OE decreased and B3A increased cAMP. Gene expression patterns were markedly different for OE and B3A. OE tended to decrease expression of most genes studied, with no changes (versus controls) of lipolytic but decrease of lipogenic enzyme genes. The effects of B3A were widely different, with a generalized increase in the expression of most genes, including the adrenergic receptors, and, especially the uncoupling protein UCP1. OE and B3A, elicit widely different responses in WAT gene expression, end producing similar effects, such as shrinking of WAT, loss of fat, maintenance of cell numbers. OE acted essentially on the balance of lipolysis-lipogenesis and the blocking of the uptake of substrates; its decrease of synthesis favouring lipolysis. B3A induced a shotgun increase in the expression of most regulatory systems in the adipocyte, an effect that in the end favoured again the loss of lipid; this barely selective increase probably produces inefficiency, which coupled with the increase in UCP1 expression may help WAT to waste energy through thermogenesis. There were considerable differences in the responses of the three WAT sites. OE in general lowered gene expression and stealthily induced a substrate imbalance. B3A increasing the expression of most genes enhanced energy waste through inefficiency rather than through specific pathway activation. There was not a synergistic effect between OE and B3A in WAT, but their combined action increased WAT energy waste.
    Nutrition & Metabolism 02/2010; 7:15. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oleoyl-estrone (OE) induces a marked loss of body fat in rats by maintaining energy expenditure, body protein and blood glucose despite decreasing food intake. OE increases glucocorticoids, but they arrest OE lipid-mobilization. We studied here whether OE induces a direct effect on adrenal glands function as part of this feedback regulation. Dietary overweight male rats were given oral 10 nmol/g OE gavages for ten days. A group (PF) of pair-fed to OE rats, and controls received vehicle-only gavages. OE rats lost slightly more body than PF, but had larger adrenal glands. Tissue corticosterone levels, and gene expressions for glucocorticoid-synthesizing enzymes were increased in OE versus controls and PF; thus, we assumed that adrenal growth affected essentially its cortex since OE also lowered the expression of the medullar catecholamine synthesis enzyme genes. Serum corticosterone was higher in PF than in OE and controls, but liver expression of corticosteroid-disposing steroid 5α-reductase was 3× larger in OE than PF and controls. Circulating glucocorticoids changed little under OE, in spite of higher adrenal gland and liver content, hinting at modulation of glucocorticoid turnover as instrumental in their purported increased activity. In conclusion, we have observed that OE considerable enhanced the expression of the genes controlling the synthesis of glucocorticoids from cholesterol in the rat and increasing the adrenal glands’ corticosterone, size and cellularity, but also the liver disposal of corticosteroids, suggesting that OE increases corticosterone synthesis and degradation (i.e. serum turnover), a process not driven by limited energy availability but directly related to the administration of OE.
    Steroids 01/2010; · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Since oleoyl-estrone (OE) decreases circulating cholesterol in the rat, we analyzed the response to OE treatment of hepatic gene expressions related with cholesterol metabolism.Methods: Male overweight rats treated with oral OE (10 nmol/g daily) were compared with a pair-fed (PF) group and controls fed ad libitum. Serum parameters and liver lipid and cholesterol contents were measured. Total tissue RNA was used for real-time PCR analysis of the gene expression of enzymes and regulatory factors of liver cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol-7α-hydroxylase and ABC transporter A1 protein levels were estimated by Western blot.Results: Pair-feeding and OE treatment reduced the expression of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA synthase. OE increased the expression of the LDL receptor. Cholesterol disposal, through bile acids synthesis, was increased in PF and more markedly in OE rats. Gene expressions of the ABC transporter A1 and apolipoproteins A1 and E were increased in OE rats. The expression of liver X receptor was lower in PF than in OE and controls.Conclusion: The rapid disappearance of circulating cholesterol elicited by OE is consequence of: (1) decreased mevalonate pathway activity, (2) a higher expression of the LDL-receptor, and (3) the activation of the oxidation of cholesterol to form bile acids as a consequence of the higher cholesterol concentrations found in liver, also affected by energy availability.
    Obesity Research & Clinical Practice 01/2010; 4(1):e1-e82. · 0.51 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
621.35 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1975–2013
    • University of Barcelona
      • • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Facultad de Biología)
      • • Departament de Nutrició i Bromatologia
      • • Facultad de Biología
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 1999
    • Hospital Universitari de Girona Dr. Josep Trueta
      Girona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 1986–1995
    • University of the Balearic Islands
      • • Departamento de Biología Fundamental y Ciencias de la Salud
      • • Department of Chemistry
      Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • 1994
    • Universitat Rovira i Virgili
      • Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
      Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain