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Articles by P Li
Total Records ( 10 ) for P Li
  M Saberi , D Bjelica , S Schenk , T Imamura , G Bandyopadhyay , P Li , V Jadhar , C Vargeese , W Wang , K Bowman , Y Zhang , B Polisky and J. M. Olefsky

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.

  M Lu , D Patsouris , P Li , J Flores Riveros , J. M Frincke , S Watkins , S Schenk and J. M. Olefsky

Tissue macrophage inflammatory pathways contribute to obesity-associated insulin resistance. Here, we have examined the efficacy and mechanisms of action of a novel anti-inflammatory compound (HE3286) in vitro and in vivo. In primary murine macrophages, HE3286 attenuates LPS- and TNF-stimulated inflammation. In Zucker diabetic fatty rats, inflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression was downregulated in liver and adipose tissue by HE3286 treatment, as was macrophage infiltration into adipose tissue. In line with reduced inflammation, HE3286 treatment normalized fasting and fed glucose levels, improved glucose tolerance, and enhanced skeletal muscle and liver insulin sensitivity, as assessed by hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp studies. In phase 2 clinical trials, HE3286 treatment led to an enhancement in insulin sensitivity in humans. Gluconeogenic capacity was also reduced by HE3286 treatment, as evidenced by a reduced glycemic response during pyruvate tolerance tests and decreased basal hepatic glucose production (HGP) rates. Since serum levels of gluconeogenic substrates were decreased by HE3286, it indicates that the reduction of both intrinsic gluconeogenic capacity and substrate availability contributes to the decrease in HGP. Lipidomic analysis revealed that HE3286 treatment reduced liver cholesterol and triglyceride content, leading to a feedback elevation of LDL receptor and HMG-CoA reductase expression. Accordingly, HE3286 treatment markedly decreased total serum cholesterol. In conclusion, HE3286 is a novel anti-inflammatory compound, which displays both glucose-lowering and cholesterol-lowering effects.

  P Li , R Shibata , S Maruyama , M Kondo , K Ohashi , N Ouchi and T. Murohara

Recent clinical trials demonstrated that PPAR agonist fenofibrate reduces cardiovascular events, including limb amputation in people with type 2 diabetes. Here, we investigated whether fenofibrate modulates the revascularization process in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia. Treatment with fenofibrate led to acceleration of revascularization of ischemic hindlimb relative to the contralatereal limb in wild-type (WT) mice, as measured by laser Doppler blood flow and capillary density analyses. Treatment of WT mice with fenofibrate increased the serum levels of adiponectin, which has protective actions on the vasculature. Of importance, fenofibrate had no effects on the revascularization in ischemic limbs of adiponectin-deficient (APN-KO) mice. Fenofibrate stimulated the phosphorylation of AMPK and eNOS in the ischemic muscles in WT mice but not in APN-KO mice. AMPK inhibitor compound C suppressed fenofibrate-induced increase in limb perfusion and AMPK phosphorylation in ischemic muscle in WT mice without affecting adiponectin levels. NOS inhibitor l-NAME also blocked the increased blood flow of ischemic limbs in fenofibrate-treated WT mice. Our observations suggest that fenofibrate could promote revascularization in response to ischemia through adiponectin-dependent AMPK signaling.

  P Li , J Chen and P. Marriott

Even simple examples of finite mixture models can fail to fulfil the regularity conditions that are routinely assumed in standard parametric inference problems. Many methods have been investigated for testing for homogeneity in finite mixture models, for example, but all rely on regularity conditions including the finiteness of the Fisher information and the space of the mixing parameter being a compact subset of some Euclidean space. Very simple examples where such assumptions fail include mixtures of two geometric distributions and two exponential distributions, and, more generally, mixture models in scale distribution families. To overcome these difficulties, we propose and study an em-test statistic, which has a simple limiting distribution for examples in this paper. Simulations show that the em-test has accurate Type I errors and is more efficient than existing methods when they are applicable. A real example is included.

  J. J Kim , P Li , J Huntley , J. P Chang , K. C Arden and J. M. Olefsky

Forkhead box O (FoxO) transcription factors represent evolutionarily conserved targets of insulin signaling, regulating metabolism and cellular differentiation in response to changes in nutrient availability. Although the FoxO1 isoform is known to play a key role in adipogenesis, its physiological role in differentiated adipose tissue remains unclear.


In this study, we analyzed the phenotype of FoxO1 haploinsufficient mice to investigate the role of FoxO1 in high-fat diet–induced obesity and adipose tissue metabolism.


We showed that reduced FoxO1 expression protects mice against obesity-related insulin resistance with marked improvement not only in hepatic insulin sensitivity but also in skeletal muscle insulin action. FoxO1 haploinsufficiency also resulted in increased peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR) gene expression in adipose tissue, with enhanced expression of PPAR target genes known to influence metabolism. Moreover, treatment of mice with the PPAR agonist rosiglitazone caused a greater improvement in in vivo insulin sensitivity in FoxO1 haploinsufficient animals, including reductions in circulating proinflammatory cytokines.


These findings indicate that FoxO1 proteins negatively regulate insulin action and that their effect may be explained, at least in part, by inhibition of PPAR function.

  S. C Tjen A Looi , P Li and J. C. Longhurst

A long-loop pathway, involving the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG), and the rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM), is essential in electroacupuncture (EA) attenuation of sympathoexcitatory cardiovascular reflex responses. The ARC provides excitatory input to the vlPAG, which, in turn, inhibits neuronal activity in the rVLM. Although previous studies have shown that endocannabinoid CB1 receptor activation modulates -aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in the dorsolateral PAG in stress-induced analgesia, an important role for endocannabinoids in the vlPAG has not yet been observed. We recently have shown (Fu LW, Longhurst JC. J Appl Physiol; doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.91648.2008) that EA reduces the local vlPAG concentration of GABA, but not glutamate, as measured with high-performance liquid chromatography from extracellular samples collected by microdialysis. We, therefore, hypothesized that, during EA, endocannabinoids, acting through CB1 receptors, presynaptically inhibit GABA release to disinhibit the vlPAG and ultimately modulate excitatory reflex blood pressure responses. Rats were anesthetized, ventilated, and instrumented to measure heart rate and blood pressure. Gastric distention-induced blood pressure responses of 18 ± 5 mmHg were reduced to 6 ± 1 mmHg by 30 min of low-current, low-frequency EA applied bilaterally at pericardial P 5–6 acupoints overlying the median nerves. Like EA, microinjection of the fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor URB597 (0.1 nmol, 50 nl) into the vlPAG to increase endocannabinoids locally reduced the gastric distention cardiovascular reflex response from 21 ± 5 to 3 ± 4 mmHg. This inhibition was reversed by pretreatment with the GABAA antagonist gabazine (27 mM, 50 nl), suggesting that endocannabinoids exert their action through a GABAergic receptor mechanism in the vlPAG. The EA-related inhibition from 18 ± 3 to 8 ± 2 mmHg was reversed to 14 ± 2 mmHg by microinjection of the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (2 nmol, 50 nl) into the vlPAG. Pretreatment with gabazine eliminated reversal following CB1-receptor blockade. Thus EA releases endocannabinoids and activates presynaptic CB1 receptors to inhibit GABA release in the vlPAG. Reduction of GABA release disinhibits vlPAG cells, which, in turn, modulate the activity of rVLM neurons to attenuate the sympathoexcitatory reflex responses.

  M Lu , P Li , J Pferdekamper , W Fan , M Saberi , S Schenk and J. M. Olefsky

Recent findings denote an important contribution of macrophage inflammatory pathways in causing obesity-related insulin resistance. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is activated in proinflammatory macrophages and modestly elevated in insulin-responsive tissues. Although the benefits of systemic iNOS inhibition in insulin-resistant models have been demonstrated, the role of macrophage iNOS in metabolic disorders is not clear. In the current work, we used bone marrow transplantation (BMT) to generate mice with myeloid iNOS deficiency [iNOS BMT knockout (KO)]. Interestingly, disruption of iNOS in myeloid cells did not protect mice from high-fat diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. When mice were treated with the iNOS inhibitor, N6-(1-Iminoethyl)-L-lysine hydrochloride (L-NIL), we observed a significant and comparable improvement of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in both wild-type and iNOS BMT KO mice. We further demonstrated that absence of iNOS in primary macrophages did not affect acute TLR4 signaling pathways and had only a modest and mixed effect on inflammatory gene expression. With respect to TNF treatment, iNOS KO macrophages showed, if anything, a greater inflammatory response. In summary, we conclude that iNOS inhibition in tissues other than myeloid cells is responsible for the beneficial effects in obesity/insulin resistance.

  L Lu , P Li , C Yang , T Kurth , M Misale , M Skelton , C Moreno , R. J Roman , A. S Greene , H. J Jacob , J Lazar , M Liang and A. W. Cowley

Chromosome 13 consomic and congenic rat strains were analyzed to investigate the pattern of genomic pathway utilization involved in protection against salt-sensitive hypertension and renal injury. Introgression of the entire Brown-Norway chromosome 13 (consomic SS-13BN) or nonoverlapping segments of this chromosome (congenic strains, 16 Mbp in D13Rat151–D13Rat197 or 14 Mbp in D13Rat111–D13Got22) into the genome of the Dahl salt-sensitive rat attenuated salt-induced hypertension and proteinuria. mRNA abundance profiles in the renal cortex and the renal medulla from rats receiving 0.4% or 8% NaCl diets revealed two important features of pathway recruitment in these rat strains. First, the two congenic strains shared alterations in several pathways compared with Dahl salt-sensitive rats, despite the fact that the genomic segments introgressed in the two congenic strains did not overlap. Second, even though the genomic segment introgressed in each congenic strain was a part of the chromosome introgressed in the consomic strain, pathways altered in each congenic strain were not simply a subset of those altered in the consomic. Supporting the relevance of the mRNA data, differential expression of oxidative stress-related genes among the four strains of rats was associated with differences in urinary excretion of lipid peroxidation products. The findings suggest that different genetic alterations might converge to influence shared pathways in protection from hypertension, and that, depending on the genomic context, the same genetic alteration might diverge to affect different pathways.

  T Geng , P Li , M Okutsu , X Yin , J Kwek , M Zhang and Z. Yan

Endurance exercise stimulates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator-1 (PGC-1) expression in skeletal muscle, and forced expression of PGC-1 changes muscle metabolism and exercise capacity in mice. However, it is unclear if PGC-1 is indispensible for endurance exercise-induced metabolic and contractile adaptations in skeletal muscle. In this study, we showed that endurance exercise-induced expression of mitochondrial enzymes (cytochrome oxidase IV and cytochrome c) and increases of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1, CD31)-positive endothelial cells in skeletal muscle, but not IIb-to-IIa fiber-type transformation, were significantly attenuated in muscle-specific Pgc-1 knockout mice. Interestingly, voluntary running effectively restored the compromised mitochondrial integrity and superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) protein expression in skeletal muscle in Pgc-1 knockout mice. Thus, PGC-1 plays a functional role in endurance exercise-induced mitochondrial biogenesis and angiogenesis, but not IIb-to-IIa fiber-type transformation in mouse skeletal muscle, and the improvement of mitochondrial morphology and antioxidant defense in response to endurance exercise may occur independently of PGC-1 function. We conclude that PGC-1 is required for complete skeletal muscle adaptations induced by endurance exercise in mice.

  J Nolting , C Daniel , S Reuter , C Stuelten , P Li , H Sucov , B. G Kim , J. J Letterio , K Kretschmer , H. J Kim and H. von Boehmer

It has been reported that retinoic acid (RA) enhances regulatory T (T reg) cell conversion by inhibiting the secretion of cytokines that interfere with conversion. This report shows that these conclusions provide a partial explanation at best. First, RA not only interfered with cytokine secretion but also with the ability of these cytokines to inhibit T reg cell conversion of naive T cells. Furthermore, RA enhanced conversion even in the absence of inhibitory cytokines. The latter effect depended on the RA receptor (RAR) but did not require Smad3, despite the fact that RA enhanced Smad3 expression. The RAR1 isoform was not essential for RA-dependent enhancement of transforming growth factor β–driven conversion, suggesting that conversion can also be mediated by RAR2. Interleukin (IL)-6 strongly reduced RAR expression levels such that a deficiency of the predominant RAR1 isoform leaves too little RAR2 for RA to inhibit the generation of Th17 cells in the presence of IL-6.

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