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Martins A.D.,University of Porto | Sa R.,University of Porto | Monteiro M.P.,University of Porto | Barros A.,Center for Reproductive Genetics Professor Alberto Barros | And 8 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology | Year: 2016

Ghrelin is a growth hormone-releasing peptide that has been suggested to interfere with spermatogenesis, though the underling mechanisms remain unknown. We studied the effect of ghrelin in human Sertoli cells (hSCs) metabolic phenotype. For that, hSCs were exposed to increasing concentrations of ghrelin (20, 100 and 500 pM) mimicking the levels reported in obese, normal weight, and severely undernourished individuals. The metabolite production/consumption was determined. The protein levels of key glycolysis-related transporters and enzymes were assessed. The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was measured. Mitochondrial complexes protein levels and mitochondria membrane potential were also measured. We showed that hSCs express the growth hormone secretagogue receptor. At the concentration present in the plasma of normal weight men, ghrelin caused a decrease of glucose consumption and mitochondrial membrane potential in hSCs, though LDH activity and lactate production remained unchanged, illustrating an alteration of glycolytic flux efficiency. Exposure of hSCs to levels of ghrelin found in the plasma of severely undernourished individuals decreased pyruvate consumption and mitochondrial complex III protein expression. All concentrations of ghrelin decreased alanine and acetate production by hSCs. Notably, the effects of ghrelin levels found in severely undernourished individuals were more pronounced in hSCs metabolic phenotype highlighting the importance of a proper eating behavior to maintain male reproductive potential. In conclusion, ghrelin acts as an energy status sensor for hSCs in a dose-dependent manner, showing an inverse association with the production of lactate, thus controlling the nutritional support of spermatogenesis. © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


Meneses M.J.,University of Porto | Meneses M.J.,University of Beira Interior | Bernardino R.L.,University of Porto | Sa R.,University of Porto | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology | Year: 2016

Pioglitazone is a synthetic agonist for the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recently we reported that antidiabetic drugs regulate the nutritional support of spermatogenesis by Sertoli cells. Herein, we investigate the effects of pioglitazone on human Sertoli cells metabolism. Human Sertoli cells were cultured in the presence of pioglitazone (1, 10, 100 μM). Protein levels of phosphofructokinase 1, lactate dehydrogenase, hexokinase, glucose transporters (GLUT1, GLUT2, GLUT3), monocarboxylate transporter 4 and oxidative phosphorylation complexes were determined by Western blot. Lactate dehydrogenase and alanine aminotransferase activity were assessed and metabolite production and consumption determined by proton nuclear magnetic resonance. Mitochondrial membrane potential was also determined. Glucose consumption more than doubled in human Sertoli cells stimulated with pioglitazone 100 μM. Mitochondrial complex II protein levels increased 50% with exposure to pioglitazone (100 μM) in human Sertoli cells, though mitochondrial membrane potential was decreased by 32%. The pharmacological concentration of pioglitazone (10 μM) almost doubled lactate production and established crucial correlations among key intervenient of glycolysis. Moreover, in the same concentration, alanine aminotransferase decreased more than 80%. Our results suggest that pioglitazone (10 μM) increases the efficiency of the glycolytic flux and lactate production by human Sertoli cells, which is essential to sustain and preserve the spermatogenic event. Thus, pioglitazone may improve male fertility and thus, be considered a suitable antidiabetic drug for men in reproductive age. © 2016


Rato L.,University of Beira Interior | Meneses M.J.,University of Porto | Silva B.M.,University of Beira Interior | Sousa M.,University of Porto | And 3 more authors.
Histology and Histopathology | Year: 2016

Sertoli cells (SCs) play a key role in spermatogenesis by providing the physical support for developing germ cells and ensuring them the appropriate nutrients, energy sources, hormones, and growth factors. The control of SCs metabolism has been in the spotlight for reproductive biologists, since it may be crucial to determine germ cells’ fate. Indeed, the maintenance of spermatogenesis is highly dependent on the metabolic cooperation established between SCs and germ cells, though this event has been overlooked. It depends on the orchestration of various metabolic pathways and an intricate network of signals. Several factors and/or hormones modulate the metabolic activity of SCs, which are major targets for the hormonal signalling that regulates spermatogenesis. Any alteration in the regulation of these cells’ metabolic behaviour may compromise the normal development of spermatogenesis and consequently, male fertility. In this context, SC metabolism arises as a key regulation point for spermatogenesis. Herein, we present an up-to-date overview on the impact of hormones and factors that modulate SC metabolism, with special focus on glycolytic metabolism, highlighting their relevance in determining male reproductive potential. © 2016, Histology and Histopathology. All right reserved.


Meneses M.J.,University of Beira Interior | Meneses M.J.,University of Porto | Silva B.M.,University of Beira Interior | Sousa M.,University of Porto | And 5 more authors.
Current Pharmaceutical Design | Year: 2015

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases and has been a leading cause of death in the last decades. Thus, methods to detect, prevent or delay this disease and its co-morbidities have long been a matter of discussion. Nowadays, DM patients, particularly those suffering with type 2 DM, are advised to alter their diet and physical exercise regimens and then proceed progressively from monotherapy, dual therapy, and multi-agent therapy to insulin administration, as the disease becomes more severe. Although progresses have been made, the pursuit for the “perfect” antidiabetic drug still continues. The complexity of DM and its impact on whole body homeodynamics are two of the main reasons why there is not yet such a drug. Moreover, the molecular mechanisms by which DM can be controlled are still under an intense debate. As the associated risks, disadvantages, side effects and mechanisms of action vary from drug to drug, the choice of the most suitable therapy needs to be thoroughly investigated. Herein we propose to discuss the different classes of antidiabetic drugs available, their applications and mechanisms of action, particularly those of the newer and/or most widely prescribed classes. A special emphasis will be made on their effects on cellular metabolism, since these drugs affect those pathways in several cellular systems and organs, promoting metabolic alterations responsible for either deleterious or beneficial effects. This is a crucial property that needs to be carefully investigated when prescribing an antidiabetic. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers.


PubMed | University of Porto, University of Beira Interior and Center for Reproductive Genetics Professor Alberto Barros
Type: | Journal: The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology | Year: 2016

Pioglitazone is a synthetic agonist for the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recently we reported that antidiabetic drugs regulate the nutritional support of spermatogenesis by Sertoli cells. Herein, we investigate the effects of pioglitazone on human Sertoli cells metabolism. Human Sertoli cells were cultured in the presence of pioglitazone (1, 10, 100M). Protein levels of phosphofructokinase 1, lactate dehydrogenase, hexokinase, glucose transporters (GLUT1, GLUT2, GLUT3), monocarboxylate transporter 4 and oxidative phosphorylation complexes were determined by Western blot. Lactate dehydrogenase and alanine aminotransferase activity were assessed and metabolite production and consumption determined by proton nuclear magnetic resonance. Mitochondrial membrane potential was also determined. Glucose consumption more than doubled in human Sertoli cells stimulated with pioglitazone 100M. Mitochondrial complex II protein levels increased 50% with exposure to pioglitazone (100M) in human Sertoli cells, though mitochondrial membrane potential was decreased by 32%. The pharmacological concentration of pioglitazone (10M) almost doubled lactate production and established crucial correlations among key intervenient of glycolysis. Moreover, in the same concentration, alanine aminotransferase decreased more than 80%. Our results suggest that pioglitazone (10M) increases the efficiency of the glycolytic flux and lactate production by human Sertoli cells, which is essential to sustain and preserve the spermatogenic event. Thus, pioglitazone may improve male fertility and thus, be considered a suitable antidiabetic drug for men in reproductive age.

Loading Center for Reproductive Genetics Professor Alberto Barros collaborators
Loading Center for Reproductive Genetics Professor Alberto Barros collaborators