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Blazquez E.,Complutense University of Madrid | Blazquez E.,The Center for Biomedical Research in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders | Blazquez E.,Institute Investigacion Sanitaria del Hospital Clinico San Carlos IdISSC | Velazquez E.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 8 more authors.
Frontiers in Endocrinology | Year: 2014

Although the brain has been considered an insulin-insensitive organ, recent reports on the location of insulin and its receptors in the brain have introduced new ways of considering this hormone responsible for several functions. The origin of insulin in the brain has been explained from peripheral or central sources, or both. Regardless of whether insulin is of peripheral origin or produced in the brain, this hormone may act through its own receptors present in the brain. The molecular events through which insulin functions in the brain are the same as those operating in the periphery. However, certain insulin actions are different in the central nervous system, such as hormone-induced glucose uptake due to a low insulin-sensitive GLUT-4 activity, and because of the predominant presence of GLUT-1 and GLUT-3. In addition, insulin in the brain contributes to the control of nutrient homeostasis, reproduction, cognition, and memory, as well as to neurotrophic, neuromodulatory, and neuroprotective effects. Alterations of these functional activities may contribute to the manifestation of several clinical entities, such as central insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). A close association between T2DM and AD has been reported, to the extent that AD is twice more frequent in diabetic patients, and some authors have proposed the name "type 3 diabetes" for this association. There are links between AD and T2DM through mitochondrial alterations and oxidative stress, altered energy and glucose metabolism, cholesterol modifications, dysfunctional protein O-GlcNAcylation, formation of amyloid plaques, altered Aß metabolism, and tau hyperphosphorylation. Advances in the knowledge of preclinical AD and T2DM may be a major stimulus for the development of treatment for preventing the pathogenic events of these disorders, mainly those focused on reducing brain insulin resistance, which is seems to be a common ground for both pathological entities. © 2014 Blázquez, Velázquez, Hurtado-Carneiro and Ruiz-Albusac. Source

Roncero I.,The Center for Biomedical Research in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders | Roncero I.,Complutense University of Madrid | Alvarez E.,The Center for Biomedical Research in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders | Alvarez E.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Insulin receptor substrate (IRS) proteins play important roles in hepatic nutrient homeostasis. Since glucokinase (GK) and glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP) function as key glucose sensors, we have investigated the expression of GK and GKRP in liver of Irs-2 deficient mice and Irs2(-/-) mice where Irs2 was reintroduced specifically into pancreatic β-cells [RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-)]. We observed that liver GK activity was significantly lower (p<0.0001) in IRS-2(-/-) mice. However, in RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-) mice, GK activity was similar to the values observed in wild-type animals. GK activity in hypothalamus was not altered in IRS-2(-/-) mice. GK and GKRP mRNA levels in liver of IRS-2(-/-) were significantly lower, whereas in RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-) mice, both GK and GKRP mRNAs levels were comparable to wild-type animals. At the protein level, the liver content of GK was reduced in IRS-2(-/-) mice as compared with controls, although GKRP levels were similar between these experimental models. Both GK and GKRP levels were lower in RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-) mice. These results suggest that IRS-2 signalling is important for maintaining the activity of liver GK. Moreover, the differences between liver and brain GK may be explained by the fact that expression of hepatic, but not brain, GK is controlled by insulin. GK activity was restored by the β-cell compensation in the RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2 mice. Interestingly, GK and GKRP protein expression remained low in RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-) mice, perhaps reflecting different mRNA half-lives or alterations in the process of translation and post-translational regulation. © 2013 Roncero et al. Source

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