Scientific publications

The ghrelin O-acyltransferase-ghrelin system reduces TNF-α-induced apoptosis and autophagy in human visceral adipocytes

Aug 7, 2012 | Magazine: Diabetologia

Rodríguez A, Gómez-Ambrosi J, Catalán V, Rotellar F, Valentí V, Silva C, Mugueta C, Pulido MR, Vázquez R, Salvador J, Malagón MM, Colina I, Frühbeck G.
Metabolic Research Laboratory, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

Proinflammatory and proapoptotic cytokines such as TNF-α are upregulated in human obesity. We evaluated the association between ghrelin isoforms (acylated and desacyl ghrelin) and TNF-α in obesity and obesity-associated type 2 diabetes, as well as the potential role of ghrelin in the control of apoptosis and autophagy in human adipocytes.

Plasma concentrations of the ghrelin isoforms and TNF-α were measured in 194 participants. Ghrelin and ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) levels were analysed by western-blot, immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR in 53 biopsies of human omental adipose tissue. We also determined the effect of acylated and desacyl ghrelin (10 to 1,000 pmol/l) on TNF-α-induced apoptosis and autophagy-related molecules in omental adipocytes.

Circulating concentrations of acylated ghrelin and TNF-α were increased, whereas desacyl ghrelin levels were decreased in obesity-associated type 2 diabetes. Ghrelin and GOAT were produced in omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Visceral adipose tissue from obese patients with type 2 diabetes showed higher levels of GOAT, increased adipocyte apoptosis and increased expression of the autophagy-related genes ATG5, BECN1 and ATG7. In differentiating human omental adipocytes, incubation with acylated and desacyl ghrelin reduced TNF-α-induced activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3, and cell death. In addition, acylated ghrelin reduced the basal expression of the autophagy-related genes ATG5 and ATG7, while desacyl ghrelin inhibited the TNF-α-induced increase of ATG5, BECN1 and ATG7 expression.

Apoptosis and autophagy are upregulated in human visceral adipose tissue of patients with type 2 diabetes. Acylated and desacyl ghrelin reduce TNF-α-induced apoptosis and autophagy in human visceral adipocytes.

CITATION  2012 Aug 7