This article traces the history of peer review of scientific publications, plotting the development of the process from its inception to its present-day application. We discuss the merits of peer review and its weaknesses, both perceived and real, as well as the practicalities of several major proposed changes to the system. It is our hope that readers will gain a better appreciation of the complexities of the process and, when serving as reviewers themselves, will do so in a manner that will enhance the utility of the exercise. We also propose the development of an international on-line training program for accreditation of potential referees.
Fish oils (FOs) have anti-inflammatory effects and lower serum triglycerides. This study examined adipose and muscle inflammatory markers after treatment of humans with FOs and measured the effects of ω-3 fatty acids on adipocytes and macrophages in vitro. Insulin-resistant, nondiabetic subjects were treated with Omega-3-Acid Ethyl Esters (4 g/day) or placebo for 12 weeks. Plasma macrophage chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) levels were reduced by FO, but the levels of other cytokines were unchanged. The adipose (but not muscle) of FO-treated subjects demonstrated a decrease in macrophages, a decrease in MCP-1, and an increase in capillaries, and subjects with the most macrophages demonstrated the greatest response to treatment. Adipose and muscle ω-3 fatty acid content increased after treatment; however, there was no change in insulin sensitivity or adiponectin. In vitro, M1-polarized macrophages expressed high levels of MCP-1. The addition of ω-3 fatty acids reduced MCP-1 expression with no effect on TNF-α. In addition, ω-3 fatty acids suppressed the upregulation of adipocyte MCP-1 that occurred when adipocytes were cocultured with macrophages. Thus, FO reduced adipose macrophages, increased capillaries, and reduced MCP-1 expression in insulin-resistant humans and in macrophages and adipocytes in vitro; however, there was no measureable effect on insulin sensitivity.
Mounting evidence has established that diet-induced obesity (DIO) is associated with deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory. The bulk of research studies dealing with this topic have utilized rats fed a high-fat diet as an experimental model. To date, there has been a paucity of research studies that have established whether the memory deficits exhibited in DIO rats can be recapitulated in mice. Moreover, the majority of experiments that have evaluated memory performance in rodent models of DIO have utilized memory tests that are essentially aversive in nature (i.e., Morris water maze). The current study sought to fill an empirical void by determining if mice maintained on a high-fat diet exhibit deficits in two non-aversive memory paradigms: novel object recognition (NOR) and object location memory (OLM). Here we report that mice fed a high-fat diet over 23 weeks exhibit intact NOR, albeit a marked impairment in hippocampus-dependent OLM. We also determined the existence of corresponding aberrations in gene expression within the hippocampus of DIO mice. DIO mice exhibited significant reductions in both SIRT1 and PP1 mRNA within the hippocampus. Our data suggest that mice maintained on a high-fat diet present with impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial memory and a corresponding alteration in the expression of genes that have been implicated in memory consolidation.
Progressive resistance exercise training (PRT) is the most effective known intervention for combating aging skeletal muscle atrophy. However, the hypertrophic response to PRT is variable, and this may be due to muscle inflammation susceptibility. Metformin reduces inflammation, so we hypothesized that metformin would augment the muscle response to PRT in healthy women and men aged 65 and older. In a randomized, double‐blind trial, participants received 1,700 mg/day metformin (N = 46) or placebo (N = 48) throughout the study, and all subjects performed 14 weeks of supervised PRT. Although responses to PRT varied, placebo gained more lean body mass (p = .003) and thigh muscle mass (p < .001) than metformin. CT scan showed that increases in thigh muscle area (p = .005) and density (p = .020) were greater in placebo versus metformin. There was a trend for blunted strength gains in metformin that did not reach statistical significance. Analyses of vastus lateralis muscle biopsies showed that metformin did not affect fiber hypertrophy, or increases in satellite cell or macrophage abundance with PRT. However, placebo had decreased type I fiber percentage while metformin did not (p = .007). Metformin led to an increase in AMPK signaling, and a trend for blunted increases in mTORC1 signaling in response to PRT. These results underscore the benefits of PRT in older adults, but metformin negatively impacts the hypertrophic response to resistance training in healthy older individuals. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02308228.
Osteocalcin is secreted by osteoblasts and improves insulin sensitivity in vivo, although mechanisms remain unclear. We tested the hypothesis that osteocalcin directly modulates cell biology in insulin-targeted peripheral tissues. In L-6 myocytes, osteocalcin stimulated glucose transport both in the absence (basal) and presence of insulin. Similarly, in primary cultured adipocytes, both carboxylated and uncarboxylated osteocalcin increased basal and insulin-stimulated glucose transport as well as insulin sensitivity. Osteocalcin also increased basal and insulin-stimulated glucose oxidation, though there was no effect on fatty acid synthesis or lipolysis. In primary-cultured adipocytes, both forms of osteocalcin suppressed secretion of tumor necrosis factor alpha into the media; however, only carboxylated osteocalcin suppressed interleukin 6 release, and neither form of osteocalcin modulated monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 secretion. Both carboxylated and uncarboxylated osteocalcin increased secretion of adiponectin and the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10. In conclusion, both carboxylated and uncarboxylated osteocalcin directly increase glucose transport in adipocytes and muscle cells, while suppressing proinflammatory cytokine secretion and stimulating interleukin 10 and adiponectin release. Thus, these results provide a mechanism for the insulin-sensitizing effects of osteocalcin and help elucidate the role that bone plays in regulating systemic metabolism.
Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) was found to inhibit insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation and modulate gluconeogenesis in rodent liver. Currently, we examined a role for TRIB3 in skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Ten insulin-sensitive, ten insulin-resistant, and ten untreated type 2 diabetic (T2DM) patients were metabolically characterized by hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamps, and biopsies of vastus lateralis were obtained. Skeletal muscle samples were also collected from rodent models including streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats, db/db mice, and Zucker fatty rats. Finally, L6 muscle cells were used to examine regulation of TRIB3 by glucose, and stable cell lines hyperexpressing TRIB3 were generated to identify mechanisms underlying TRIB3-induced insulin resistance. We found that 1) skeletal muscle TRIB3 protein levels are significantly elevated in T2DM patients; 2) muscle TRIB3 protein content is inversely correlated with glucose disposal rates and positively correlated with fasting glucose; 3) skeletal muscle TRIB3 protein levels are increased in STZ-diabetic rats, db/db mice, and Zucker fatty rats; 4) stable TRIB3 hyperexpression in muscle cells blocks insulin-stimulated glucose transport and glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation and impairs phosphorylation of Akt, ERK, and insulin receptor substrate-1 in insulin signal transduction; and 5) TRIB3 mRNA and protein levels are increased by high glucose concentrations, as well as by glucose deprivation in muscle cells. These data identify TRIB3 induction as a novel molecular mechanism in human insulin resistance and diabetes. TRIB3 acts as a nutrient sensor and could mediate the component of insulin resistance attributable to hyperglycemia (i.e., glucose toxicity) in diabetes. glucose toxicity; type 2 diabetes; insulin signaling THE PREVALENCE OF TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS (T2DM) is rapidly increasing in Westernized nations. Although it likely results from both genetic and environment factors, a key pathogenic characteristic of T2DM is insulin resistance, due to impaired stimulation of glucose uptake in skeletal muscle.To obtain a more comprehensive understanding of insulin resistance, we have performed cDNA microarray studies to systematically assess differential gene expression in skeletal muscle from insulin-sensitive (IS) vs. insulin-resistant (IR) humans (59, 60). These analyses identified Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) as a gene with increased expression in patients with T2DM. Tribbles was first identified by Mata et al. (31) in 2000 as a regulator of germ-cell development in Drosophila (31). Tribbles inhibits mitosis and regulates DNA damage repair by promoting ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation of specific cell cycle regulators early in development (17,31,46,49). Mammals express a family of three genes, TRIB1, TRIB2, and TRIB3, that are homologous to Tribbles. These family members are characterized by a variant kinase domain in the center of molecule with a high homology to serine/ threonine kinases (22). However, they app...
Macrophages have well-characterized roles in skeletal muscle repair and regeneration. Relatively little is known regarding the role of resident macrophages in skeletal muscle homeostasis, extracellular matrix remodeling, growth, metabolism and adaptation to various stimuli including exercise and training. Despite speculation into macrophage contributions during these processes, studies characterizing macrophages in non-injured muscle are limited and methods used to identify macrophages vary. A standardized method for the identification of human resident skeletal muscle macrophages will aide in the characterization of these immune cells and allow for the comparison of results across studies. Here, we present an immunohistochemistry (IHC) protocol, validated by flow cytometry, to distinctly identify resident human skeletal muscle macrophage populations. We show that CD11b and CD206 double IHC effectively identifies macrophages in human skeletal muscle. Furthermore, the majority of macrophages in non-injured human skeletal muscle show a ‘mixed’ M1/M2 phenotype, expressing CD11b, CD14, CD68, CD86 and CD206. A relatively small population of CD11b+/CD206− macrophages are present in resting skeletal muscle. Changes in the relative abundance of this population may reflect important changes in the skeletal muscle environment. CD11b and CD206 IHC in muscle also reveals distinct morphological features of macrophages that may be related to the functional status of these cells.
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