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The Role of Lipolysis in Regulating Plasma Glucose Concentrations in Mourning Doves

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Birds have unusually high plasma glucose concentrations compared to mammals of similar size despite their high metabolic rate. While birds use lipids as their main source of energy, it is still unclear how and why they maintain high plasma glucose

Birds have unusually high plasma glucose concentrations compared to mammals of similar size despite their high metabolic rate. While birds use lipids as their main source of energy, it is still unclear how and why they maintain high plasma glucose concentrations. To investigate a potential underlying mechanism, this study looks at the role of lipolysis in glucose homeostasis. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of decreased glycerol availability (through inhibition of lipolysis) on plasma glucose concentrations in mourning doves. The hypothesis is that decreased availability of glycerol will result in decreased production of glucose through gluconeogenesis leading to reduced plasma glucose concentrations. In the morning of each experiment, mourning doves were collected at the Arizona State University Tempe campus, and randomized into either a control group (0.9% saline) or experimental group (acipimox, 50mg/kg BM). Blood samples were collected prior to treatment, and at 1, 2, and 3 hours post-treatment. At 3 hours, doves were euthanized, and tissue samples were collected for analysis. Acipimox treatment resulted in significant increases in blood glucose concentrations at 1 and 2 hours post- treatment as well as renal triglyceride concentrations at 3 hours post-treatment. Change in plasma free glycerol between 0h and 3h followed an increasing trend for the acipimox treated animals, and a decreasing trend in the saline treated animals. These results do not support the hypothesis that inhibition of lipolysis should decrease blood glycerol and blood glucose levels. Rather, the effects of acipimox in glucose homeostasis appear to differ significantly between birds and mammals suggesting differing mechanisms for glucose homeostasis.

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2015-05

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Modifications of the urinary metabolome in college students after 4-weeks of daily vinegar ingestion that resulted in reductions in depression scores

Description

Depression is a worldwide public health problem that affects millions of people every year. Due to recent reports that depressed individuals have an altered gut microbiome composition, there is speculation that treatments that influence microorganisms in the gut could potentially

Depression is a worldwide public health problem that affects millions of people every year. Due to recent reports that depressed individuals have an altered gut microbiome composition, there is speculation that treatments that influence microorganisms in the gut could potentially lead to alleviation of depressive symptoms. Apple cider vinegar has been studied extensively for its health-promoting properties and benefits. Apple cider vinegar’s main ingredient is the short chain fatty acid, acetic acid. Short chain fatty acids have been shown to improve mood state and depressive symptoms, as well as amplify the effect of prebiotics in restoring the gut microbiome. This experimental design study examined the effects of ingesting 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (1 g acetic acid) twice daily with a meal on the levels of urinary metabolites in 14 college students compared to a control group of 11 college students that took one vinegar supplement tablet (0.015 g of acetic acid) daily for 28 days. All participants were healthy, normal to underactive (< 300 minutes of moderate exercise a week), and free of chronic or acute illnesses. Urinary metabolite analysis revealed a significant production of enzymes involved in the hexosamine pathway in the liquid vinegar group compared to baseline levels. However, anticipation of an alteration in tryptophan metabolites, a possible consequence of altered metabolism of gut microflora, was not observed. These data suggest that apple cider vinegar might be a potential treatment for depression through the production of hexosamine pathway enzymes.

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2021-05

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The Effect of Glucocorticoids on Insulin Resistance in Rat Skeletal Muscle via TXNIP

Description

Glucocorticoids are a class of corticosteroids that bind to glucocorticoid receptors
within cells that result in changes in the metabolism of carbohydrates and immune functions.
Ingesting glucocorticoids has also been linked to insulin resistance, a main feature of

Glucocorticoids are a class of corticosteroids that bind to glucocorticoid receptors
within cells that result in changes in the metabolism of carbohydrates and immune functions.
Ingesting glucocorticoids has also been linked to insulin resistance, a main feature of Type 2
diabetes. Experiments including polymerase chain reaction, western blotting, and glycogen
synthase analysis were conducted to determine if exposure to higher doses of dexamethasone, a
glucocorticoid, induces insulin resistance in cultured rat skeletal muscle via interaction with
thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP). Treatment with dexamethasone was shown to cause
mild increases in TXNIP while a definitive increase or decrease in insulin signaling was unable
to be determined.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Consequences of Negative Energy Balance on Avian Reproductive Physiology: Endocrine and Metabolic Mediators

Description

Reproduction is energetically costly and seasonal breeding has evolved to capitalize on predictable increases in food availability. The synchronization of breeding with periods of peak food availability is especially important for small birds, most of which do not store an

Reproduction is energetically costly and seasonal breeding has evolved to capitalize on predictable increases in food availability. The synchronization of breeding with periods of peak food availability is especially important for small birds, most of which do not store an extensive amount of energy. The annual change in photoperiod is the primary environmental cue regulating reproductive development, but must be integrated with supplementary cues relating to local energetic conditions. Photoperiodic regulation of the reproductive neuroendocrine system is well described in seasonally breeding birds, but the mechanisms that these animals use to integrate supplementary cues remain unclear. I hypothesized that (a) environmental cues that negatively affect energy balance inhibit reproductive development by acting at multiple levels along the reproductive endocrine axis including the hypothalamus (b) that the availability of metabolic fuels conveys alterations in energy balance to the reproductive system. I investigated these hypotheses in male house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus, caught in the wild and brought into captivity. I first experimentally reduced body condition through food restriction and found that gonadal development and function are inhibited and these changes are associated with changes in hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). I then investigated this neuroendocrine integration and found that finches maintain reproductive flexibility through modifying the release of accumulated GnRH stores in response to energetic conditions. Lastly, I investigated the role of metabolic fuels in coordinating reproductive responses under two different models of negative energy balance, decreased energy intake (food restriction) and increased energy expenditure (high temperatures). Exposure to high temperatures lowered body condition and reduced food intake. Reproductive development was inhibited under both energy challenges, and occurred with decreased gonadal gene expression of enzymes involved in steroid synthesis. Minor changes in fuel utilization occurred under food restriction but not high temperatures. My results support the hypothesis that negative energy balance inhibits reproductive development through multilevel effects on the hypothalamus and gonads. These studies are among the first to demonstrate a negative effect of high temperatures on reproductive development in a wild bird. Overall, the above findings provide important foundations for investigations into adaptive responses of breeding in energetically variable environments.

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Date Created
2018