Role of hepatic neuregulin 4 in the regulation of gluconeogenesis in mice.


Department of Pharmacy, East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200120, China. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Enhanced hepatic gluconeogenesis is an important cause of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying disordered hepatic gluconeogenesis remains largely unclear. In the present study, we investigated the potential role of hepatic neuregulin 4 (Nrg4) in the regulation of gluconeogenesis in mice.
METHODS : Microarray analysis was performed in primary mouse hepatocytes treated with or without 8-Br-cAMP. Primary mouse hepatocytes transfected with Nrg4 overexpressing or shRNA adenovirus were used to detect the expressions of the key gluconeogenic genes and glucose output. Hepatic Nrg4 expression levels were measured in fasted C57/BL6 mice, obese ob/ob mice, diabetic db/db mice and Goto-Kakisaki (GK) rats. Pyruvate tolerance test was performed and gluconeogenic gene expressions were detected 7 days after Nrg4 shRNA adenovirus was injected into male C57BL/6 and db/db mice.
RESULTS : Microarray analysis revealed that Nrg4 expression was significantly induced by 8-Br-cAMP in primary mouse hepatocytes, along with the upregulation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase). Adenovirus-mediated overexpression or knockdown of Nrg4 in primary mouse hepatocytes increased or decreased PEPCK and G6Pase expressions as well as hepatic glucose production. Hepatic Nrg4 expression was induced by fasting in normal C57/BL6 mice, and markedly upregulated in obese ob/ob mice, diabetic db/db mice and GK rats. Hepatic Nrg4 knockdown in C57BL/6 and db/db mice improved pyruvate tolerance, with the downregulation of PEPCK, G6Pase, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α).
CONCLUSIONS : Hepatic Nrg4 plays a crucial role in the regulation of gluconeogenesis and may be a therapeutic target of type 2 diabetes.


G6Pase,Gluconeogenesis,Neuregulin 4,PEPCK,Type 2 diabetes,