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Archive for July, 2014

Diabetes associated metabolomic perturbations in NOD mice


Recently I was lucky enough to publish some of my research findings in the Journal Metabolomics. You can check out the full paper, 10.1007/s11306-014-0706-2,  or take a look at the abstract and figures below.
 
 
ABSTRACT
Non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice are a widely-used model of type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, not all animals develop overt diabetes. This study examined the circulating metabolomic profiles of NOD mice progressing or not progressing to T1D. Total beta-cell mass was quantified in the intact pancreas using transgenic NOD mice expressing green fluorescent protein under the control of mouse insulin I promoter. While both progressor and non-progressor animals displayed lymphocyte infiltration and endoplasmic reticulum stress in the pancreas tissue, overt T1D did not develop until animals lost ~70 % of the total beta-cell mass. Gas chromatography time of flight mass spectrometry was used to measure >470 circulating metabolites in male and female progressor and non-progressor animals (n = 76) across a wide range of ages (neonates to >40-week). Statistical and multivariate analyses were used to identify age and sex independent metabolic markers which best differentiated progressor and non-progressor animals’ metabolic profiles. Key T1D-associated perturbations were related with: (1) increased plasma glucose and reduced 1,5-anhydroglucitol markers of glycemic control; (2) increased allantoin, gluconic acid and nitric acid-derived saccharic acid markers of oxidative stress; (3) reduced lysine, an insulin secretagogue; (4) increased branched-chain amino acids, isoleucine and valine; (5) reduced unsaturated fatty acids including arachidonic acid; and (6) perturbations in urea cycle intermediates suggesting increased arginine-dependent NO synthesis. Together these findings highlight the strength of the unique approach of comparing progressor and non-progressor NOD mice to identify metabolic perturbations involved in T1D progression.

 
 
Figure1


Fig. 1 Immune cell infiltration and beta-cell destruction in prediabetic NOD mice. A Visualization of spatial islet distribution in the context of the vascular network in the intact pancreas. A prediabetic NOD mouse at 27-week. B The body region of the NOD mouse shown in A. Note that substantial beta-cell destruction is observed in the NOD pancreas (i.e. a loss of GFP-expressing beta-cells). C Intraislet capillary network in the body region of a wild-type mouse at 21-week. D Immunohistochemical staining. Insulin (green), glucagon (red), somatostatin (white) and nuclei (blue). E Hypertrophic islet with massive infiltration of T-lymphocytes. (a) Hematoxylin-Eosin (HE) staining of the islet showing peripheral- and intra-islet infiltrating lymphocytes and remaining endocrine islet cells. (b) A serial section stained for CD4-positive lymphocytes by ABC-staining (brown). c A serial section stained for CD8-positive lymphocytes. F Ultrastructural analysis of hypertrophic islets in non-diabetic and diabetic littermates. (a) Non-diabetic male NOD mouse (41-week old, 4-h fasting BG: 136 mg/dL) showing a hyperactive beta-cell with lymphocyte infiltration and vesicles without dense core granules. (b) Beta-cells in diabetic female NOD mouse (40-week old, 4-h fasting BG: 559 mg/dL) appears to be intact despite the presence of ongoing insulitis. G Progressive degradation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER). (a) Well-developed ER (ER) in a beta-cell undergoing insulitis. (b) ER degradation. Ribosomes are detached (shed) from the ER membrane and are aggregated (ER). Nuclear damage is seen with the formation of foam-like structures (N). Immature granules with less dense cores (G) as well as cytoplasmic liquefaction (CL) are observed. (c) ER membrane breakdown. ER membrane breakdown resulted in aggregation of shed ribosomes (ER). An adjacent PP-cell (PP) appears to be intact (identified by characteristic moderately dense cores of pancreatic polypeptide-containing secretory granules). (d) Beta-cell degradation. ER swelling (ER), ribosome shedding, amorphous cytoplasmic material (R) and cytoplasmic, liquefaction (L) are observed in the same beta-cell
 

Figure2

Fig. 2 Progression of autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice. A (a) Virtual slice capture of a whole mouse pancreas from mouse insulin promoter I (MIP)-GFP mice on NOD background. (b) Measured beta-cell/islet distribution. (c) Corresponding 3D scatter plot of islet parameters depicts distribution of islets with various sizes and shapes. Each dot represents a single islet. B (a) Representative data showing islet growth in wild-type mice at 20- and 28-week of age. (b) Examples of beta-cell loss at 20-week (non-diabetic) and 28-week (diabetic) in NOD mice. C Heterogeneous beta-cell loss in NOD mice. Frequency is plotted against islet size. D Three distinct groups in the development of T1D in NOD mice. 3D scatter plot showing the relationship among blood glucose levels (BG), total beta-cell area and age. Three groups of mice are color-coded as diabetic mice (red), young mice with normoglycemia (<25 week; green) and old mice with normoglycemia (25–40 week; blue)

Figure3

Fig. 3 Biochemical network displaying metabolic differences between diabetic and non-diabetic NOD mice. Metabolites are connected based on biochemical relationships (blue, KEGG RPAIRS) or structural similarity (violet, Tanimoto coefficient ≥0.7). Metabolite size and color represent the importance (O-PLS-DA model loadings, LV 1) and relative change (gray p adj > 0.05; green increase; red decrease) in diabetic compared non-diabetic NOD mice. Shapes display metabolites’ molecular classes or biochemical sub-domains and top descriptors of T1D-associated metabolic perturbations (Table 1) are highlighted with thick black borders

Figure4

Fig. 4 Partial correlation network displaying associations between all type 1 diabetes-dependent metabolomic perturbations. All significantly altered metabolites (p adj ≤ 0.05, Supplemental Table S3) are connected based on partial correlations (p adj ≤ 0.05). Edge width displays the absolute magnitude and color the direction (orange positive; blue negative) of the partial-coefficient of correlation. Metabolite size and color represent the importance (O-PLS-DA model loadings, LV 1) and relative change (gray p adj > 0.05; green increase; red decrease) in diabetic compared non-diabetic NOD mice. Shapes display metabolites’ molecular classes or biochemical sub-domains (see Fig. 3 legend), and top descriptors of T1D-associated metabolic perturbations (Table 1) are highlighted with thick black borders


In conclusion, we identified marked differences in the rates of progression of NOD mice to T1D. Metabolomic analysis was used to identify age and sex independent metabolic markers, which may explain this heterogeneity. Future studies combining metabolic end points (as they correlate with beta-cell mass) and genetic risk profiles will ultimately lead to a more complete understanding of disease onset and progression.

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