Studies of Insulin and Cytokine Regulation of Fatty Acid Desaturases, FOXO3A and FOXO3A Target Genes in THP-1 Monocytes
MetadataShow full item record
- Institutt for biologi 
The increase of obesity that we have experienced during the last decades and its association with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases has resulted in an enormous interest for understanding the mechanisms underlying these disorders. Tissue inflammation triggered by food with a high glycemic index has been suggested to be an important mediator in the development of insulin resistance. Despite great research efforts lately, more research is needed in order to understand how nutrients interact with the genetic factors that control and triggers the inflammatory responses. The composition of macronutrients in a diet influences the levels of insulin secretion in the body. Besides controlling the blood glucose concentration, insulin also regulates a range of inflammatory processes. Inflammation is largely dependent on some small cell-signaling molecules called cytokines, as these activate a wide range of inflammatory-related genes. The objective of this study is to explore the regulatory effects of insulin and cytokines on the transcription of the following selected genes related to inflammation; D5D, D6D, SCD and FOXO3A. In addition, expression of TRAIL, BTG1 and TWIST1 is studied as they all are target genes for FOXO3A, and related to inflammatory processes and/or glucose metabolism. Quantitative-PCR was used to study mRNA expression of relevant genes in THP-1 cells treated with insulin and cytokines. As the investigation was performed on THP-1 monocytes, it was necessary to optimize the in vitro conditions in order to obtain a maximal response from the insulin and cytokine treatments. The concentration of insulin was an important factor in this study, because the regulation of FOXO3A and desaturases (D5D, D6D and SCD) mRNA expression seemed to be dose-dependent. The treatment period was also critical, as a set of time-course experiments revealed that FOXO3A and the desaturases were regulated by insulin and cytokines at different time-points. In this study, THP-1 cells treated with insulin and/or cytokines revealed significant regulations of the relevant genes. Gene expression of D5D, D6D and SCD was significantly up-regulated in response to insulin. Furthermore, mRNA expression of the transcription factor FOXO3A was significantly down-regulated by insulin, IL-1β and TNF-α. However, neither FOXO3A nor the desaturases were cooperatively regulated by these stimulating factors. TRAIL, TWIST and BTG1 on the other hand, were significantly up-regulated in a synergistic manner when cells were treated with a combination of insulin, IL-1β and TNF-α. The observed regulation of gene expressions in THP-1 monocytes treated with insulin and cytokines suggests that insulin may affect the regulation of inflammatory related genes in circulating human monocytes. As insulin is secreted in the bloodstream followed by elevated levels of glucose after a meal, these results may reflect possible diet-induced changes in gene expression.