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Pathophysiology
Dysfunctional Mitochondria Clearance in Situ: Mitophagy in Obesity and Diabetes-Associated Cardiometabolic Diseases
Songling Tang, Di Hao, Wen Ma, Lian Liu, Jiuyu Gao, Peng Yao, Haifang Yu, Lu Gan, Yu Cao
Received July 4, 2023  Accepted October 29, 2023  Published online February 15, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0213    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFPubReader   ePub   
Several mitochondrial dysfunctions in obesity and diabetes include impaired mitochondrial membrane potential, excessive mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation, reduced mitochondrial DNA, increased mitochondrial Ca2+ flux, and mitochondrial dynamics disorders. Mitophagy, specialized autophagy, is responsible for clearing dysfunctional mitochondria in physiological and pathological conditions. As a paradox, inhibition and activation of mitophagy have been observed in obesity and diabetes-related heart disorders, with both exerting bidirectional effects. Suppressed mitophagy is beneficial to mitochondrial homeostasis, also known as benign mitophagy. On the contrary, in most cases, excessive mitophagy is harmful to dysfunctional mitochondria elimination and thus is defined as detrimental mitophagy. In obesity and diabetes, two classical pathways appear to regulate mitophagy, including PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1)/Parkin-dependent mitophagy and receptors/adapters-dependent mitophagy. After the pharmacologic interventions of mitophagy, mitochondrial morphology and function have been restored, and cell viability has been further improved. Herein, we summarize the mitochondrial dysfunction and mitophagy alterations in obesity and diabetes, as well as the underlying upstream mechanisms, in order to provide novel therapeutic strategies for the obesity and diabetes-related heart disorders.
Sulwon Lecture 2023
Metabolic Risk/Epidemiology
Insulin Resistance, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Clinical and Experimental Perspective
Inha Jung, Dae-Jeong Koo, Won-Young Lee
Received October 4, 2023  Accepted December 26, 2024  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0350    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFPubReader   ePub   
It has been generally accepted that insulin resistance (IR) and reduced insulin secretory capacity are the basic pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In addition to genetic factors, the persistence of systemic inflammation caused by obesity and the associated threat of lipotoxicity increase the risk of T2DM. In particular, the main cause of IR is obesity and subjects with T2DM have a higher body mass index (BMI) than normal subjects according to recent studies. The prevalence of T2DM with IR has increased with increasing BMI during the past three decades. According to recent studies, homeostatic model assessment of IR was increased compared to that of the 1990s. Rising prevalence of obesity in Korea have contributed to the development of IR, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and T2DM and cutting this vicious cycle is important. My colleagues and I have investigated this pathogenic mechanism on this theme through clinical and experimental studies over 20 years and herein, I would like to summarize some of our studies with deep gratitude for receiving the prestigious 2023 Sulwon Award.
Original Articles
Lifestyle
Associations of Ultra-Processed Food Intake with Body Fat and Skeletal Muscle Mass by Sociodemographic Factors
Sukyoung Jung, Jaehee Seo, Jee Young Kim, Sohyun Park
Received September 19, 2023  Accepted November 7, 2023  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0335    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
The effects of excessive ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption on body composition measures or sociodemographic disparities are understudied in Korea. We aimed to investigate the association of UPF intake with percent body fat (PBF) and percent appendicular skeletal muscle mass (PASM) by sociodemographic status in adults.
Methods
This study used data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008–2011 (n=11,123 aged ≥40 years). We used a NOVA system to classify all foods reported in a 24-hour dietary recall, and the percentage of energy intake (%kcal) from UPFs was estimated. PBF and PASM were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Tertile (T) 3 of PBF indicated adiposity and T1 of PASM indicated low skeletal muscle mass, respectively. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) after adjusting covariates.
Results
UPF intake was positively associated with PBF-defined adiposity (ORper 10% increase, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.002 to 1.08) and low PASM (ORper 10% increase, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.09). These associations were stronger in rural residents (PBF: ORper 10% increase, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.23; PASM: ORper 10% increase, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.23) and not college graduates (PBF: ORper 10% increase, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.11; PASM: ORper 10% increase, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.12) than their counterparts.
Conclusion
A higher UPF intake was associated with higher adiposity and lower skeletal muscle mass among Korean adults aged 40 years and older, particularly in those from rural areas and with lower education levels.
Drug/Regimen
Pioglitazone as Add-on THERAPY in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Inadequately Controlled with Dapagliflozin and Metformin: Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Ji Hye Heo, Kyung Ah Han, Jun Hwa Hong, Hyun-Ae Seo, Eun-Gyoung Hong, Jae Myung Yu, Hye Seung Jung, Bong-Soo Cha
Received September 1, 2023  Accepted October 25, 2023  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0314    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
This study assessed the efficacy and safety of triple therapy with pioglitazone 15 mg add-on versus placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) inadequately controlled with metformin and dapagliflozin.
Methods
In this multicenter, double-blind, randomized, phase 3 study, patients with T2DM with an inadequate response to treatment with metformin (≥1,000 mg/day) plus dapagliflozin (10 mg/day) were randomized to receive additional pioglitazone 15 mg/day (n=125) or placebo (n=125) for 24 weeks. The primary endpoint was the change in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels from baseline to week 24 (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT05101135).
Results
At week 24, the adjusted mean change from baseline in HbA1c level compared with placebo was significantly greater with pioglitazone treatment (–0.47%; 95% confidence interval, –0.61 to –0.33; P<0.0001). A greater proportion of patients achieved HbA1c <7% or <6.5% at week 24 with pioglitazone compared to placebo as add-on to 10 mg dapagliflozin and metformin (56.8% vs. 28% for HbA1c <7%, and 23.2% vs. 9.6% for HbA1c <6.5%; P<0.0001 for all). The addition of pioglitazone also significantly improved triglyceride, highdensity lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance levels, while placebo did not. The incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events was similar between the groups, and the incidence of fluid retention-related side effects by pioglitazone was low (1.5%).
Conclusion
Triple therapy with the addition of 15 mg/day of pioglitazone to dapagliflozin plus metformin was well tolerated and produced significant improvements in HbA1c in patients with T2DM inadequately controlled with dapagliflozin plus metformin.
Metabolic Risk/Epidemiology
Temporal Changes in Resting Heart Rate and Risk of Diabetes Mellitus
Mi Kyoung Son, Kyoungho Lee, Hyun-Young Park
Received August 29, 2023  Accepted November 13, 2023  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0305    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
To investigate the association between the time-varying resting heart rate (RHR) and change in RHR (∆RHR) over time and the risk of diabetes mellitus (DM) by sex.
Methods
We assessed 8,392 participants without DM or atrial fibrillation/flutter from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study, a community-based prospective cohort study that was initiated in 2001 to 2002. The participants were followed up until December 31, 2018. Updating RHR with biennial in-study re-examinations, the time-varying ∆RHR was calculated by assessing the ∆RHR at the next follow-up visit.
Results
Over a median follow-up of 12.3 years, 1,345 participants (16.2%) had DM. As compared with RHR of 60 to 69 bpm, for RHR of ≥80 bpm, the incidence of DM was significantly increased for both male and female. A drop of ≥5 bpm in ∆RHR when compared with the stable ∆RHR group (–5< ∆RHR <5 bpm) was associated significantly with lower risk of DM in both male and female. However, an increase of ≥5 bpm in ∆RHR was significantly associated with higher risk of DM only in female, not in male (hazard ratio for male, 1.057 [95% confidence interval, 0.869 to 1.285]; and for female, 1.218 [95% confidence interval, 1.008 to 1.471]).
Conclusion
In this community-based longitudinal cohort study, a reduction in ∆RHR was associated with a decreased risk of DM, while an increase in ∆RHR was associated with an increased risk of DM only in female.
Lifestyle
Enhancing Diabetes Care through a Mobile Application: A Randomized Clinical Trial on Integrating Physical and Mental Health among Disadvantaged Individuals
Jae Hyun Bae, Eun Hee Park, Hae Kyung Lee, Kun Ho Yoon, Kyu Chang Won, Hyun Mi Kim, Sin Gon Kim
Received August 24, 2023  Accepted October 16, 2023  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0298    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
This study examines integrating physical and mental healthcare for disadvantaged persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus and mild-to-moderate depression in the community, using a mobile application within a public-private-academic partnership.
Methods
The Korean Diabetes Association has developed a mobile application combining behavioral activation for psychological well-being and diabetes self-management, with conventional medical therapy. Participants were randomly assigned to receive the application with usual care or only usual care. Primary outcomes measured changes in psychological status and diabetes selfmanagement through questionnaires at week 12 from the baseline. Secondary outcomes assessed glycemic and lipid control, with psychological assessments at week 16.
Results
Thirty-nine of 73 participants completed the study (20 and 19 in the intervention and control groups, respectively) and were included in the analysis. At week 12, the intervention group showed significant reductions in depression severity and perceived stress compared to the control group. Additionally, they reported increased perceived social support and demonstrated improved diabetes self-care behavior. These positive effects persisted through week 16, with the added benefit of reduced anxiety. While fasting glucose levels in the intervention group tended to improve, no other significant differences were observed in laboratory assessments between the groups.
Conclusion
This study provides compelling evidence for the potential efficacy of a mobile application that integrates physical and mental health components to address depressive symptoms and enhance diabetes self-management in disadvantaged individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus and depression. Further research involving larger and more diverse populations is warranted to validate these findings and solidify their implications.
Metabolic Risk/Epidemiology
Glycemic Control Is Associated with Histological Findings of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Teruki Miyake, Shinya Furukawa, Bunzo Matsuura, Osamu Yoshida, Masumi Miyazaki, Akihito Shiomi, Ayumi Kanamoto, Hironobu Nakaguchi, Yoshiko Nakamura, Yusuke Imai, Mitsuhito Koizumi, Takao Watanabe, Yasunori Yamamoto, Yohei Koizumi, Yoshio Tokumoto, Masashi Hirooka, Teru Kumagi, Eiji Takesita, Yoshio Ikeda, Masanori Abe, Yoichi Hiasa
Received June 24, 2023  Accepted September 21, 2023  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0200    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
Poor lifestyle habits may worsen nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), with progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. This study investigated the association between glycemic control status and hepatic histological findings to elucidate the effect of glycemic control on NAFLD.
Methods
This observational study included 331 patients diagnosed with NAFLD by liver biopsy. Effects of the glycemic control status on histological findings of NAFLD were evaluated by comparing the following four glycemic status groups defined by the glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level at the time of NAFLD diagnosis: ≤5.4%, 5.5%–6.4%, 6.5%–7.4%, and ≥7.5%.
Results
Compared with the lowest HbA1c group (≤5.4%), the higher HbA1c groups (5.5%–6.4%, 6.5%–7.4%, and ≥7.5%) were associated with advanced liver fibrosis and high NAFLD activity score (NAS). On multivariate analysis, an HbA1c level of 6.5%– 7.4% group was significantly associated with advanced fibrosis compared with the lowest HbA1c group after adjusting for age, sex, hemoglobin, alanine aminotransferase, and creatinine levels. When further controlling for body mass index and uric acid, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, the higher HbA1c groups were significantly associated with advanced fibrosis compared with the lowest HbA1c group. On the other hand, compared with the lowest HbA1c group, the higher HbA1c groups were also associated with a high NAS in both multivariate analyses.
Conclusion
Glycemic control is associated with NAFLD exacerbation, with even a mild deterioration in glycemic control, especially a HbA1c level of 6.5%–7.4%, contributing to NAFLD progression.
Metabolic Risk/Epidemiology
Harnessing Metabolic Indices as a Predictive Tool for Cardiovascular Disease in a Korean Population without Known Major Cardiovascular Event
Hyun-Jin Kim, Byung Sik Kim, Yonggu Lee, Sang Bong Ahn, Dong Wook Kim, Jeong-Hun Shin
Received June 22, 2023  Accepted August 18, 2023  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0197    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
This study evaluated the usefulness of indices for metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and insulin resistance (IR), as predictive tools for cardiovascular disease in middle-aged Korean adults.
Methods
The prospective data obtained from the Ansan-Ansung cohort database, excluding patients with major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE). The primary outcome was the incidence of MACCE during the follow-up period.
Results
A total of 9,337 patients were included in the analysis, of whom 1,130 (12.1%) experienced MACCE during a median follow-up period of 15.5 years. The metabolic syndrome severity Z-score, metabolic syndrome severity score, hepatic steatosis index, and NAFLD liver fat score were found to significantly predict MACCE at values above the cut-off point and in the second and third tertiles. Among these indices, the hazard ratios of the metabolic syndrome severity score and metabolic syndrome severity Z-score were the highest after adjusting for confounding factors. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of the 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) score for predicting MACCE was 0.716, and the metabolic syndrome severity Z-score had an AUC of 0.619.
Conclusion
The metabolic syndrome severity score is a highly reliable indicator and was closely associated with the 10-year ASCVD risk score in predicting MACCE in the general population. Given the specific characteristics and limitations of metabolic syndrome severity scores as well as the indices of NAFLD and IR, a more practical scoring system that considers these factors is essential to achieve greater accuracy in forecasting cardiovascular outcomes.
Review
Pathophysiology
Epicardial Adipose Tissue and Heart Failure, Friend or Foe?
Dong-Hyuk Cho, Seong-Mi Park
Received June 20, 2023  Accepted December 11, 2023  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0190    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFPubReader   ePub   
Heart failure (HF) management guidelines recommend individualized assessments based on HF phenotypes. Adiposity is a known risk factor for HF. Recently, there has been an increased interest in organ-specific adiposity, specifically the role of the epicardial adipose tissue (EAT), in HF risk. EAT is easily assessable through various imaging modalities and is anatomically and functionally connected to the myocardium. In pathological conditions, EAT secretes inflammatory cytokines, releases excessive fatty acids, and increases mechanical load on the myocardium, resulting in myocardial remodeling. EAT plays a pathophysiological role in characterizing both HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). In HFrEF, EAT volume is reduced, reflecting an impaired metabolic reservoir, whereas in HFpEF, the amount of EAT is associated with worse biomarker and hemodynamic profiles, indicating increased EAT activity. Studies have examined the possibility of therapeutically targeting EAT, and recent studies using sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors have shown potential in reducing EAT volume. However, further research is required to determine the clinical implications of reducing EAT activity in patients with HF.
Original Articles
Pathophysiology
Deficiency of ASGR1 Alleviates Diet-Induced Systemic Insulin Resistance via Improved Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity
Xiaorui Yu, Jiawang Tao, Yuhang Wu, Yan Chen, Penghui Li, Fan Yang, Miaoxiu Tang, Abdul Sammad, Yu Tao, Yingying Xu, Yin-Xiong Li
Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0124    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
Insulin resistance (IR) is the key pathological basis of many metabolic disorders. Lack of asialoglycoprotein receptor 1 (ASGR1) decreased the serum lipid levels and reduced the risk of coronary artery disease. However, whether ASGR1 also participates in the regulatory network of insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism remains unknown.
Methods
The constructed ASGR1 knockout mice and ASGR1-/- HepG2 cell lines were used to establish the animal model of metabolic syndrome and the IR cell model by high-fat diet (HFD) or drug induction, respectively. Then we evaluated the glucose metabolism and insulin signaling in vivo and in vitro.
Results
ASGR1 deficiency ameliorated systemic IR in mice fed with HFD, evidenced by improved insulin intolerance, serum insulin, and homeostasis model assessment of IR index, mainly contributed from increased insulin signaling in the liver, but not in muscle or adipose tissues. Meanwhile, the insulin signal transduction was significantly enhanced in ASGR1-/- HepG2 cells. By transcriptome analyses and comparison, those differentially expressed genes between ASGR1 null and wild type were enriched in the insulin signal pathway, particularly in phosphoinositide 3-kinase-AKT signaling. Notably, ASGR1 deficiency significantly reduced hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis.
Conclusion
The ASGR1 deficiency was consequentially linked with improved hepatic insulin sensitivity under metabolic stress, hepatic IR was the core factor of systemic IR, and overcoming hepatic IR significantly relieved the systemic IR. It suggests that ASGR1 is a potential intervention target for improving systemic IR in metabolic disorders.
Basic Research
Supplementation of Clostridium butyricum Alleviates Vascular Inflammation in Diabetic Mice
Tian Zhou, Shuo Qiu, Liang Zhang, Yangni Li, Jing Zhang, Donghua Shen, Ping Zhao, Lijun Yuan, Lianbi Zhao, Yunyou Duan, Changyang Xing
Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0109    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFPubReader   ePub   
Background
Gut microbiota is closely related to the occurrence and development of diabetes and affects the prognosis of diabetic complications, and the underlying mechanisms are only partially understood. We aimed to explore the possible link between the gut microbiota and vascular inflammation of diabetic mice.
Methods
The db/db diabetic and wild-type (WT) mice were used in this study. We profiled gut microbiota and examined the and vascular function in both db/db group and WT group. Gut microbiota was analyzed by 16s rRNA sequencing. Vascular function was examined by ultrasonographic hemodynamics and histological staining. Clostridium butyricum (CB) was orally administered to diabetic mice by intragastric gavage every 2 days for 2 consecutive months. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and expression of nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) were detected by fluorescence microscopy. The mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines was tested by quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
Results
Compared with WT mice, CB abundance was significantly decreased in the gut of db/db mice, together with compromised vascular function and activated inflammation in the arterial tissue. Meanwhile, ROS in the vascular tissue of db/db mice was also significantly increased. Oral administration of CB restored the protective microbiota, and protected the vascular function in the db/db mice via activating the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway.
Conclusion
This study identified the potential link between decreased CB abundance in gut microbiota and vascular inflammation in diabetes. Therapeutic delivery of CB by gut transplantation alleviates the vascular lesions of diabetes mellitus by activating the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway.
Drug/Regimen
Safety and Effectiveness of Dulaglutide in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Korean Real-World Post-Marketing Study
Jeonghee Han, Woo Je Lee, Kyu Yeon Hur, Jae Hyoung Cho, Byung Wan Lee, Cheol-Young Park
Received February 3, 2023  Accepted July 10, 2023  Published online February 2, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0030    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   
Background
To investigate the real-world safety and effectiveness of dulaglutide in Korean adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods
This was a real-world, prospective, non-interventional post-marketing safety study conducted from May 26, 2015 to May 25, 2021 at 85 Korean healthcare centers using electronic case data. Data on patients using dulaglutide 0.75 mg/0.5 mL or the dulaglutide 1.5 mg/0.5 mL single-use pens were collected and pooled. The primary objective was to report the frequency and proportion of adverse and serious adverse events that occurred. The secondary objective was to monitor the effectiveness of dulaglutide at 12 and 24 weeks by evaluating changes in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c ), fasting plasma glucose, and body weight.
Results
Data were collected from 3,067 subjects, and 3,022 subjects who received ≥1 dose (of any strength) of dulaglutide were included in the safety analysis set (53% female, mean age 56 years; diabetes duration 11.2 years, mean HbA1c 8.8%). The number of adverse events reported was 819; of these, 68 (8.3%) were serious adverse events. One death was reported. Adverse events were mostly mild in severity; 60.81% of adverse events were considered related to dulaglutide. This study was completed by 72.73% (2,198/3,022) of subjects. At 12/24 weeks there were significant (P<0.0001) reductions from baseline in least-squares mean HbA1c (0.96%/0.95%), fasting blood glucose (26.24/24.43 mg/dL), and body weight (0.75/1.21 kg).
Conclusion
Dulaglutide was generally well tolerated and effective in real-world Korean individuals with T2DM. The results from this study contribute to the body of evidence for dulaglutide use in this population.
Basic research
Reducing Oxidative Stress and Inflammation by Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Kinase 4 Inhibition Is Important in Prevention of Renal Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Diabetic Mice
Ah Reum Khang, Dong Hun Kim, Min-Ji Kim, Chang Joo Oh, Jae-Han Jeon, Sung Hee Choi, In-Kyu Lee
Received June 22, 2023  Accepted July 13, 2023  Published online February 1, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0196    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammation are reported to have a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury, a leading cause of acute kidney injury. The present study investigated the role of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) in ROS production and inflammation following IR injury.
Methods
We used a streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57BL6/J mouse model, which was subjected to IR by clamping both renal pedicles. Cellular apoptosis and inflammatory markers were evaluated in NRK-52E cells and mouse primary tubular cells after hypoxia and reoxygenation using a hypoxia work station.
Results
Following IR injury in diabetic mice, the expression of PDK4, rather than the other PDK isoforms, was induced with a marked increase in pyruvate dehydrogenase E1α (PDHE1α) phosphorylation. This was accompanied by a pronounced ROS activation, as well as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) production. Notably, sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) attenuated renal IR injury-induced apoptosis which can be attributed to reducing PDK4 expression and PDHE1α phosphorylation levels. DCA or shPdk4 treatment reduced oxidative stress and decreased TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and MCP-1 production after IR or hypoxia-reoxygenation injury.
Conclusion
PDK4 inhibition alleviated renal injury with decreased ROS production and inflammation, supporting a critical role for PDK4 in IR mediated damage. This result indicates another potential target for reno-protection during IR injury; accordingly, the role of PDK4 inhibition needs to be comprehensively elucidated in terms of mitochondrial function during renal IR injury.
Metabolic Risk/Epidemiology
A Composite Blood Biomarker Including AKR1B10 and Cytokeratin 18 for Progressive Types of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Seung Joon Choi, Sungjin Yoon, Kyoung-Kon Kim, Doojin Kim, Hye Eun Lee, Kwang Gi Kim, Seung Kak Shin, Ie Byung Park, Seong Min Kim, Dae Ho Lee
Received June 18, 2023  Accepted August 16, 2023  Published online February 1, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0189    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Background
We aimed to evaluate whether composite blood biomarkers including aldo-keto reductase family 1 member B10 (AKR1B10) and cytokeratin 18 (CK-18; a nonalcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH] marker) have clinically applicable performance for the diagnosis of NASH, advanced liver fibrosis, and high-risk NASH (NASH+significant fibrosis).
Methods
A total of 116 subjects including healthy control subjects and patients with biopsy-proven nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were analyzed to assess composite blood-based and imaging-based biomarkers either singly or in combination.
Results
A composite blood biomarker comprised of AKR1B10, CK-18, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) showed excellent performance for the diagnosis of, NASH, advanced fibrosis, and high-risk NASH, with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve values of 0.934 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.888 to 0.981), 0.902 (95% CI, 0.832 to 0.971), and 0.918 (95% CI, 0.862 to 0.974), respectively. However, the performance of this blood composite biomarker was inferior to that various magnetic resonance (MR)-based composite biomarkers, such as proton density fat fraction/MR elastography- liver stiffness measurement (MRE-LSM)/ALT/AST for NASH, MRE-LSM+fibrosis-4 index for advanced fibrosis, and the known MR imaging-AST (MAST) score for high-risk NASH.
Conclusion
Our blood composite biomarker can be useful to distinguish progressive forms of NAFLD as an initial noninvasive test when MR-based tools are not available.
Brief Report
Genetics
Clinical Characteristics of Diabetes in People with Mitochondrial DNA 3243A>G Mutation in Korea
Eun Hoo Rho, Sang Ik Baek, Heerah Lee, Moon-Woo Seong, Jong-Hee Chae, Kyong Soo Park, Soo Heon Kwak
Received March 10, 2023  Accepted July 20, 2023  Published online February 1, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0078    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD) is a rare mitochondrial disorder primarily resulting from m.3243A>G mutation. The clinical characteristics of MIDD exhibit significant heterogeneity. Our study aims to delineate these characteristics and determine the potential correlation with m.3243A>G heteroplasmy levels. This retrospective, descriptive study encompassed patients with confirmed m.3243A>G mutation and diabetes mellitus at Seoul National University Hospital. Our cohort comprises 40 patients with MIDD, with a mean age at study enrollment of 33.3±12.9 years and an average % of heteroplasmy of 30.0%± 14.6% in the peripheral blood. The most prevalent comorbidity was hearing loss (90%), followed by albuminuria (61%), seizure (38%), and stroke (33%). We observed a significant negative correlation between % of heteroplasmy and age at diabetes diagnosis. These clinical features can aid in the suspicion of MIDD and further consideration of genetic testing for m.3243A>G mutation.

Diabetes Metab J : Diabetes & Metabolism Journal