Effects of naringenin on glucose uptake in L6 skeletal muscle cells
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Diabetes mellitus is a disorder of inadequate insulin action and consequent high blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the majority of cases of the disease and is characterized by insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency resulting in metabolic deregulation. It is a complex disorder to treat as its pathogenesis is not fully understood and involves a variety of defects including ~-cell failure, insulin resistance in the classic target tissues (adipose, muscle, liver), as well as defects in a-cells and kidney, brain, and gastrointestinal tissue. Present oral treatments, which aim at mimicking the effects of insulin, remain limited in their efficacy and therefore the study of the effects of novel compounds on insulin target tissues is an important area of research both for potentially finding more treatment options as well as for increasing our knowledge of metabolic regulation in health and disease. In recent years the extensively studied polyphenol, resveratrol, has been reported to have antidiabetic effects showing that it increases glucose uptake by skeletal muscle cells and prevents fatty acid-induced insulin resistance in vitro and in vivo. Naringenin, a citrus flavonoid with structural similarities to resveratrol, is reported to have antioxidan.t, antiproliferative, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Effects on glucose and lipid metabolism have also been reported including blood glucose and lipid lowering effects. However, whether naringenin has insulinlike effects is not clear. In the present study the effects of naringenin on glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells are examined and compared with those of insulin. Naringenin treatment of L6 myotubes increased glucose uptake in a dose- and time dependent manner and independent of insulin. The effects of naringenin on glucose uptake achieved similar levels as seen with maximum insulin stimulation and its effect was additive with sub-maximal insulin treatment. Like insulin naringenin treatment did not increase glucose uptake in myoblasts. To elucidate the mechanism involved in naringenin action we looked at its effect on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt, two signalling molecules that are involved in the insulin signalling cascade leading to glucose uptake. Naringenin did not stimulate basal or insulinstimulated Akt phosphorylation but inhibition of PI3K by wortmannin partially repressed the naringenin-induced glucose uptake. We also examined naringenin's effect on AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a molecule that is involved in mediating glucose uptake by a variety of stimuli. Naringenin stimulated AMPK phosphorylation and this effect was not inhibited by wortmannin. To deduce the nature of the naringenin-stimulated AMPK phosphorylation and its impact on glucose uptake we examined the role of several molecules implicated in mod.ulating AMPK activity including SIRTl, LKB 1, and ca2+ Icalmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK). Our results indicate that inhibition of SIRTI did not prevent the naringeninstimulated glucose uptake Of. AMPK phosphorylation; naringenin did not stimulate LKB 1 phosphorylation; and inhibition of CaMKK did not prevent naringeninstimulated glucose uptake. Inhibition of AMPK by compound C also did not prevent naringenin-stimulated glucose uptake but effectively inhibited the phosphorylation of AMPK suggesting that AMPK may not be required for the naringenin-stimulated glucose uptake.