Effects of the amino acid derivatives, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate, taurine, and N-methyltyramine, on triacylglycerol breakdown in fat cells
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Various amino acid (AA) metabolites are used as supplements to facilitate metabolic control and enhance responsiveness of insulin-sensitive tissues. β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a leucine metabolite proposed to prevent muscle wasting and to mitigate insulin resistance. Taurine, commonly added to energizing drinks, is a metabolite of methionine and cysteine present in bile juice, and proposed to be involved in lipid digestion and to be pro-lipolytic in adipocytes. N-methyltyramine (NMT) is a phenylalanine metabolite found in orange juices at 0.1–3 ppm while its effects on lipid mobilization remain controversial. Here, the putative lipolytic effects of these AA metabolites were studied and it was tested whether they could enhance insulin antilipolytic response in adipocytes. Release of glycerol and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) was measured after a 2-h incubation of adipocytes obtained from control and diet-induced obese mice or from obese patients. In mouse, none of the tested AA derivatives was lipolytic from 1 μM to 1 mM. These compounds did not improve insulin antilipolytic effect or isoprenaline lipolytic action, except for 1 mM NMT that impaired triacylglycerol breakdown in obese mice. In human adipocytes, HMB and taurine were not lipolytic, while NMT weakly activated glycerol and NEFA release at 1 mM. However, 100 μM NMT impaired isoprenaline-stimulated lipolysis in a manner that was hardly added to insulin antilipolytic effect. Since none of these AA derivatives acutely helped or replaced insulin antilipolytic effect in adipocytes, the present in vitro observations do not support their proposed insulin-sensitizing properties. Moreover, NMT, HMB, and taurine were not notably lipolytic.
KeywordsAdipose tissue Human Insulin resistance Lipolysis Branched-chain amino acids
The authors are grateful to all the other participants of the HEPATIC/Refbio2 project and to the members of CTPIOD mini-network (http://obesitydiabetesinctp.weebly.com) for helpful discussions. All our thanks to Dr. Jean Galitzky, to Jean Jérôme Soueix (I2MC, Toulouse, France), and to Pr. Jean Louis Grolleau (Chirurgie plastique et des brulés, CHU Rangueil, Toulouse, France) for facilitating access to laboratory devices, networking, and to human surgical pieces, respectively.
This study was partly supported by recurrent INSERM funds and by FEDER funding via grants of the French-Spanish HEPATIC/Refbio2 project.
Compliance with ethical standards
All animal procedures complied with the principles established by the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM, France) according to the Protocol Permission Number 12-1048-03-15 (on the 20/03/2012) and were approved by the local Ethics Committee of US006 CREFRE (Centre Régional d’Exploration Fonctionnelle et Ressources Expérimentales, Toulouse, France). All individuals gave their informed consent for their participation to the study as validated by the local ethic committee for the protection of individuals under the reference Comité de Protection des Personnes Sud Ouest et Outre Mer II, DC-2008-452.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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