Mouse studies linking adropin, a peptide hormone encoded by the energy homeostasis-associated (ENHO) gene, to biological clocks and to glucose and lipid metabolism suggest a potential therapeutic target for managing diseases of metabolism. However, adropin's roles in human metabolism are unclear. In silico expression profiling in a nonhuman primate diurnal transcriptome atlas (GSE98965) revealed a dynamic and diurnal pattern of ENHO expression. ENHO expression is abundant in brain, including ventromedial and lateral hypothalamic nuclei regulating appetite and autonomic function. Lower ENHO expression is present in liver, lung, kidney, ileum, and some endocrine glands. Hepatic ENHO expression associates with genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering identified 426 genes co-regulated with ENHO in liver, ileum, kidney medulla, and lung. Gene Ontology analysis of this cluster revealed enrichment for epigenetic silencing by histone H3K27 trimethylation and biological processes related to neural function. Dietary intervention experiments with 59 adult male rhesus macaques indicated low plasma adropin concentrations were positively correlated with fasting glucose, plasma leptin, and apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3) concentrations. During consumption of a high-sugar (fructose) diet, which induced 10% weight gain, animals with low adropin had larger increases of plasma leptin and more severe hyperglycemia. Declining adropin concentrations were correlated with increases of plasma APOC3 and triglycerides. In summary, peripheral ENHO expression associates with pathways related to epigenetic and neural functions, and carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, suggesting co-regulation in nonhuman primates. Low circulating adropin predicts increased weight gain and metabolic dysregulation during consumption of a high-sugar diet.
Keywords: apolipoprotein; circadian; dyslipidemia; epigenetics; glucose metabolism; insulin resistance; leptin; nutrition; obesity; type 2 diabetes.
© 2019 Butler et al.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest with the contents of this article
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