Author(s): Fritsche L, Hoene M, Lehmann R, Ellingsgaard H, Hennige AM,
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Abstract AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Fasting and exercise are strong physiological stimuli for hepatic glucose production. IL-6 has been implicated in the regulation of gluconeogenic genes, but the results are contradictory and the relevance of IL-6 for fasting- and exercise-induced hepatic glucose production is not clear. METHODS: Investigations were performed in rat hepatoma cells, and on C57Bl6 and Il6(-/-) mice under the following conditions: IL-6 stimulation/injection, non-exhaustive exercise (60 min run on a treadmill) and fasting for 16 h. Metabolite analysis, quantitative real-time PCR and immunoblotting were performed. RESULTS: IL-6 stimulation of rat hepatoma cells led to higher glucose production. Injection of IL-6 in mice slightly increased hepatic Pepck (also known as Pck1) expression. Fasting of Il6(-/-) mice for 16 h did not alter glucose production compared with wild-type mice, since plasma glucose concentrations were similar and upregulation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and Pgc-1alpha (also known as Ppargc1a) expression was comparable. In the non-fasting state, Il6(-/-) mice showed a mild metabolic alteration including higher plasma glucose and insulin levels, lower NEFA concentrations and slightly increased hepatic PEPCK content. Moderately intense exercise resulted in elevated IL-6 plasma levels in wild-type mice. Despite that, plasma glucose, insulin, NEFA levels and hepatic glycogen content were not different in Il6(-/-) mice immediately after running, while expression of hepatic G6pc, Pgc-1alpha, Irs2 and Igfbp1 mRNA was similarly increased. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: These data suggest that in mice IL-6 is not essential for physiologically increased glucose production during fasting or non-exhaustive exercise.
This article was published in Diabetologia
and referenced in Endocrinology & Metabolic Syndrome