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A rat intestinal perfusion technique has been used to assess the ability of a number of monosaccharides, monosaccharide analogues and disaccharides to stimulate intestinal release of immunoreactive gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP).

Perfusates containing glucose, sucrose, galactose, maltose, 3-O-methylglucose or α- or β-methylglucoside at concentrations of 100 mmol/l in Krebs–Ringer phosphate buffer (KRP) produced significant stimulation of GIP release compared with the control perfusions with KRP alone (P < 0·02). Mannose, 6-deoxygalactose, 2-deoxyglucose, myoinositol, fructose or lactose (100 mmol/1 of each) did not stimulate GIP release compared with controls. There was no significant difference in the ability of sucrose, maltose or β-methylglucoside (100 mmol/1 of each) to release GIP compared with 100 mmol glucose/1, but galactose, 3-O-methylglucose and α-methylglucoside (100 mmol/1 of each) produced significantly lower GIP responses than did glucose (P <0·02). Addition of 5 mmol phloridzin/1 to a perfusate containing 50 mmol glucose/1 prevented intestinal absorption of glucose and abolished the GIP response.

The molecular configuration of monosaccharides which have the ability to stimulate GIP release agreed well with the structural requirements for active transport by the sodium-dependent hexose pathway.

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Manish V Sheth, Connie J Mark and Kathleen M Eyster

This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that the reduction in protein phosphatase activity that had been observed at mid-pregnancy in the rat corpus luteum (CL) was due to a decrease in expression of one of the catalytic subunits or an increase in one of the B regulatory subunits of the type 2A protein phosphatase (PP2A). Ovaries were collected from rats on days (d) 1, 3, 7, 14, 20, and 21 of pregnancy, and on day 21 after progesterone treatment on day 20 (n = 6). Real-time RT-PCR was used to analyze the expression of the α and β isoforms of the catalytic subunit, the structural A subunit, and three B regulatory subunits of PP2A, as well as the catalytic subunit of PP1. Expression of the α and β catalytic subunits of PP2A was progesterone responsive. Expression of the PP1 catalytic subunit correlated with the previously reported protein phosphatase activity, but PP2A subunits did not. The data suggest that the decreased protein phosphatase activity at mid-pregnancy was due to a decline in expression of the catalytic subunits of PP1 rather than changes in expression of PP2A subunits.

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J. Oben, L. Morgan, J. Fletcher and V. Marks


The effect of gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide-1(7–36) amide, (GLP-1(7–36) amide), glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2), glucagon and insulin on fatty acid synthesis in explants of rat adipose tissue from various sites was investigated. GIP, GLP-1(7–36) amide and insulin stimulated fatty acid synthesis, as determined by measuring the incorporation of [14C]acetate into saponifiable fat, in a dose-dependent manner, over the concentration range 5–15 ng/ml (0·87–2·61 nmol/l) for insulin and 0·5–7·5 ng/ml for GIP (0·10–1·50 nmol/l) and GLP-1(7–36) amide (0·15–2·27 nmol/l). Insulin and GIP caused a significantly greater stimulation of [14C]acetate incorporation into fatty acids in omental adipose tissue than in either epididymal or subcutaneous adipose tissue. Both GIP and GLP-1(7–36) amide had the ability to stimulate fatty acid synthesis within the physiological range of the circulating hormones. At lower concentrations of the hormones, GLP-1(7–36) amide was a more potent stimulator of fatty acid synthesis than GIP in omental adipose tissue culture; the basal rate of fatty acid synthesis was 0·41±0·03 pmol acetate incorporated/mg wet weight tissue per 2 h; at 0·10 nmol hormone/l 1·15±0·10 and 3·40±0·12 pmol acetate incorporated/mg wet weight tissue per 2 h for GIP and GLP-1(7–36) amide respectively (P < 0·01). GLP-2 and glucagon were without effect on fatty acid synthesis in omental adipose tissue. The study indicates that GIP and GLP-1(7–36) amide, in addition to stimulating insulin secretion, may play a direct physiological role in vivo, in common with insulin, in promoting fatty acid synthesis in adipose tissue.

Journal of Endocrinology (1991) 130, 267–272

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P. R. Flatt, M. G. DeSilva, S. K. Swanston-Flatt, C. J. Powell and V. Marks


The effects of repeated s.c. transplantation of clonal insulin-secreting RINm5F cells in NEDH rats on tumour morphology, insulin–glucose homeostasis and the function of RINm5F cells re-established in culture were examined after maintenance in vivo for periods of up to 308 days. Transplantation of RINm5F cells for ten consecutive passages consistently produced a single encapsulated vascularized tumour associated with the development in recipient rats of hyperinsulinaemia, hypoglycaemia and eventual neuroglycopenic coma. At the tenth passage, tumour-bearing rats exhibited a markedly enhanced rate of insulinstimulated glucose uptake by 19 days, with evidence of a large and variable insulin response to i.p. glucose. Survival was 22 ± 2 days, and resected RINm5F cell tumours exhibited weak immunostaining for insulin in scattered cells, with strands of fibrous tissue separating clusters of tumour cells many of which had distinct polarity. There was no detectable immunostaining for glucagon, somatostatin or pancreatic polypeptide. The insulin content and insulin secretory output of RINm5F cells re-established in culture after 20, 146, 259 or 308 days propagation in vivo were generally enhanced compared with non-passaged RINm5F cells. The magnitude of the effect was not appreciably affected by the duration of maintenance in vivo, but it was critically dependent upon the subsequent period of culture in vitro. Thus, whereas 2-day cultured RINm5F cells from the eighth tumour passage exhibited a greater than 100–fold increment of insulin content and release, with enhanced secretory responsiveness to leucine, arginine, theophylline, K + (25 mmol/l) or Ca2+ (7·6 mmol/l), RINm5F cells cultured for a further 19 days had almost completely lost the attributes resulting from 259 days of maintenance in vivo. The results indicate substantial enhancement of the functional capabilities of RINm5F cells in vivo, and suggest that the resulting tumours afford a novel model in NEDH rats of responsive trabecular-type insulinomas.

J. Endocr. (1988) 118, 429–437

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R. M. Elliott, L. M. Morgan, J. A. Tredger, S. Deacon, J. Wright and V. Marks


The acute effects of different macronutrients on the secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1(7–36)amide (GLP-1(7–36)amide) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) were compared in healthy human subjects. Circulating levels of the two hormones were measured over a 24-h period during which subjects consumed a mixed diet. In the first study, eight subjects consumed three equicaloric (375 kcal) test meals of carbohydrate, fat and protein. Small increases in plasma GLP-1(7–36) amide were found after all meals. Levels reached a maximum 30 min after the carbohydrate and 150 min after the fat load. Ingestion of both carbohydrate and fat induced substantial rises in GIP secretion, but the protein meal had no effect. In a second study, eight subjects consumed 75 g glucose or the equivalent portion of complex carbohydrate as boiled brown rice or barley. Plasma GIP, insulin and glucose levels increased after all three meals, the largest increase being observed following glucose and the smallest following the barley meal. Plasma GLP-1(7–36)amide levels rose only following the glucose meal. In the 24-h study, plasma GLP-1(7–36)amide and GIP concentrations were increased following every meal and remained elevated throughout the day, only falling to fasting levels at night. The increases in circulating GLP-1(7–36)amide and GIP levels following carbohydrate or a mixed meal are consistent with their role as incretins. The more sustained rises observed in the daytime during the 24-h study are consistent with an anabolic role in lipid metabolism.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 138, 159–166

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P. R. Flatt, C. J. Bailey, P. Kwasowski, T. Page and V. Marks


Gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), a recognized component of the enteroinsular axis, is raised in the plasma and intestine of obese hyperglycaemic (ob/ob) mice. To evaluate the control of plasma GIP and its role in the hyperinsulinaemia of the ob/ob syndrome, GIP and insulin were determined at different ages in fed mice, and at 10–12 weeks of age after fasting/refeeding and administration of GIP, different nutrients and insulin to mice fasted for 18 h. Plasma GIP and insulin were raised in adult (10- and 20-week-old) compared with younger (3- and 5-week-old) mice, although GIP was not increased in the presence of hyperinsulinaemia at 3 weeks of age. Fasting suppressed and refeeding promptly restored plasma GIP and insulin concentrations. Administration of GIP to mimic postprandial concentrations evoked a marked but transient insulin response which was protracted in the presence of rising hyperglycaemia. Orally administered fat, glucose and amino acids raised GIP concentrations with fat having a particularly strong effect. Glucose and amino acids also evoked prominent increases of insulin, but fat produced only a small rise in insulin in the absence of increasing glucose concentrations. Consistent with glucose-potentiation, a mixture of all three nutrients greatly augmented the insulin response without further increase of plasma GIP. Glucose-induced increase in endogenous insulin and doses of exogenous insulin up to 100 units/kg did not suppress basal, fat-stimulated or glucose-stimulated GIP release. The results indicate that raised GIP concentrations make an important contribution to the hyperinsulinaemia and related metabolic abnormalities of the ob/ob syndrome.

J. Endocr. (1984) 101, 249–256

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L R Ranganath, J A Christofides, J W Wright and V Marks


Oestrogen replacement therapy has been shown to protect postmenopausal women from ischaemic heart disease, strokes and hypertension. The mechanism of protection conferred by oestrogen, although partly attributable to changes in serum lipoproteins, is not fully understood. The present study was undertaken to assess the effect of hormone replacement therapy on the composition of platelet membrane fatty acids in postmenopausal women. These were analysed by gas-liquid chromatography before and six weeks after continuous conjugated equine oestrogen therapy (0·625 mg daily) combined with cyclical therapy with 75 μg l-norgestrel from day 17 to 28 of a 28-day cycle. Each subject acted as her own control. The principal findings of the study were that, following treatment, there was a 16·2% reduction in platelet membrane polyunsaturated fatty acids (P<0·001), an increase of 9·1 and 7·1% in saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids respectively (P<0·001) and a 17·8% reduction in arachidonic acid (P<0·003). There was no correlation between changes in membrane fatty acids and serum lipoproteins. This suggests that the changes in membrane composition noted in this study may be a primary effect of hormone replacement therapy, especially oestrogen.

Journal of Endocrinology (1996) 148, 207–212

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Kate E Lines, Paul J Newey, Christopher J Yates, Mark Stevenson, Rebecca Dyar, Gerard V Walls, Mike R Bowl and Rajesh V Thakker

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterised by the combined occurrence of parathyroid, pituitary and pancreatic islet tumours, and is due to mutations of the MEN1 gene, which encodes the tumour suppressor protein menin. Menin has multiple roles in genome stability, transcription, cell division and proliferation, but its mechanistic roles in tumourigenesis remain to be fully elucidated. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are non-coding single stranded RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression and have been associated with tumour development, although the contribution of miRNAs to MEN1-associated tumourigenesis and their relationship with menin expression are not fully understood. Alterations in miRNA expression, including downregulation of three putative ‘tumour suppressor’ miRNAs, miR-15a, miR-16-1 and let-7a, have been reported in several tumour types including non-MEN1 pituitary adenomas. We have therefore investigated the expression of miR-15a, miR-16-1 and let-7a in pituitary tumours that developed after 12 months of age in female mice with heterozygous knock out of the Men1 gene (Men1+/- mice). The miRNAs miR-15a, miR-16-1 and let-7a were significantly downregulated in pituitary tumours (by 2.3-fold, p<0.05; 2.1-fold p<0.01 and 1.6-fold p<0.05, respectively) of Men1+/- mice, compared to normal wild type pituitaries. MiR-15a and miR-16-1 expression inversely correlated with expression of cyclin D1, a known pro-tumourigenic target of these miRNAs, and knock down of menin in a human cancer cell line (HeLa), and AtT20 mouse pituitary cell line resulted in significantly decreased expression of miR-15a (p<0.05), indicating that the decrease in miR-15a may be a direct result of lost menin expression.

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Levels of endogenous somatostatin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), glucagon and insulin were measured during gastric (abomasal) emptying in the conscious calf. Isotonic NaHCO3 infused into the duodenum increased rates of emptying of a saline test meal and of gastric acid secretion, but had no effect on basal levels of blood glucose, somatostatin, GIP, insulin or glucagon. By contrast, intraduodenal infusion of 60 mm-HCl caused complete inhibition of gastric emptying, reduction of acid secretion, and an immediate increase in plasma somatostatin from 121·3 ± 9·4 (s.e.m.) to 286·3 ± 16·3 pg/ml (P <0·01) but levels of GIP, insulin, glucagon and glucose were unaltered. Intravenous injection of somatostatin (0·5 μg/kg) suppressed the antral electromyographic recording and gastric efflux so long as plasma somatostatin levels remained above approx. 200 pg/ml. This suggests that somatostatin can be released by intraduodenal acidification and that it inhibits gastric function by an endocrine effect. Since somatostatin retards gastric emptying it may therefore have an indirect role in nutrient homeostasis by limiting discharge of gastric chyme to the duodenum.

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Srinivasulu Chigurupati, Tae Gen Son, Dong-Hoon Hyun, Justin D Lathia, Mohamed R Mughal, Jason Savell, Shuan C Li, G P C Nagaraju, Sic L Chan, Thiruma V Arumugam and Mark P Mattson

Regular exercise can counteract the adverse effects of aging on the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. In males, the normal aging process is associated with reductions in testosterone production and impaired spermatogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms and their potential modification by exercise are unknown. Here, we report that lifelong regular exercise (running) protects the testes against the adverse effects of advancing age, and that this effect of running is associated with decreased amounts of oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA in spermatogenic and Leydig cells. Six-month-old male mice were divided into a sedentary group and a group that ran an average of 1.75 km/day, until the mice reached the age of 20 months. Seminiferous tubules of runners exhibited a full complement of cells at different stages of the spermatogenic process and a clear central lumen with large numbers of spermatozoa, in contrast to sedentary mice that exhibited disorganized spermatogenic cells and lacked spermatocytes in a central lumen. Levels of protein carbonyls, nitrotyrosine, lipid peroxidation products, and oxidatively modified DNA were significantly greater in spermatogenic and Leydig cells of sedentary mice compared with runners. These findings suggest that lifelong regular exercise suppresses aging of testes by a mechanism that involves reduced oxidative damage to spermatogenic and Leydig cells.