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Ch. Foltzer, M. Th. Strosser, S. Harvey, and P. Mialhe


The effects of plasma free fatty acids (FFA) and somatostatin-14 (S-14) on concentrations of plasma GH, glucagon and insulin were investigated in juvenile ducks. Oleic acid, S-14 or both were infused into 4- to 7-week-old birds and plasma GH, glucagon-like immunoreactivity (GLI), immunoreactive insulin (IRI) and FFA were measured.

An increase in plasma GH and a decrease in GLI but no change in IRI was observed after infusion of 9 mg oleic acid/kg per min. A decrease in plasma GH, FFA and IRI and an increase in plasma GLI was seen after infusion of 800 ng S–14/kg per min. These effects of S-14 on IRI and GLI were abolished when S-14 was infused simultaneously with oleic acid.

It is concluded that FFA have a direct stimulatory effect on GH secretion and an inhibitory effect on glucagon secretion. Somatostatin-14 directly inhibits the secretion of GH and its stimulatory effect on the secretion of glucagon is mediated by a depression in concentrations of plasma FFA. Finally, S-14 has no effect on plasma insulin when basal levels of plasma FFA are maintained.

J. Endocr. (1985) 106, 21–25

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C Herrmann-Rinke, A Vöge, M Hess, and B Göke


Food ingestion induces a rapid increase in the insulinotropic glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in plasma. Paradoxically, GLP-1 originates from the lower intestines and therefore a complex regulation of postprandial GLP-1 secretion must exist. This was addressed in the present study by utilizing an isolated vascularly perfused rat ileum preparation. Peptides and neurotransmitters thought to be candidate mediators triggering GLP-1 secretion were arterially infused and GLP-1 was measured in the venous effluent. Arterial infusion of cholinergic agonists strongly enhanced GLP-1 secretion which was counteracted by the addition of atropine. Histamine, dopamine, 5-hydoxytryptamine, γ-aminobutyric acid, and norepinephrine had no effect. Peptides of the bombesin family were strong stimulants whereas tachykinins, enkephalins, dynorphin, TRH, calcitonin-gene-related peptide and members of the secretin family, vasoactive intestinal peptide, peptide histidine isoleucine and neuropeptide Y, were less effective. The second incretin hormone, gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), was the most potent stimulant of GLP-1 secretion in our study. It enhanced GLP-1 release up to sixfold above basal during the early phase followed by a sustained secretion at 400% above basal. This stimulation remained unaffected by atropine. In conclusion, in addition to luminal stimulation of nutrients, a cholinergic impulse as well as peptidergic mediators (among them possibly GIP and GRP) may have an impact on postprandial GLP-1 secretion from the rat ileum.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 147, 25–31

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R. Göke and J. M. Conlon


Specific binding of 125I-labelled glucagon-like peptide-1(7–36)amide (GLP-1(7–36)amide) to rat insulinoma-derived RINm5F cells was dependent upon time and temperature and was proportional to cell concentration. Binding of radioactivity was inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by GLP-1(7–36) amide consistent with the presence of a single class of binding site with a dissociation constant (K d) of 204± 8 pmol/l (mean ± s.e.m.). Binding of the peptide resulted in a dose-dependent increase in cyclic AMP concentrations (half maximal response at 250 ± 20 pmol/l). GLP-1(1–36)amide was approximately 200 times less potent than GLP-1(7–36)amide in inhibiting the binding of 125I-labelled GLP-1(7–36)amide to the cells (K d of 45±6 nmol/l). Binding sites for GLP-1 (7–36)amide were not present on dispersed enterocytes from porcine small intestine.

J. Endocr. (1988) 116, 357–362

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Ch. Foltzer, S. Harvey, and P. Mialhe


Pancreatic somatostatin-like immunoreactivity (SLI), immunoreactive insulin (IRI) and glucagon-like immunoreactivity (GLI) were measured during growth in ducks. The content of each hormone increased progressively but at different rates in the dorsal, ventral and splenic lobes of the pancreas. In the almost fully grown duck, the splenic lobe contained 80 and 63% of the total content of GLI and SLI respectively but low levels of IRI (23%), which were highest in the dorsal lobe (53%). In contrast to the hormonal content, only total GLI concentrations increased during development, the SLI concentrations remaining stable and IRI concentrations declining during growth. Gel filtration of pancreatic extracts indicated that most of the SLI in the pancreas of young and adult birds was somatostatin-14, although somatostatin-28 was present in the ventral lobe of young birds and larger molecular forms were present in the ventral and dorsal lobes. These changes in pancreatic hormonal content and concentration are dissimilar to age-related changes in SLI, GLI and IRI previously observed in the plasma of ducks. Plasma levels of pancreatic hormones may thus be controlled by hormonal and/or neural factors during post-hatch growth.

J. Endocr. (1987) 113, 65–70

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A. Faulkner and H. T. Pollock


The effects of i.v. glucagon-like peptide-1-(7–36)amide (GLP-1; 10 μg) on starved sheep given an i.v. glucose load (5 g) were studied. Plasma insulin concentrations rose significantly more after glucose administration in fed than in starved sheep. Giving GLP-1 to starved sheep increased the insulin response to the glucose load. The rise in plasma insulin concentrations in starved sheep given GLP-1 was similar to that observed in fed sheep. Plasma glucose concentrations returned to normal values more quickly in the starved sheep given GLP-1 than in starved sheep not given gut hormone. Plasma concentrations of free fatty acid, urea and α-amino nitrogen decreased more quickly following glucose administration in starved sheep given GLP-1 than in those not given GLP-1. The data suggest a role for GLP-1 in regulating plasma insulin concentrations and hence metabolism in ruminant animals. The possible role of gut hormones in ruminants is discussed.

Journal of Endocrinology (1991) 129, 55–58

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U Ritzel, U Leonhardt, M Ottleben, A Ruhmann, K Eckart, J Spiess, and G Ramadori

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is the most potent endogenous insulin-stimulating hormone. In the present study the plasma stability and biological activity of a GLP-1 analog, [Ser]GLP-1(7-36)amide, in which the second N-terminal amino acid alanine was replaced by serine, was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Incubation of GLP-1 with human or rat plasma resulted in degradation of native GLP-1(7-36)amide to GLP-1(9-36)amide, while [Ser]GLP-1(7-36)amide was not significantly degraded by plasma enzymes. Using glucose-responsive HIT-T15 cells, [Ser]GLP-1(7-36)amide showed strong insulinotropic activity, which was inhibited by the specific GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin-4(9-39)amide. Simultaneous i.v. injection of [Ser]GLP-1(7-36)amide and glucose in rats induced a twofold higher increase in plasma insulin levels than unmodified GLP-1(7-36)amide with glucose and a fivefold higher increase than glucose alone. [Ser]GLP-1(7-36)amide induced a 1.5-fold higher increase in plasma insulin than GLP-1(7-36)amide when given 1 h before i.v. application of glucose. The insulinotropic effect of [Ser]GLP-1(7-36)amide was suppressed by i.v. application of exendin-4(9-39)amide. The present data demonstrate that replacement of the second N-terminal amino acid alanine by serine improves the plasma stability of GLP-1(7-36)amide. The insulinotropic action in vitro and in vivo was not impaired significantly by this modification.

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The present study evaluates the possibility that an extra-pancreatic source of insulin exists in chickens. The effect of pancreatectomy on plasma levels of immunoreactive insulin (IRI), glucagon (IRG) and pancreatic polypeptide (IRAPP) was examined. Plasma levels of IRI, IRG and IRAPP were measured both in the basal state and after an i.v. challenge with known secretogogues at several times after pancreatectomy. The nature of the avian plasma immunoreactivity was further characterized by gel filtration.

Results indicated that plasma IRI and IRG persisted for 5 h, 24 h and 5 days after pancreatectomy. Furthermore, plasma levels of IRI and IRG remained responsive to the stimulus of i.v. arginine. The Sephadex G-50 elution profiles for IRI and IRG were similar for plasma obtained from both depancreatized and intact chickens. Postmortem tissue analyses indicated that the persistence of IRI and IRG in the depancreatized animals was not due to the presence of pancreatic remnants.

Plasma IRAPP decreased to undetectable levels 5 h after pancreatectomy. Although plasma IRAPP was measurable 1 and 5 days after pancreatectomy, these levels were not responsive to i.v. pentagastrin. Furthermore, gel filtration experiments indicated that the only form of IRAPP remaining after pancreatectomy had an apparent mol. wt of greater than 100 000. Such a compound was not secreted by the pancreas in vitro.

Evidence presented herein indicates that pancreatic polypeptide is the only pancreatic hormone to be eliminated from the circulation after pancreatectomy in chickens. It is suggested that the depancreatized chicken might be useful as a model of a 'selective' pancreatic polypeptide deficiency.

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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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J Schirra, P Leicht, P Hildebrand, C Beglinger, R Arnold, B Goke, and M Katschinski

Twelve patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) under secondary failure to sulfonylureas were studied to evaluate the effects of subcutaneous glucagon-like peptide-1(7-36)amide (GLP-1) on (a) the gastric emptying pattern of a solid meal (250 kcal) and (b) the glycemic and endocrine responses to this solid meal and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT, 300 kcal). 0.5 nmol/kg of GLP-1 or placebo were subcutaneously injected 20 min after meal ingestion. GLP-1 modified the pattern of gastric emptying by prolonging the time to reach maximal emptying velocity (lag period) which was followed by an acceleration in the post-lag period. The maximal emptying velocity and the emptying half-time remained unaltered. With both meals, GLP-1 diminished the postprandial glucose peak, and reduced the glycemic response during the first two postprandial hours by 54.5% (solid meal) and 32.7% (OGTT) (P < 0.05). GLP-1 markedly stimulated insulin secretion with an effect lasting for 105 min (solid meal) or 150 min (OGTT). The postprandial increase of plasma glucagon was abolished by GLP-1. GLP-1 diminished the postprandial release of pancreatic polypeptide. The initial and transient delay of gastric emptying, the enhancement of postprandial insulin release, and the inhibition of postprandial glucagon release were independent determinants (P < 0.002) of the postprandial glucose response after subcutaneous GLP-1. An inhibition of efferent vagal activity may contribute to the inhibitory effect of GLP-1 on gastric emptying.

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MD Robertson, G Livesey, LM Morgan, SM Hampton, and JC Mathers

Glucagon-like peptide (7-36) amide (GLP-1) is an incretin hormone of the enteroinsular axis released rapidly after meals despite the fact that GLP-1 secreting cells (L-cells) occur predominantly in the distal gut. The importance of these colonic L-cells for postprandial GLP-1 was determined in healthy control subjects and in ileostomy patients with minimal small bowel resection (<5 cm). Subjects were fed a high complex carbohydrate test meal (15.3 g starch) followed by two carbohydrate-free, high fat test meals (25 g and 48.7 g fat respectively). Circulating levels of glucose, insulin, glucagon, glucose insulinotrophic peptide (GIP) and GLP-1 were measured over a 9-h postprandial period. For both subject groups the complex carbohydrate test meal failed to elicit a rise in either GIP or GLP-1. However, both hormones were elevated after the fat load although the GLP-1 concentration was significantly reduced in the ileostomist group when compared with controls (P=0.02). Associated with this reduction in circulating GLP-1 was an elevation in glucagon concentration (P=0.012) and a secondary rise in the plasma glucose concentration (P=0.006). These results suggest that the loss of colonic endocrine tissue is an important determinant in the postprandial GLP-1 concentration. Ileostomists should not be assumed to have normal enteroinsular function as the colon appears to have an important role in postprandial metabolism.