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A Acitores, N Gonzalez, V Sancho, I Valverde, and ML Villanueva-Penacarrillo

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), an incretin with glucose-dependent insulinotropic and insulin-independent antidiabetic properties, has insulin-like effects on glucose metabolism in extrapancreatic tissues participating in overall glucose homeostasis. These effects are exerted through specific receptors not associated with cAMP, an inositol phosphoglycan being a possible second messenger. In rat hepatocytes, activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (PKB), protein kinase C (PKC) and protein phosphatase 1 (PP-1) has been shown to be involved in the GLP-1-induced stimulation of glycogen synthase. We have investigated the role of enzymes known or suggested to mediate the actions of insulin in the GLP-1-induced increase in glycogen synthase a activity in rat skeletal muscle strips. We first explored the effect of GLP-1, compared with that of insulin, on the activation of PI3K, PKB, p70s6 kinase (p70s6k) and p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and the action of specific inhibitors of these kinases on the insulin- and GLP-1-induced increment in glycogen synthase a activity. The study showed that GLP-1, like insulin, activated PI3K/PKB, p70s6k and p44/42. Wortmannin (a PI3K inhibitor) reduced the stimulatory action of insulin on glycogen synthase a activity and blocked that of GLP-1, rapamycin (a 70s6k inhibitor) did not affect the action of GLP-1 but abolished that of insulin, PD98059 (MAPK inhibitor) was ineffective on insulin but blocked the action of GLP-1, okadaic acid (a PP-2A inhibitor) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (a PP-1 inhibitor) were both ineffective on GLP-1 but abolished the action of insulin, and Ro 31-8220 (an inhibitor of some PKC isoforms) reduced the effect of GLP-1 while completely preventing that of insulin. It was concluded that activation of PI3K/PKB and MAPKs is required for the GLP-1-induced increment in glycogen synthase a activity, while PKC, although apparently participating, does not seem to play an essential role; unlike in insulin signaling, p70s6k, PP-1 and PP-2A do not seem to be needed in the action of GLP-1 upon glycogen synthase a activity in rat muscle.

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ML Villanueva-Penacarrillo, J Cancelas, F de Miguel, A Redondo, A Valin, I Valverde, and P Esbrit

Parathyroid hormone (PTH)-related protein (PTHrP) is present in the pancreatic islet. Recent data in transgenic mice suggest that PTHrP might modulate islet mass and insulin secretion. In the present study, we assessed the effect of the N-terminal PTH-like region of PTHrP on DNA synthesis in isolated rat islets. PTHrP (1-34), between 1 pM and 10 nM, for 48 h stimulated []thymidine incorporation into rat islets. This effect was maximally induced, about 2.5-fold over control, by 10 pM of this peptide, decreasing thereafter. In contrast, PTHrP (38-64) amide or PTHrP (107-139) were ineffective in increasing DNA synthesis in islets. Using reverse transcription followed by PCR, we confirmed that rat islets express PTHrP and the type I PTH/PTHrP receptor. Addition of a neutralizing anti-PTHrP antibody to the incubation medium of proliferating islets decreased islet DNA synthesis by 30%. The effect of a submaximal dose (30 pM) of PTHrP (1-34) on DNA synthesis in rat islets was abolished by 25 nM bisindolylmaleimide I, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, but not by 25 microM adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate, Rp-isomer, a protein kinase A inhibitor. Moreover, 100 nM phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate for 48 h also increased DNA synthesis 2-fold over controls in islets. PTHrP (1-34), at 100 nM, in contrast to 50 microM forskolin or 10 mM NaF, failed to affect adenylate cyclase activity in islet membranes. PTHrP, at 30 pM, was also found to increase 2-fold insulin released into the islet-conditioned medium within 24-48 h. Our results suggest that PTHrP is a modulator of pancreatic islet growth and/or function by a PKC-mediated mechanism.

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M L Villanueva-Peñacarrillo, E Delgado, M A Trapote, A Alcántara, F Clemente, M A Luque, A Perea, and I Valverde


We have found [125I]glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1(7–36)amide specific binding activity in rat liver and isolated hepatocyte plasma membranes, with an Mr of approximately 63 000, estimated by cross-linking and SDS-PAGE. The specific binding was time- and membrane protein concentration-dependent, and equally displaced by unlabelled GLP-1(7–36)amide and by GLP-1(1–36)amide, achieving its ID50 at 3×10−9 m of the peptides. GLP-1(7–36)amide did not modify the basal or the glucagon (10−8 m)-stimulated adenylate cyclase in the hepatocyte plasma membranes. These data, together with our previous findings of a potent glycogenic effect of GLP-1(7–36)amide in isolated rat hepatocytes, led us to postulate that the insulin-like effects of this peptide on glucose liver metabolism could be mediated by a type of receptor probably different from that described for GLP-1 in pancreatic B-cells or, alternatively, by the same receptor which, in this tissue as well as in muscle, uses a different transduction system.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 146, 183–189

Free access

MA Luque, N Gonzalez, L Marquez, A Acitores, A Redondo, M Morales, I Valverde, and ML Villanueva-Penacarrillo

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) has been shown to have insulin-like effects upon the metabolism of glucose in rat liver, muscle and fat, and on that of lipids in rat and human adipocytes. These actions seem to be exerted through specific receptors which, unlike that of the pancreas, are not - at least in liver and muscle - cAMP-associated. Here we have investigated the effect, its characteristics, and possible second messengers of GLP-1 on the glucose metabolism of human skeletal muscle, in tissue strips and primary cultured myocytes. In muscle strips, GLP-1, like insulin, stimulated glycogen synthesis, glycogen synthase a activity, and glucose oxidation and utilization, and inhibited glycogen phosphorylase a activity, all of this at physiological concentrations of the peptide. In cultured myotubes, GLP-1 exerted, from 10(-13) mol/l, a dose-related increase of the D-[U-(14)C]glucose incorporation into glycogen, with the same potency as insulin, together with an activation of glycogen synthase a; the effect of 10(-11) mol/l GLP-1 on both parameters was additive to that induced by the equimolar amount of insulin. Synthase a was still activated in cells after 2 days of exposure to GLP-1, as compared with myotubes maintained in the absence of peptide. In human muscle cells, exendin-4 and its truncated form 9-39 amide (Ex-9) are both agonists of the GLP-1 effect on glycogen synthesis and synthase a activity; but while neither GLP-1 nor exendin-4 affected the cellular cAMP content after 5-min incubation in the absence of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxantine (IBMX), an increase was detected with Ex-9. GLP-1, exendin-4, Ex-9 and insulin all induced the prompt hydrolysis of glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs). This work shows a potent stimulatory effect of GLP-1 on the glucose metabolism of human skeletal muscle, and supports the long-term therapeutic value of the peptide. Further evidence for a GLP-1 receptor in this tissue, different from that of the pancreas, is also illustrated, suggesting a role for an inositolphosphoglycan (IPG) as at least one of the possible second messengers of the GLP-1 action in human muscle.