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Free access

Linda Ahlkvist, Bilal Omar, Anders Valeur, Keld Fosgerau and Bo Ahrén

Stimulation of insulin secretion by short-term glucagon receptor (GCGR) activation is well characterized; however, the effect of long-term GCGR activation on β-cell function is not known, but of interest, since hyperglucagonemia occurs early during development of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, we examined whether chronic GCGR activation affects insulin secretion in glucose intolerant mice. To induce chronic GCGR activation, high-fat diet fed mice were continuously (2 weeks) infused with the stable glucagon analog ZP-GA-1 and challenged with oral glucose and intravenous glucose±glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1). Islets were isolated to evaluate the insulin secretory response to glucose±GLP1 and their pancreas were collected for immunohistochemical analysis. Two weeks of ZP-GA-1 infusion reduced insulin secretion both after oral and intravenous glucose challenges in vivo and in isolated islets. These inhibitory effects were corrected for by GLP1. Also, we observed increased β-cell area and islet size. We conclude that induction of chronic ZP-GA-1 levels in glucose intolerant mice markedly reduces insulin secretion, and thus, we suggest that chronic activation of the GCGR may contribute to the failure of β-cell function during development of type 2 diabetes.

Open access

Keld Fosgerau, Kirsten Raun, Cecilia Nilsson, Kirsten Dahl and Birgitte S Wulff

Obesity is a major burden to people and to health care systems around the world. The aim of the study was to characterize the effect of a novel selective α-MSH analog on obesity and insulin sensitivity. The subchronic effects of the selective MC4-R peptide agonist MC4-NN1-0182 were investigated in diet-induced obese (DIO) rats and DIO minipigs by assessing the effects on food intake, energy consumption, and body weight. The acute effect of MC4-NN1-0182 on insulin sensitivity was assessed by a euglycemic–hyperinsulinemic clamp study in normal rats. Three weeks of treatment of DIO rats with MC4-NN1-0182 caused a decrease in food intake and a significant decrease in body weight 7±1%, P<0.05 compared with 3±1% increase with the vehicle control. In DIO minipigs, 8 weeks of treatment with MC4-NN1-0182 resulted in a body weight loss of 13.3±2.5 kg (13±3%), whereas the vehicle control group had gained 3.7±1.4 kg (4±1%). Finally, clamp studies in normal rats showed that acute treatment with MC4-NN1-0182 caused a significant increase in glucose disposal (Rd) compared with vehicle control (Rd, mg/kg per min, 17.0±0.7 vs 13.9±0.6, P<0.01). We demonstrate that treatment of DIO rats or minipigs with a selective MC4-R peptide agonist causes weight loss. Moreover, we have demonstrated weight-independent effects on insulin sensitivity. Our observations identify MC4 agonism as a viable target for the treatment of obesity and insulin resistance.

Free access

Keld Fosgerau, Christian Fledelius, Kent E Pedersen, Jesper B Kristensen, Jens R Daugaard, Miguel A Iglesias, Edward W Kraegen and Stuart M Furler

Lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissues is strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome, possibly due to aberrant partitioning of intracellular fatty acids between storage and oxidation. In the present study, we administered the non-metabolizable fatty acid analog [9,10-3H]-(R)-2-bromopalmitate, and authentic 14C-palmitate to conscious rats, in order to directly examine the initial intracellular fate of fatty acids in a range of insulin-sensitive tissues, including white and red muscles, liver, white adipose tissue, and heart. Rats were studied after administration of an oral glucose load to examine the effect of physiological elevation of glucose and insulin. The tracer results showed that glucose administration partitioned fatty acid toward storage in white muscle (storage:uptake ratios, vehicle vs glucose; 0.64 ± 0.02 vs 0.92 ± 0.09, P < 0.05), and in liver (0.66 ± 0.07 vs 0.98 ± 0.04, P < 0.05), but not in red muscle (1.18 ± 0.07 vs 1.36 ± 0.11, P = not significant). These results demonstrate the physiological relevance of the so-called ‘reverse’ Randle cycle, but surprisingly show that it may be more important in white rather than oxidative red muscle.

Free access

Andreas Nygaard Madsen, Gitte Hansen, Sarah Juel Paulsen, Kirsten Lykkegaard, Mads Tang-Christensen, Harald S Hansen, Barry E Levin, Philip Just Larsen, Lotte Bjerre Knudsen, Keld Fosgerau and Niels Vrang

The availability of useful animal models reflecting the human obesity syndrome is crucial in the search for novel compounds for the pharmacological treatment of obesity. In the current study, we have performed an extensive characterization of the obesity syndrome in a polygenetic animal model, namely the selectively bred diet-induced obese (DIO) and diet-resistant (DR) rat strains. We show that they constitute useful models of the human obesity syndrome. DIO and DR rats were fed either a high-energy (HE) or a standard chow (Chow) diet from weaning to 9 months of age. Metabolic characterization including blood biochemistry and glucose homeostasis was examined at 2, 3, 6, and 9 months of age. Furthermore, in 6-month-old HE-fed DIO rats, the anti-obesity effects of liraglutide and sibutramine were examined in a 28-day study. Only HE-fed DIO rats developed visceral obesity, hyperleptinemia, hyperinsulinemia, and dyslipidemia, and showed a worsening of glucose tolerance over time. In line with the hyperlipidemic profile, a severe hepatic fat infiltration was observed in DIO rats at 6 months of age. The effects of liraglutide and sibutramine were tested in 6-month-old DIO rats. Both compounds effectively reduced food intake and body weight in DIO rats. Liraglutide furthermore improved glucose tolerance when compared with sibutramine. Our data highlights the usefulness of a polygenetic animal model for screening of compounds affecting food intake, body weight, and glucose homeostasis. Furthermore, the results underscore the effectiveness of GLP-1 mimetics both as anti-diabetes and anti-obesity agents.