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  • Author: Nigel Irwin x
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Neil Tanday, Peter R Flatt, Nigel Irwin and R Charlotte Moffett

Transdifferentiation of beta- to alpha-cells has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes. To investigate the impact of contrasting aetiologies of beta-cell stress, as well as clinically approved incretin therapies on this process, lineage tracing of beta-cells in transgenic Ins1Cre/+/Rosa26-eYFP mice was investigated. Diabetes-like syndromes were induced by streptozotocin (STZ), high fat feeding (HFF) or hydrocortisone (HC), and effects of treatment with liraglutide or sitagliptin investigated. Mice developed the characteristic metabolic features associated with beta-cell destruction or development of insulin resistance. Liraglutide was effective in preventing weight gain in HFF mice, with both treatments decreasing energy intake in STZ and HC mice. Treatment intervention also significantly reduced blood glucose levels in STZ and HC mice, as well as increasing either plasma or pancreatic insulin while decreasing circulating or pancreatic glucagon in all models. The recognised changes in pancreatic morphology induced by STZ, HFF or HC were partially, or fully, reversed by liraglutide and sitagliptin, and related to advantageous effects on alpha- and beta-cell growth and survival. More interestingly, induction of diabetes-like phenotype, regardless of pathogenesis, led to increased numbers of beta-cells losing their identity, as well as decreased expression of Pdx1 within beta-cells. Both treatment interventions, and especially liraglutide, countered detrimental islet cell transitioning effects in STZ and HFF mice. Only liraglutide imparted benefits on beta- to alpha-cell transdifferentiation in HC mice. These data demonstrate that beta- to alpha-cell transdifferentiation is a common consequence of beta-cell destruction or insulin resistance, and that clinically approved incretin-based drugs effectively limit this.

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Ashley I Taylor, Nigel Irwin, Aine M McKillop, Steven Patterson, Peter R Flatt and Victor A Gault

Recently, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) have received much attention regarding possible roles in aetiology and treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, peptides co-secreted from the same enteroendocrine cells are less well studied. The present investigation was designed to characterise the in vitro and in vivo effects of xenin, a peptide co-secreted with GIP from intestinal K-cells. We examined the enzymatic stability, insulin-releasing activity and associated cAMP production capability of xenin in vitro. In addition, the effects of xenin on satiety, glucose homoeostasis and insulin secretion were examined in vivo. Xenin was time dependently degraded (t 1/2=162±6 min) in plasma in vitro. In clonal BRIN-BD11 cells, xenin stimulated insulin secretion at 5.6 mM (P<0.05) and 16.7 mM (P<0.05 to P<0.001) glucose levels compared to respective controls. Xenin also exerted an additive effect on GIP, GLP1 and neurotensin-mediated insulin secretion. In clonal β-cells, xenin did not stimulate cellular cAMP production, alter membrane potential or elevate intra-cellular Ca2 +. In normal mice, xenin exhibited a short-acting (P<0.01) satiety effect at high dosage (500 nmol/kg). In overnight fasted mice, acute injection of xenin enhanced glucose-lowering and elevated insulin secretion when injected concomitantly or 30 min before glucose. These effects were not observed when xenin was administered 60 min before the glucose challenge, reflecting the short half-life of the native peptide in vivo. Overall, these data demonstrate that xenin may have significant metabolic effects on glucose control, which merit further study.

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Nigel Irwin, Pamela Frizelle, Finbarr P M O'Harte and Peter R Flatt

Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a hormone that has important physiological effects on energy balance. This study has used a stable CCK1 receptor agonist, (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8, to evaluate the metabolic effects of prolonged administration in normal mice. Twice-daily injection of (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 for 28 days resulted in significantly lowered body weights (P<0.05) on days 24 and 28, which was associated with decreased accumulated calorie intake (P<0.01) from day 12 onward. Nonfasting plasma glucose was significantly reduced (P<0.05) on day 28, while plasma insulin concentrations were increased (P<0.05). After 28 days, glucose tolerance and glucose-mediated insulin secretion were not significantly different in (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8-treated mice. However, following a 15-min refeeding period in 18-h fasted mice, glucose levels were significantly (P<0.05) decreased by (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 despite similar food intake and nutrient-induced insulin levels. Insulin sensitivity in (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8-treated mice was significantly (P<0.01) improved compared with controls. Accumulation of triacylglycerol in liver was reduced (P<0.01) but there were no differences in circulating cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations, as well as triacylglycerol content of pancreatic, muscle, and adipose tissue in (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 mice. These data highlight the beneficial metabolic effects of prolonged (pGlu-Gln)-CCK-8 administration and confirm a lack of detrimental effects.

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Christine M A Martin, Vadivel Parthsarathy, Varun Pathak, Victor A Gault, Peter R Flatt and Nigel Irwin

Xenin-25, a peptide co-secreted with the incretin hormone glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), possesses promising therapeutic actions for obesity-diabetes. However, native xenin-25 is rapidly degraded by serum enzymes to yield the truncated metabolites: xenin 9–25, xenin 11–25, xenin 14–25 and xenin 18–25. This study has examined the biological activities of these fragment peptides. In vitro studies using BRIN-BD11 cells demonstrated that native xenin-25 and xenin 18–25 possessed significant (P<0.05 to P<0.001) insulin-releasing actions at 5.6 and 16.7 mM glucose, respectively, but not at 1.1 mM glucose. In addition, xenin 18–25 significantly (P<0.05) potentiated the insulin-releasing action of the stable GIP mimetic (d-Ala2)GIP. In contrast, xenin 9–25, xenin 11–25 and xenin 14–25 displayed neither insulinotropic nor GIP-potentiating actions. Moreover, xenin 9–25, xenin 11–25 and xenin 14–25 significantly (P<0.05 to P<0.001) inhibited xenin-25 (10−6 M)-induced insulin release in vitro. I.p. administration of xenin-based peptides in combination with glucose to high fat-fed mice did not significantly affect the glycaemic excursion or glucose-induced insulin release compared with controls. However, when combined with (d-Ala2)GIP, all xenin peptides significantly (P<0.01 to P<0.001) reduced the overall glycaemic excursion, albeit to a similar extent as (d-Ala2)GIP alone. Xenin-25 and xenin 18–25 also imparted a potential synergistic effect on (d-Ala2)GIP-induced insulin release in high fat-fed mice. All xenin-based peptides lacked significant satiety effects in normal mice. These data demonstrate that the C-terminally derived fragment peptide of xenin-25, xenin 18–25, exhibits significant biological actions that could have therapeutic utility for obesity-diabetes.

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Guillaume Mabilleau, Aleksandra Mieczkowska, Nigel Irwin, Peter R Flatt and Daniel Chappard

Bone is permanently remodeled by a complex network of local, hormonal, and neuronal factors that affect osteoclast and osteoblast biology. Among these factors, a role for gastrointestinal hormones has been proposed based on the evidence that bone resorption dramatically falls after a meal. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) is one of these gut hormones, and despite several reports suggesting an anabolic effect of GLP1, or its stable analogs, on bone mass, little is known about the effects of GLP1/GLP1 receptor on bone strength. In this study, we investigated by three-point bending, quantitative X-ray microradiography, microcomputed tomography, qBEI, and FTIRI bone strength and bone quality in male Glp1r knockout (Glp1r KO) mice when compared with control WT animals. Animals with a deletion of Glp1r presented with a significant reduction in ultimate load, yield load, stiffness, and total absorbed and post-yield energies when compared with WT animals. Furthermore, cortical thickness and bone outer diameter were significantly decreased in deficient animals. The mineral quantity and quality were not significantly different between Glp1r KO and WT animals. On the other hand, the maturity of the collagen matrix was significantly reduced in deficient animals and associated with lowered material properties. Taken together, these data support a positive effect of GLP1R on bone strength and quality.

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Victor A Gault, David W Porter, Nigel Irwin and Peter R Flatt

Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) is a 42 amino acid hormone secreted from intestinal K-cells, which exhibits a number of actions including stimulation of insulin release. A truncated form, GIP(1–30), has recently been demonstrated in intestine and islet α-cells. To evaluate the potential physiological significance of this naturally occurring form of GIP, the present study has examined and compared the bioactivity of enzymatically stabilised forms, [d-Ala2]GIP(1–30) and [d-Ala2]GIP(1–42), in high-fat fed mice. Twice-daily injection of GIP peptides for 42 days had no significant effect on food intake or body weight. However, non-fasting glucose levels were significantly lowered, and insulin levels were elevated in both treatment groups compared to saline controls. The glycaemic response to i.p. glucose was correspondingly improved (P<0.05) in [d-Ala2]GIP(1–30)- and [d-Ala2]GIP(1–42)-treated mice. Furthermore, glucose-stimulated plasma insulin levels were significantly elevated in both treatment groups compared to control mice. Insulin sensitivity was not significantly different between any of the groups. Similarly, plasma lipid profile, O2 consumption, CO2 production, respiratory exchange ratio, and energy expenditure were not altered by 42 days twice-daily treatment with [d-Ala2]GIP(1–30) or [d-Ala2]GIP(1–42). In contrast, ambulatory activity was significantly (P<0.05) elevated during the light phase in both GIP treatment groups compared to saline controls. The results reveal that sustained GIP receptor activation exerts a spectrum of beneficial metabolic effects in high-fat fed mice. However, no differences were discernable between the biological actions of the enzyme-resistant analogues of the naturally occurring forms, GIP(1–30) and GIP(1–42).