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1.  Glucagon-like peptide-1 decreases intracerebral glucose content by activating hexokinase and changing glucose clearance during hyperglycemia 
Type 2 diabetes and hyperglycemia with the resulting increase of glucose concentrations in the brain impair the outcome of ischemic stroke, and may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). Reports indicate that glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) may be neuroprotective in models of AD and stroke: Although the mechanism is unclear, glucose homeostasis appears to be important. We conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover study in nine healthy males. Positron emission tomography was used to determine the effect of GLP-1 on cerebral glucose transport and metabolism during a hyperglycemic clamp with 18fluoro-deoxy-glucose as tracer. Glucagon-like peptide-1 lowered brain glucose (P=0.023) in all regions. The cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was increased everywhere (P=0.039) but not to the same extent in all regions (P=0.022). The unidirectional glucose transfer across the blood–brain barrier remained unchanged (P=0.099) in all regions, while the unidirectional clearance and the phosphorylation rate increased (P=0.013 and 0.017), leading to increased net clearance of the glucose tracer (P=0.006). We show that GLP-1 plays a role in a regulatory mechanism involved in the actions of GLUT1 and glucose metabolism: GLP-1 ensures less fluctuation of brain glucose levels in response to alterations in plasma glucose, which may prove to be neuroprotective during hyperglycemia.
doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.118
PMCID: PMC3519409  PMID: 22929437
blood–brain barrier; 2-deoxy-glucose; diabetes; energy metabolism; GLP-1; glucagon-like peptide-1; glucose; pharmacology
2.  Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) raises blood-brain glucose transfer capacity and hexokinase activity in human brain 
In hyperglycemia, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) lowers brain glucose concentration together with increased net blood-brain clearance and brain metabolism, but it is not known whether this effect depends on the prevailing plasma glucose (PG) concentration. In hypoglycemia, glucose depletion potentially impairs brain function. Here, we test the hypothesis that GLP-1 exacerbates the effect of hypoglycemia. To test the hypothesis, we determined glucose transport and consumption rates in seven healthy men in a randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled cross-over experimental design. The acute effect of GLP-1 on glucose transfer in the brain was measured by positron emission tomography (PET) during a hypoglycemic clamp (3 mM plasma glucose) with 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-glucose (FDG) as tracer of glucose. In addition, we jointly analyzed cerebrometabolic effects of GLP-1 from the present hypoglycemia study and our previous hyperglycemia study to estimate the Michaelis-Menten constants of glucose transport and metabolism. The GLP-1 treatment lowered the vascular volume of brain tissue. Loading data from hypo- to hyperglycemia into the Michaelis-Menten equation, we found increased maximum phosphorylation velocity (Vmax) in the gray matter regions of cerebral cortex, thalamus, and cerebellum, as well as increased blood-brain glucose transport capacity (Tmax) in gray matter, white matter, cortex, thalamus, and cerebellum. In hypoglycemia, GLP-1 had no effects on net glucose metabolism, brain glucose concentration, or blood-brain glucose transport. Neither hexokinase nor transporter affinities varied significantly with treatment in any region. We conclude that GLP-1 changes blood-brain glucose transfer and brain glucose metabolic rates in a PG concentration-dependent manner. One consequence is that hypoglycemia eliminates these effects of GLP-1 on brain glucose homeostasis.
doi:10.3389/fnene.2013.00002
PMCID: PMC3608902  PMID: 23543638
glucagon-like peptide -1; hypoglycemia; hyperglycemia; blood-brain barrier; cerebral metabolic rate for glucose; Michaelis-Menten; cerebral glucose transport
3.  Zinc transporter gene expression is regulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines: a potential role for zinc transporters in beta-cell apoptosis? 
Background
β-cells are extremely rich in zinc and zinc homeostasis is regulated by zinc transporter proteins. β-cells are sensitive to cytokines, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) has been associated with β-cell dysfunction and -death in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This study explores the regulation of zinc transporters following cytokine exposure.
Methods
The effects of cytokines IL-1β, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) on zinc transporter gene expression were measured in INS-1-cells and rat pancreatic islets. Being the more sensitive transporter, we further explored ZnT8 (Slc30A8): the effect of ZnT8 over expression on cytokine induced apoptosis was investigated as well as expression of the insulin gene and two apoptosis associated genes, BAX and BCL2.
Results
Our results showed a dynamic response of genes responsible for β-cell zinc homeostasis to cytokines: IL-1β down regulated a number of zinc-transporters, most strikingly ZnT8 in both islets and INS-1 cells. The effect was even more pronounced when mixing the cytokines. TNF-α had little effect on zinc transporter expression. IFN-γ down regulated a number of zinc transporters. Insulin expression was down regulated by all cytokines. ZnT8 over expressing cells were more sensitive to IL-1β induced apoptosis whereas no differences were observed with IFN-γ, TNF-α, or a mixture of cytokines.
Conclusion
The zinc transporting system in β-cells is influenced by the exposure to cytokines. Particularly ZnT8, which has been associated with the development of diabetes, seems to be cytokine sensitive.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-9-7
PMCID: PMC2651882  PMID: 19243577

Results 1-3 (3)