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1.  Glycemic Effects and Safety of L-Glutamine Supplementation with or without Sitagliptin in Type 2 Diabetes Patients—A Randomized Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113366.
Background and Aims
L-glutamine is an efficacious glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 secretagogue in vitro. When administered with a meal, glutamine increases GLP-1 and insulin excursions and reduces postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes patients. The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy and safety of daily glutamine supplementation with or without the dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitor sitagliptin in well-controlled type 2 diabetes patients.
Type 2 diabetes patients treated with metformin (n = 13, 9 men) with baseline glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) 7.1±0.3% (54±4 mmol/mol) received glutamine (15 g bd)+ sitagliptin (100 mg/d) or glutamine (15 g bd) + placebo for 4 weeks in a randomized crossover study.
HbA1c (P = 0.007) and fructosamine (P = 0.02) decreased modestly, without significant time-treatment interactions (both P = 0.4). Blood urea increased (P<0.001) without a significant time-treatment interaction (P = 0.8), but creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were unchanged (P≥0.5). Red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and albumin modestly decreased (P≤0.02), without significant time-treatment interactions (P≥0.4). Body weight and plasma electrolytes remained unchanged (P≥0.2).
Daily oral supplementation of glutamine with or without sitagliptin for 4 weeks decreased glycaemia in well-controlled type 2 diabetes patients, but was also associated with mild plasma volume expansion.
Trial Registration NCT00673894
PMCID: PMC4239068  PMID: 25412338
2.  Long-Term Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Meal Disposal and β-Cell Function in Diabetic and Nondiabetic Patients 
Diabetes  2013;62(11):3709-3717.
Gastric bypass surgery leads to marked improvements in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in obese type 2 diabetes (T2D); the impact on glucose fluxes in response to a physiological stimulus, such as a mixed meal test (MTT), has not been determined. We administered an MTT to 12 obese T2D patients and 15 obese nondiabetic (ND) subjects before and 1 year after surgery (10 T2D and 11 ND) using the double-tracer technique and modeling of β-cell function. In both groups postsurgery, tracer-derived appearance of oral glucose was biphasic, a rapid increase followed by a sharp drop, a pattern that was mirrored by postprandial glucose levels and insulin secretion. In diabetic patients, surgery lowered fasting and postprandial glucose levels, peripheral insulin sensitivity increased in proportion to weight loss (∼30%), and β-cell glucose sensitivity doubled but did not normalize (compared with 21 nonsurgical obese and lean controls). Endogenous glucose production, however, was less suppressed during the MMT as the combined result of a relative hyperglucagonemia and the rapid fall in plasma glucose and insulin levels. We conclude that in T2D, bypass surgery changes the postprandial response to a dumping-like pattern and improves glucose tolerance, β-cell function, and peripheral insulin sensitivity but worsens endogenous glucose output in response to a physiological stimulus.
PMCID: PMC3806605  PMID: 23835342
3.  On the role of gallbladder emptying and incretin hormones for nutrient-mediated TSH suppression in patients with type 2 diabetes 
Endocrine Connections  2014;3(4):193-199.
Bile acids are possible candidate agents in newly identified pathways through which energy expenditure may be regulated. Preclinical studies suggest that bile acids activate the enzyme type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase, which deiodinates thyroxine (T4) to the biologically active triiodothyronine (T3). We aimed to evaluate the influence of bile acid exposure and incretin hormones on thyroid function parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones (total T3 and free T4) were measured in plasma from two human studies: i) 75 g-oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and three isocaloric (500 kcal) and isovolaemic (350 ml) liquid meals with increasing fat content with concomitant ultrasonographic evaluation of gallbladder emptying in 15 patients with type 2 diabetes and 15 healthy age, gender and BMI-matched controls (meal-study) and ii) 50 g-OGTT and isoglycaemic intravenous glucose infusions (IIGI) alone or in combination with glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) and/or GLP2, in ten patients with type 2 diabetes (IIGI-study). In both studies, TSH levels declined (P<0.01) similarly following all meal and infusion stimuli. T3 and T4 concentrations did not change in response to any of the applied stimuli. TSH levels declined independently of the degree of gallbladder emptying (meal-study), route of nutrient administration and infusion of gut hormones. In conclusion, intestinal bile flow and i.v. infusions of the gut hormones, GIP, GLP1 and/or GLP2, do not seem to affect thyroid function parameters. Thus, the presence of a ‘gut–thyroid–pituitary’ axis seems questionable.
PMCID: PMC4201783  PMID: 25277744
bile acids; gallbladder; glucagon-like peptide 1; GLP1; thyroid; thyroid-stimulating hormone; TSH; TGR5; type 2 diabetes
4.  Secretion of Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Polypeptide in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(10):3346-3352.
To investigate glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) secretion in patients with type 2 diabetes and nondiabetic control subjects during oral glucose or meal tests.
Eligible trials were identified by The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science. Data were retrieved and random-effects models for the primary meta-analysis, random-effects meta-regression, and subgroup and regression analyses were applied.
Random-effects meta-analysis of GIP responses in 23 trials during 28 different stimulation tests showed that patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 363) exhibited no significant differences (P = not significant) in peak plasma GIP, total area under the curve (tAUC), time-corrected tAUC (tAUC × min−1), and time-corrected incremental area under the curve (iAUC × min−1) in comparison with nondiabetic control subjects (n = 325) but had lower GIP responses as evaluated from iAUC (weighted mean difference, −648 pmol/L × min; 95% CI, −1,276 to −21). Fixed-effects models meta-analyses confirmed most of the results of the primary meta-analysis but showed iAUC × min−1 to be reduced and showed tAUC and tAUC × min−1 to be higher in diabetic patients. Random-effects meta-regression of the primary meta-analysis showed that age (peak GIP, tAUC, iAUC, and iAUC × min−1), BMI (tAUC, iAUC, and iAUC × min−1), and HbA1c (iAUC and iAUC × min−1) predicted some of the GIP outcomes. Post hoc subgroup analysis showed a negative influence of age and of HbA1c on GIP responses and showed a positive influence of BMI on GIP responses.
Our results suggest that patients with type 2 diabetes are characterized by preserved GIP secretion in response to oral glucose and meal tests. They also suggest that high BMI is associated with increased GIP responses but increasing age and HbA1c are associated with reduced GIP secretion.
PMCID: PMC3781498  PMID: 24065842
5.  A pilot study examining the relationship among Crohn disease activity, glucagon-like peptide-2 signalling and intestinal function in pediatric patients 
The relationship between the enteroendocrine hormone glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) and intestinal inflammation is unclear. GLP-2 promotes mucosal growth, decreases permeability and reduces inflammation in the intestine; physiological stimulation of GLP-2 release is triggered by nutrient contact. The authors hypothesized that ileal Crohn disease (CD) affects GLP-2 release.
With ethics board approval, pediatric patients hospitalized with CD were studied; controls were recruited from local schools. Inclusion criteria were endoscopy-confirmed CD (primarily of the small intestine) with a disease activity index >150. Fasting and post-prandial GLP-2 levels and quantitative urinary recovery of orally administered 3-O-methyl-glucose (active transport) and lactulose/mannitol (passive) were quantified during the acute and remission phases.
Seven patients (mean [± SD] age 15.3±1.3 years) and 10 controls (10.3±1.6 years) were studied. In patients with active disease, fasting levels of GLP-2 remained stable but postprandial levels were reduced. Patients with active disease exhibited reduced glucose absorption and increased lactulose/mannitol recovery; all normalized with disease remission. The change in the lactulose/mannitol ratio was due to both reduced lactulose and increased mannitol absorption.
These findings suggest that pediatric patients with acute ileal CD have decreased postprandial GLP-2 release, reduced glucose absorption and increased intestinal permeability. Healing of CD resulted in normalization of postprandial GLP-2 release and mucosal functioning (nutrient absorption and permeability), the latter due to an increase in mucosal surface area. These findings have implications for the use of GLP-2 and feeding strategies as a therapy in CD patients; further studies of the effects of inflammation and the GLP-2 axis are recommended.
PMCID: PMC3805340  PMID: 24106731
3-O-methyl glucose; Intestinal permeability; Lactulose; Mannitol; Nutrient absorption
6.  The CTRB1/2 Locus Affects Diabetes Susceptibility and Treatment via the Incretin Pathway 
Diabetes  2013;62(9):3275-3281.
The incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) promotes glucose homeostasis and enhances β-cell function. GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, which inhibit the physiological inactivation of endogenous GLP-1, are used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Using the Metabochip, we identified three novel genetic loci with large effects (30–40%) on GLP-1–stimulated insulin secretion during hyperglycemic clamps in nondiabetic Caucasian individuals (TMEM114; CHST3 and CTRB1/2; n = 232; all P ≤ 8.8 × 10−7). rs7202877 near CTRB1/2, a known diabetes risk locus, also associated with an absolute 0.51 ± 0.16% (5.6 ± 1.7 mmol/mol) lower A1C response to DPP-4 inhibitor treatment in G-allele carriers, but there was no effect on GLP-1 RA treatment in type 2 diabetic patients (n = 527). Furthermore, in pancreatic tissue, we show that rs7202877 acts as expression quantitative trait locus for CTRB1 and CTRB2, encoding chymotrypsinogen, and increases fecal chymotrypsin activity in healthy carriers. Chymotrypsin is one of the most abundant digestive enzymes in the gut where it cleaves food proteins into smaller peptide fragments. Our data identify chymotrypsin in the regulation of the incretin pathway, development of diabetes, and response to DPP-4 inhibitor treatment.
PMCID: PMC3749354  PMID: 23674605
7.  Exaggerated Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Response Is Important for Improved β-Cell Function and Glucose Tolerance After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2013;62(9):3044-3052.
β-Cell function improves in patients with type 2 diabetes in response to an oral glucose stimulus after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery. This has been linked to the exaggerated secretion of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), but causality has not been established. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of GLP-1 in improving β-cell function and glucose tolerance and regulating glucagon release after RYGB using exendin(9-39) (Ex-9), a GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R)–specific antagonist. Nine patients with type 2 diabetes were examined before and 1 week and 3 months after surgery. Each visit consisted of two experimental days, allowing a meal test with randomized infusion of saline or Ex-9. After RYGB, glucose tolerance improved, β-cell glucose sensitivity (β-GS) doubled, the GLP-1 response greatly increased, and glucagon secretion was augmented. GLP-1R blockade did not affect β-cell function or meal-induced glucagon release before the operation but did impair glucose tolerance. After RYGB, β-GS decreased to preoperative levels, glucagon secretion increased, and glucose tolerance was impaired by Ex-9 infusion. Thus, the exaggerated effect of GLP-1 after RYGB is of major importance for the improvement in β-cell function, control of glucagon release, and glucose tolerance in patients with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3749359  PMID: 23649520
9.  The Glucagonostatic and Insulinotropic Effects of Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Contribute Equally to Its Glucose-Lowering Action 
Diabetes  2010;59(7):1765-1770.
Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) exerts beneficial antidiabetic actions via effects on pancreatic β- and α-cells. Previous studies have focused on the improvements in β-cell function, while the inhibition of α-cell secretion has received less attention. The aim of this research was to quantify the glucagonostatic contribution to the glucose-lowering effect of GLP-1 infusions in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Ten male patients with well-regulated type 2 diabetes (A1C 6.9 ± 0.8%, age 56 ± 10 years, BMI 31 ± 3 kg/m2 [means ± SD]) were subjected to five 120-min glucose clamps at fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels. On day 1, GLP-1 was infused to stimulate endogenous insulin release and suppress endogenous glucagon. On days 2–5, pancreatic endocrine clamps were performed using somatostatin infusions of somatostatin and/or selective replacement of insulin and glucagon; day 2, GLP-1 plus basal insulin and glucagon (no glucagon suppression or insulin stimulation); day 3, basal insulin only (glucagon deficiency); day 4, basal glucagon and stimulated insulin; and day 5, stimulated insulin. The basal plasma glucagon levels were chosen to simulate portal glucagon levels.
Peptide infusions produced the desired hormone levels. The amount of glucose required to clamp FPG was 24.5 ± 4.1 (day 1), 0.3 ± 0.2 (day 2), 10.6 ± 1.1 (day 3), 11.5 ± 2.7 (day 4), and 24.5 ± 2.6 g (day 5) (day 2 was lower than days 3 and 4, which were both similar and lower than days 1 and 5).
We concluded that insulin stimulation (day 4) and glucagon inhibition (day 3) contribute equally to the effect of GLP-1 on glucose turnover in patients with type 2 diabetes, and these changes explain the glucose-lowering effect of GLP-1 (day 5 vs. day 1).
PMCID: PMC2889777  PMID: 20150286
10.  Removal of Duodenum Elicits GLP-1 Secretion 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(6):1641-1646.
To evaluate the effect of removal of the duodenum on the complex interplay between incretins, insulin, and glucagon in nondiabetic subjects.
For evaluation of hormonal secretion and insulin sensitivity, 10 overweight patients without type 2 diabetes (age 61 ± 19.3 years and BMI 27.9 ± 5.3 kg/m2) underwent a mixed-meal test and a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp before and after pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy for ampulloma.
All patients experienced a reduction in insulin (P = 0.002), C-peptide (P = 0.0002), and gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP) secretion (P = 0.0004), while both fasting and postprandial glucose levels increased (P = 0.0001); GLP-1 and glucagon responses to the mixed meal increased significantly after surgery (P = 0.02 and 0.031). While changes in GIP levels did not correlate with insulin, glucagon, and glucose levels, the increase in GLP-1 secretion was inversely related to the postsurgery decrease in insulin secretion (R2 = 0.56; P = 0.012) but not to the increased glucagon secretion, which correlated inversely with the reduction of insulin (R2 = 0.46; P = 0.03) and C-peptide (R2 = 0.37; P = 0.04). Given that the remaining pancreas presumably has preserved intraislet anatomy, insulin secretory capacity, and α- and β-cell interplay, our data suggest that the increased glucagon secretion is related to decreased systemic insulin.
Pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy was associated with a decrease in GIP and a remarkable increase in GLP-1 levels, which was not translated into increased insulin secretion. Rather, the hypoinsulinemia may have caused an increase in glucagon secretion.
PMCID: PMC3661831  PMID: 23393218
11.  GLP-2 Delays but Does Not Prevent the Onset of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Preterm Pigs 
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is complex disease thought to occur as a result of an immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract of preterm infants. Intestinal dysfunction induced by total parental nutrition (TPN) may increase the risk for NEC upon introduction of enteral feeding. We hypothesized that the intestinal trophic and anti-inflammatory actions previously ascribed to the gut hormone, glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2), would reduce the incidence of NEC when given in combination with TPN in preterm piglets.
Preterm, newborn piglets were nourished by TPN and infused continuously with either human GLP-2 (100 μg · kg−1 · day−1) or control saline for 2 days (n = 12/group). On day 3, TPN was discontinued and pigs were given orogastric formula feeding every 3 hours, and continued GLP-2 or control treatment until the onset of clinical signs of NEC for an additional 96 hours and tissue was collected for molecular and histological endpoints.
GLP-2 treatment delayed the onset of NEC but was unable to prevent a high NEC incidence (~70%) and severity that occurred in both groups. GLP-2–treated pigs had less histological injury and increased proximal intestinal weight and mucosal villus height, but not crypt depth or Ki-67–positive cells. Inflammatory markers of intestinal myeloperoxidase were unchanged and serum amyloid A levels were higher in GLP-2–treated pigs.
GLP-2 did not prevent NEC and a proinflammatory response despite some reduction in mucosal injury and increased trophic effect.
PMCID: PMC3976429  PMID: 23343934
inflammation; neonate; serum amyloid A
12.  Unprecedented high insulin secretion in a healthy human subject after intravenous glucagon-like peptide-1: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:326.
The gut-derived incretin hormones, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide-1, are released in response to ingestion of nutrients. Both hormones are highly insulinotropic in strictly glucose-dependent fashions and glucagon-like peptide-1 is often referred to as one of the most insulinotropic substances known.
Case presentation
Plasma insulin and C-peptide concentrations were measured in a healthy Caucasian male (age: 53 years; body mass index: 28.6 kg/m2; fasting plasma glucose: 5.7 mM; 2 h plasma glucose value following 75 g-oral glucose tolerance test: 3.5 mM; glycated haemoglobin A1c: 5.5%) during glucagon (1 mg) and meal (2,370 kJ) tests, and during two 2 h 15 mM-hyperglycaemic clamps with continuous intravenous infusion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (1 pmol/kg/min) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (4 pmol/kg/min), respectively. Normal insulin and C-peptide responses were observed during meal test (peak concentrations: 300 and 3,278 pM) and glucagon test (peak concentrations: 250 and 2,483 pM). During the hyperglycaemic clamp with continuous intravenous infusion of GLP-1 the subject exhibited plasma insulin and C-peptide concentrations of 13,770 and 22,380 pM, respectively.
To our knowledge insulin and C-peptide concentrations of these magnitudes have never been reported. Thus, the present data support the view that glucagon-like peptide-1 is one of the most insulinotropic substances known.
PMCID: PMC4053292  PMID: 24885055
Incretin hormones; Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1); Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP); Insulin
13.  Fructose stimulates GLP-1 but not GIP secretion in mice, rats, and humans 
Nutrients often stimulate gut hormone secretion, but the effects of fructose are incompletely understood. We studied the effects of fructose on a number of gut hormones with particular focus on glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). In healthy humans, fructose intake caused a rise in blood glucose and plasma insulin and GLP-1, albeit to a lower degree than isocaloric glucose. Cholecystokinin secretion was stimulated similarly by both carbohydrates, but neither peptide YY3–36 nor glucagon secretion was affected by either treatment. Remarkably, while glucose potently stimulated GIP release, fructose was without effect. Similar patterns were found in the mouse and rat, with both fructose and glucose stimulating GLP-1 secretion, whereas only glucose caused GIP secretion. In GLUTag cells, a murine cell line used as model for L cells, fructose was metabolized and stimulated GLP-1 secretion dose-dependently (EC50 = 0.155 mM) by ATP-sensitive potassium channel closure and cell depolarization. Because fructose elicits GLP-1 secretion without simultaneous release of glucagonotropic GIP, the pathways underlying fructose-stimulated GLP-1 release might be useful targets for type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity drug development.
PMCID: PMC3962593  PMID: 24525020
enteroendocrine axis; gastric inhibitory peptide; glucagon-like peptide-1
14.  Influence of gastric inhibitory polypeptide on pentagastrin-stimulated gastric acid secretion in patients with type 2 diabetes and healthy controls 
AIM: Gastric inhibitory polypeptide is secreted from intestinal K-cells in response to nutrient ingestion and acts as an incretin hormone in human physiology. While animal experiments suggested a role for GIP as an inhibitor of gastric secretion, the GIP effects on gastric acid output in humans are still controversial.
METHODS: Pentagastrin was administered at an infusion rate of 1 µg . kg-1 . h-1 over 300 min in 8 patients with type 2 diabetes (2 female, 6 male, 54 ± 10 years, BMI 30.5 ± 2.2 kg/m2; no history of autonomic neuropathy) and 8 healthy subjects (2/6, 46 ± 6 years., 28.9 ± 5.3 kg/m2). A hyperglycaemic clamp (140 mg/dl) was performed over 240 min. Placebo, GIP at a physiological dose (1 pmol . kg-1 . min-1), and GIP at a pharmacological dose (4 pmol . kg-1 . min-1) were administered over 60 min each. Boluses of placebo, 20 pmol GIP/kg, and 80 pmol GIP/kg were injected intravenously at the beginning of each infusion period, respectively. Gastric volume, acid and chloride output were analysed in 15-min intervals. Capillary and venous blood samples were drawn for the determination of glucose and total GIP. Statistics were carried out by repeated-measures ANOVA and one-way ANOVA.
RESULTS: Plasma glucose concentrations during the hyperglycaemic clamp experiments were not different between patients with type 2 diabetes and controls. Steady-state GIP plasma levels were 61 ± 8 and 79 ± 12 pmol/l during the low-dose and 327 ± 35 and 327 ± 17 pmol/l during the high-dose infusion of GIP, in healthy control subjects and in patients with type 2 diabetes, respectively (P = 0.23 and p 0.99). Pentagastrin markedly increased gastric acid and chloride secretion (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the rates of gastric acid or chloride output between the experimental periods with placebo or any dose of GIP. The temporal patterns of gastric acid and chloride secretion were similar in patients with type 2 diabetes and healthy controls (P = 0.86 and P = 0.61, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Pentagastrin-stimulated gastric acid secretion is similar in patients with type 2 diabetes and healthy controls. GIP administration does not influence gastric acid secretion at physiological or pharmacological plasma levels. Therefore, GIP appears to act as an incretin rather than as an enterogastrone in human physiology.
PMCID: PMC4087512  PMID: 16609993
Gastric inhibitory polypeptide; Gastric acid secretion; Type 2 diabetes; Hyperglycemic clamp; Pentagastrin-stimulated acid secretion
15.  The effect of a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist on glucose tolerance in women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus: protocol for an investigator-initiated, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, parallel intervention trial 
BMJ Open  2013;3(10):e003834.
Pregnancy is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity, which is usually overcome by a compensatory increase in insulin secretion. Some pregnant women are not able to increase their insulin secretion sufficiently, and consequently develop gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The disease normally disappears after delivery. Nevertheless, women with previous GDM have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) later in life. We aim to investigate the early development of T2D in women with previous GDM and to evaluate whether treatment with the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist, liraglutide, may modify their risk of developing T2D.
Methods and analyses
100 women with previous GDM will be randomised to either liraglutide or placebo treatment for 1 year (blinded) with an open-label extension for another 4 years. Additionally, 15 women without previous GDM will constitute a baseline control group. Women will be tested with an oral glucose tolerance test (primary endpoint: area under the curve for plasma glucose) and an isoglycaemic intravenous glucose infusion at baseline, after 1 year and after 5 years. Additional evaluations include a glucagon test, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, imaging of the liver (ultrasound elastography and fibroscanning), an ad libitum meal for food intake evaluation and questionnaires related to appetite, quality of life and alcohol consumption habits.
Ethics and dissemination
The protocol has been approved by the Danish Medicines Agency, the Scientific-Ethical Committee of the Capital Region of Denmark, and the Danish Data Protection Agency and will be carried out under the surveillance and guidance of the GCP unit at Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg in compliance with the ICH-GCP guidelines and in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration. Positive, negative and inconclusive results will be published at scientific conferences and as one or more scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
The trial is registered at (2012-001371-37) and (NCT01795248).
PMCID: PMC3816238  PMID: 24176797
16.  Mechanisms of the Incretin Effect in Subjects with Normal Glucose Tolerance and Patients with Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73154.
The incretin effect on insulin secretion was investigated in 8 subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and 8 with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), using 25, 75, and 125 g oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and isoglycemic intravenous glucose infusions (IIGI). The ß-cell response was evaluated using a model embedding a dose-response (slope = glucose sensitivity), an early response (rate sensitivity), and potentiation (time-related secretion increase). The incretin effect, as OGTT/IIGI ratio, was calculated for each parameter. In NGT, the incretin effect on total secretion increased with dose (1.3±0.1, 1.7±0.2, 2.2±0.2 fold of IIGI, P<0.0001), mediated by a dose-dependent increase of the incretin effect on glucose sensitivity (1.9±0.4, 2.4±0.4, 3.1±0.4, P = 0.005), and a dose-independent enhancement of the incretin effect on rate sensitivity (894 [1145], 454 [516], 783 [1259] pmol m−2 L mmol−1 above IIGI; median [interquartile range], P<0.0001). The incretin effect on potentiation also increased (0.97±0.06, 1.45±0.20, 1.24±0.16, P<0.0001). In T2D, the incretin effect on total secretion (1.0±0.1, 1.1±0.1, 1.3±0.1, P = 0.004) and glucose sensitivity (1.2±0.2, 1.3±0.2, 2.0±0.2, P = 0.005) were impaired vs NGT; however, the incretin effect on rate sensitivity increased already at 25 g (269 [169], 284 [301], 193 [465] pmol m−2 L mmol−1 above IIGI; negligible IIGI rate sensitivity in T2D prevented the calculation of the fold increment). OGTT did not stimulate potentiation above IIGI (0.94±0.04, 0.89±0.06, 1.06±0.09; P<0.01 vs NGT). In the whole group, the incretin effect was inversely associated with total secretion during IIGI, although systematically lower in T2D. In conclusion, 1) In NGT, glucose sensitivity and potentiation mediate the dose-dependent incretin effect increase; 2) In T2D, the incretin effect is blunted vs NGT, but rate sensitivity is enhanced at all loads; 3) Relatively lower incretin effect in NGT is associated with higher secretion during IIGI, suggesting that the reduced incretin effect does not result from ß-cell dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC3760909  PMID: 24019903
17.  Characterisation of oral and i.v. glucose handling in truncally vagotomised subjects with pyloroplasty 
European Journal of Endocrinology  2013;169(2):187-201.
Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) is rapidly inactivated by dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), but may interact with vagal neurons at its site of secretion. We investigated the role of vagal innervation for handling of oral and i.v. glucose.
Design and methods
Truncally vagotomised subjects (n=16) and matched controls (n=10) underwent 50 g-oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)±vildagliptin, a DPP4 inhibitor (DPP4i) and isoglycaemic i.v. glucose infusion (IIGI), copying the OGTT without DPP4i.
Isoglycaemia was obtained with 25±2 g glucose in vagotomised subjects and 18±2 g in controls (P<0.03); thus, gastrointestinal-mediated glucose disposal (GIGD) – a measure of glucose handling (100%×(glucoseOGTT−glucoseIIGI/glucoseOGTT)) – was reduced in the vagotomised compared with the control group. Peak intact GLP1 concentrations were higher in the vagotomised group. Gastric emptying was faster in vagotomised subjects after OGTT and was unaffected by DPP4i. The early glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide response was higher in vagotomised subjects. Despite this, the incretin effect was equal in both groups. DPP4i enhanced insulin secretion in controls, but had no effect in the vagotomised subjects. Controls suppressed glucagon concentrations similarly, irrespective of the route of glucose administration, whereas vagotomised subjects showed suppression only during IIGI and exhibited hyperglucagonaemia following OGTT. DPP4i further suppressed glucagon secretion in controls and tended to normalise glucagon responses in vagotomised subjects.
GIGD is diminished, but the incretin effect is unaffected in vagotomised subjects despite higher GLP1 levels. This, together with the small effect of DPP4i, is compatible with the notion that part of the physiological effects of GLP1 involves vagal transmission.
PMCID: PMC3709640  PMID: 23704713
18.  Colonic GLP-2 is not Sufficient to Promote Jejunal Adaptation in a PN-Dependent Rat Model of Human Short Bowel Syndrome 
Bowel resection may lead to short bowel syndrome (SBS), which often requires parenteral nutrition (PN) due to inadequate intestinal adaptation. The objective of this study was to determine the time course of adaptation and proglucagon system responses after bowel resection in a PN-dependent rat model of SBS.
Rats underwent jugular catheter placement and a 60% jejunoileal resection + cecectomy with jejunoileal anastomosis or transection control surgery. Rats were maintained exclusively with PN and killed at 4 hours to 12 days. A nonsurgical group served as baseline. Bowel growth and digestive capacity were assessed by mucosal mass, protein, DNA, histology, and sucrase activity. Plasma insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and bioactive glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) were measured by radioimmunoassay.
Jejunum cellularity changed significantly over time with resection but not transection, peaking at days 3–4 and declining by day 12. Jejunum sucrase-specific activity decreased significantly with time after resection and transection. Colon crypt depth increased over time with resection but not transection, peaking at days 7–12. Plasma bioactive GLP-2 and colon proglucagon levels peaked from days 4–7 after resection and then approached baseline. Plasma IGF-I increased with resection through day 12. Jejunum and colon GLP-2 receptor RNAs peaked by day 1 and then declined below baseline.
After bowel resection resulting in SBS in the rat, peak proglucagon, plasma GLP-2, and GLP-2 receptor levels are insufficient to promote jejunal adaptation. The colon adapts with resection, expresses proglucagon, and should be preserved when possible in massive intestinal resection.
PMCID: PMC3631543  PMID: 19644131
intestinal failure; intestinal adaptation; GI hormones; short bowel syndrome; bowel resection
19.  Exogenous Glucagon-Like Peptide-2 (GLP-2) Augments GLP-2 Receptor mRNA and Maintains Proglucagon mRNA Levels in Resected Rats 
Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) is a nutrient-dependent proglucagon-derived hormone that stimulates intestinal adaptive growth. Our aim was to determine whether exogenous GLP-2 increases resection-induced adaptation without diminishing endogenous proglucagon and GLP-2 receptor expression.
Rats underwent transection or 70% jejunoileal resection ± GLP-2 infusion (100 μg/kg body weight/d) and were fed a semipurified diet with continuous infusion of GLP-2 or saline by means of jugular catheter. After 7 days, body weight, mucosal cellularity (dry mass, protein and DNA), crypt–villus height, and crypt cell proliferation (by bromodeoxyuridine staining) were determined. Plasma bioactive GLP-2 (by radioimmunoassay), proglucagon and GLP-2 receptor mRNA expression (by Northern blot and real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction) were measured. GLP-2 receptor was colocalized to neuroendocrine markers by immunohistochemistry.
Low-dose exogenous GLP-2 increased mucosal cellularity and crypt–villus height in the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum; enterocyte proliferation in the jejunal crypt; and duodenal and jejunal sucrase segmental activity. Plasma bioactive GLP-2 concentration increased 70% upon resection, with an additional 54% increase upon GLP-2 infusion in resected rats (P < .05). Ileal proglucagon mRNA expression increased with resection, and exogenous ileum GLP-2 failed to blunt this response. Exogenous GLP-2 increased ileum GLP-2 receptor expression 3-fold in resected animals and was colocalized to vasoactive intestinal peptide-positive and endothelial nitric oxide synthase-expressing enteric neurons and serotonin-containing enteroendocrine cells in the jejunum and ileum of resected rats.
Exogenous GLP-2 augments adaptive growth and digestive capacity of the residual small intestine in a rat model of mid–small bowel resection by increasing plasma GLP-2 concentrations and GLP-2 receptor expression without diminishing endogenous proglucagon expression.
PMCID: PMC3631545  PMID: 18443137
intestinal failure; intestinal adaptation; GI hormones; short bowel syndrome; bowel resection
20.  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.
PMCID: PMC3608902  PMID: 23543638
glucagon-like peptide -1; hypoglycemia; hyperglycemia; blood-brain barrier; cerebral metabolic rate for glucose; Michaelis-Menten; cerebral glucose transport
21.  A single supplement of a standardised bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extract (36 % wet weight anthocyanins) modifies glycaemic response in individuals with type 2 diabetes controlled by diet and lifestyle 
Dietary strategies for alleviating health complications associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are being pursued as alternatives to pharmaceutical interventions. Berries such as bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) that are rich in polyphenols may influence carbohydrate digestion and absorption and thus postprandial glycaemia. In addition, berries have been reported to alter incretins as well as to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may also affect postprandial glycaemia. The present study investigated the acute effect of a standardised bilberry extract on glucose metabolism in T2D. Male volunteers with T2D (n 8; BMI 30 (sd 4) kg/m2) controlling their diabetes by diet and lifestyle alone were given a single oral capsule of either 0·47 g standardised bilberry extract (36 % (w/w) anthocyanins) which equates to about 50 g of fresh bilberries or placebo followed by a polysaccharide drink (equivalent to 75 g glucose) in a double-blinded cross-over intervention with a 2-week washout period. The ingestion of the bilberry extract resulted in a significant decrease in the incremental AUC for both glucose (P = 0·003) and insulin (P = 0·03) compared with the placebo. There was no change in the gut (glucagon-like peptide-1, gastric inhibitory polypeptide), pancreatic (glucagon, amylin) or anti-inflammatory (monocyte chemotactic protein-1) peptides. In addition there was no change in the antioxidant (Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, ferric-reducing ability of plasma) responses measured between the volunteers receiving the bilberry extract and the placebo. In conclusion the present study demonstrates for the first time that the ingestion of a concentrated bilberry extract reduces postprandial glycaemia and insulin in volunteers with T2D. The most likely mechanism for the lower glycaemic response involves reduced rates of carbohydrate digestion and/or absorption.
PMCID: PMC4153034  PMID: 25191571
Bilberries; Anthocyanins; Type 2 diabetes; Glycaemic response; AUCi, incremental AUC; FRAP, ferric-reducing ability of plasma; GIP, gastric inhibitory polypeptide; GLP-1, glucagon-like peptide-1; MCP-1, monocyte chemotactic protein-1; OGTT, oral glucose tolerance test; T2D, type 2 diabetes; TEAC, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity
22.  Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Polypeptide 
Diabetes  2011;60(12):3103-3109.
To evaluate the glucose dependency of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) effects on insulin and glucagon release in 10 healthy male subjects ([means ± SEM] aged 23 ± 1 years, BMI 23 ± 1 kg/m2, and HbA1c 5.5 ± 0.1%).
Saline or physiological doses of GIP were administered intravenously (randomized and double blinded) during 90 min of insulin-induced hypoglycemia, euglycemia, or hyperglycemia.
During hypoglycemia, GIP infusion caused greater glucagon responses during the first 30 min compared with saline (76 ± 17 vs. 28 ± 16 pmol/L per 30 min, P < 0.008), with similar peak levels of glucagon reached after 60 min. During euglycemia, GIP infusion elicited larger glucagon responses (62 ± 18 vs. −11 ± 8 pmol/L per 90 min, P < 0.005). During hyperglycemia, comparable suppression of plasma glucagon (−461 ± 81 vs. −371 ± 50 pmol/L per 90 min, P = 0.26) was observed with GIP and saline infusions. In addition, during hyperglycemia, GIP more than doubled the insulin secretion rate (P < 0.0001).
In healthy subjects, GIP has no effect on glucagon responses during hyperglycemia while strongly potentiating insulin secretion. In contrast, GIP increases glucagon levels during fasting and hypoglycemic conditions, where it has little or no effect on insulin secretion. Thus, GIP seems to be a physiological bifunctional blood glucose stabilizer with diverging glucose-dependent effects on the two main pancreatic glucoregulatory hormones.
PMCID: PMC3219957  PMID: 21984584
23.  Mechanism-based population modelling for assessment of L-cell function based on total GLP-1 response following an oral glucose tolerance test 
GLP-1 is an insulinotropic hormone that synergistically with glucose gives rise to an increased insulin response. Its secretion is increased following a meal and it is thus of interest to describe the secretion of this hormone following an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The aim of this study was to build a mechanism-based population model that describes the time course of total GLP-1 and provides indices for capability of secretion in each subject. The goal was thus to model the secretion of GLP-1, and not its effect on insulin production. Single 75 g doses of glucose were administered orally to a mixed group of subjects ranging from healthy volunteers to patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Glucose, insulin, and total GLP-1 concentrations were measured. Prior population data analysis on measurements of glucose and insulin were performed in order to estimate the glucose absorption rate. The individual estimates of absorption rate constants were used in the model for GLP-1 secretion. Estimation of parameters was performed using the FOCE method with interaction implemented in NONMEM VI. The final transit/indirect-response model obtained for GLP-1 production following an OGTT included two stimulation components (fast, slow) for the zero-order production rate. The fast stimulation was estimated to be faster than the glucose absorption rate, supporting the presence of a proximal–distal loop for fast secretion from L-cells. The fast component (st3 = 8.64·10−5 [mg−1]) was estimated to peak around 25 min after glucose ingestion, whereas the slower component (st4 = 26.2·10−5 [mg−1]) was estimated to peak around 100 min. Elimination of total GLP-1 was characterised by a first-order loss. The individual values of the early phase GLP-1 secretion parameter (st3) were correlated (r = 0.52) with the AUC(0–60 min.) for GLP-1. A mechanistic population model was successfully developed to describe total GLP-1 concentrations over time observed after an OGTT. The model provides indices related to different mechanisms of subject abilities to secrete GLP-1. The model provides a good basis to study influence of different demographic factors on these components, presented mainly by indices of the fast- and slow phases of GLP-1 response.
PMCID: PMC3407884  PMID: 21922329
GLP-1; L-cells; Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT); Indirect response model; NONMEM
24.  The glycemic, insulinemic and plasma amino acid responses to equi-carbohydrate milk meals, a pilot- study of bovine and human milk 
Nutrition Journal  2012;11:83.
Dairy proteins, in particular the whey fraction, exert insulinogenic properties and facilitate glycemic regulation through a mechanism involving elevation of certain plasma amino acids, and stimulation of incretins. Human milk is rich in whey protein and has not been investigated in this respect.
Nine healthy volunteers were served test meals consisting of human milk, bovine milk, reconstituted bovine whey- or casein protein in random order. All test meals contributed with 25g intrinsic or added lactose, and a white wheat bread (WWB) meal was used as reference, providing 25g starch. Post-prandial levels in plasma of glucose, insulin, incretins and amino acids were investigated at time intervals for up to 2 h.
All test meals elicited lower postprandial blood glucose responses, expressed as iAUC 0–120 min compared with the WWB (P < 0.05). The insulin response was increased following all test meals, although only significantly higher after whey. Plasma amino acids were correlated to insulin and incretin secretion (iAUC 0–60 min) (P ≤ 0.05). The lowered glycemia with the test meals (iAUC 0–90 min) was inversely correlated to GLP-1 (iAUC 0–30 min) (P ≤ 0.05).
This study shows that the glycemic response was significantly lower following all milk/milk protein based test meals, in comparison with WWB. The effect appears to originate from the protein fraction and early phase plasma amino acids and incretins were involved in the insulin secretion. Despite its lower protein content, the human milk was a potent GLP-1 secretagogue and showed insulinogenic properties similar to that seen with reconstituted bovine whey-protein, possibly due to the comparatively high proportion of whey in human milk.
PMCID: PMC3499386  PMID: 23057765
Amino acids; Bovine milk; GIP; GLP-1; Human milk; Whey protein
25.  Effects of Pre-Meal Drinks with Protein and Amino Acids on Glycemic and Metabolic Responses at a Subsequent Composite Meal 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44731.
Whey proteins have insulinogenic properties and the effect appears to originate from a specific postprandial plasma amino acid pattern. The insulinogenic effect can be mimicked by a specific mixture of the five amino acids iso, leu, lys, thr and val.
The objective was to evaluate the efficacy of pre-meal boluses of whey or soy protein with or without added amino acids on glycaemia, insulinemia as well as on plasma responses of incretins and amino acids at a subsequent composite meal. Additionally, plasma ghrelin and subjective appetite responses were studied.
In randomized order, fourteen healthy volunteers were served a standardized composite ham sandwich meal with either water provided (250 ml) during the time course of the meal, or different pre-meal protein drinks (PMPD) (100 ml provided as a bolus) with additional water (150 ml) served to the meal. The PMPDs contained 9 g protein and were based on either whey or soy protein isolates, with or without addition of the five amino acids (iso, leu, lys, thr and val) or the five amino acids + arg.
All PMPD meals significantly reduced incremental area for plasma glucose response (iAUC) during the first 60 min. All whey based PMPD meals displayed lower glycemic indices compared to the reference meal. There were no significant differences for the insulinemic indices. The early insulin response (iAUC 0–15 min) correlated positively to plasma amino acids, GIP and GLP-1 as well as to the glycemic profile. Additionally, inverse correlations were found between insulin iAUC 0–15 min and the glucose peak.
The data suggests that a pre-meal drink containing specific proteins/amino acids significantly reduces postprandial glycemia following a composite meal, in absence of elevated insulinemic excursions. An early phase insulinemic response induced by plasma amino acids and incretins appears to mediate the effect.
Trial Registration NCT01586780
PMCID: PMC3446992  PMID: 23028596

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