The current study has determined the ability of exendin-4 to augment the antidiabetic benefits of the recently characterised GIP/xenin hybrid, (DAla2)GIP/xenin-8-Gln. As such, combined activation of metabolic pathways linked to various gut derived hormones has been shown to exert complementary beneficial metabolic effects in diabetes. (DAla2)GIP/xenin-8-Gln and exendin-4 were administered twice daily to high fat fed (HFF) or db/db mice for 28 days and antidiabetic benefits assessed. Persistence of beneficial metabolic effects in HFF mice was also examined. Twice-daily injection of (DAla2)GIP/xenin-8-Gln for 28 days in HFF mice significantly reduced energy intake, body weight, circulating glucose, HbA1c and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Overall pancreatic islet, alpha- and beta-cell areas were reduced, with concurrent reduction in alpha- and beta-cell proliferation that was more apparent in the combined treatment group. Addition of exendin-4 to (DAla2)GIP/xenin-8-Gln therapy did not significantly improve metabolic control. Remarkably, beneficial effects were still evident 14 days following complete cessation of peptide administration. Thus, circulating glucose and insulin, HbA1c concentrations and glucose tolerance were still significantly improved when compared to control HFF mice on day 42, with minimal changes to pancreatic islet architecture. In contrast to HFF mice, combined treatment of db/db mice with (DAla2)GIP/xenin-8-Gln plus exendin-4 was required to induce beneficial effects on key metabolic parameters, which were not observed with either treatment alone. This included improvements in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, but no effect on pancreatic architecture. These studies highlight the clear, and persistent, metabolic advantages of sustained activation of GLP-1 receptors, alongside concurrent activation of related GIP and xenin cell signalling pathways, in diabetes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
These studies were supported by Invest Northern Ireland Proof of Concept funding, European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes and Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland .
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