Acute Regulation of Intestinal and Hepatic Lipoprotein Production by Glucagon

2014-08-27 03:12:30 | BioPortfolio


Insulin resistant states are characterized by hepatic lipoprotein (VLDL) particle overproduction. Numerous hormonal and nutritional factors are known to influence hepatic lipoprotein particle production, including insulin and free fatty acids (FFA). In contrast to the liver, the intestine has traditionally been viewed as a 'passive' organ with respect to lipoprotein production, with intestinal lipoprotein particle production determined mainly by the amount of fat ingested and absorbed. Glucagon plays a key role in the regulation of carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism and has recently been shown for the first time to regulate hepatic lipoprotein production in mice. Ours will be the first study to investigate the effect of glucagon on hepatic and intestinal lipoprotein production in humans.


Potential role of glucagon in intestinal and hepatic lipoprotein production. Although glucagon, the main hormone that opposes insulin action, is known to exert profound effects on carbohydrate (stimulation of hepatic glucose production) and fatty acid metabolism (stimulation of hepatic b-oxidation and ketogenesis), its potential role in the regulation of lipoprotein metabolism has been largely overlooked and the mechanism whereby glucagon modulates hepatic lipid metabolism in humans has not previously been examined. Longuet et al recently showed that glucagon receptor (Gcgr) signaling is essential for control of hepatic lipid homeostasis in mice (44). They showed that Gcgr-/- mice exhibit higher plasma TG levels and increased hepatic TG production compared to littermate controls. Conversely, glucagon administration to wildtype mice decreased hepatic lipid production and plasma TGs. A combination of microarray and RealTime PCR analyses demonstrated that a period of fasting increased the expression of genes regulating fatty acid b-oxidation in +/+ but not in Gcgr-/- mice. Furthermore, exogenous glucagon administration mimicked the increase in expression of enzymes involved in b-oxidation during fasting in +/+ mice. Enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis were not regulated by exogenous glucagon. Gcgr-/- mice were much more susceptible to the accumulation of lipids in the liver, known to be associated with the development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. To date, glucagon regulation of intestinal lipoprotein production has not been examined in animals or humans.

There is convincing evidence from mouse studies that glucagon plays a major role in the regulation of hepatic lipoprotein production and may also play a role in intestinal lipoprotein assembly and secretion. Ours will be the first study to examine the role of glucagon in hepatic and intestinal lipoprotein production in humans. Since inhibition of glucagon receptor activity is currently being explored as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, our study will provide important information regarding potential implications of this therapeutic approach for control of lipid homeostasis and general metabolic health.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Dose Comparison, Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Diagnostic






University Health Network, Toronto General Hospital
M5G 2C4




University Health Network, Toronto

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:30-0400

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Compounds that supress the degradation of INCRETINS by blocking the action of DIPEPTIDYL-PEPTIDASE IV. This helps to correct the defective INSULIN and GLUCAGON secretion characteristic of TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS by stimulating insulin secretion and suppressing glucagon release.

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A 51-amino acid pancreatic hormone that plays a major role in the regulation of glucose metabolism, directly by suppressing endogenous glucose production (GLYCOGENOLYSIS; GLUCONEOGENESIS) and indirectly by suppressing GLUCAGON secretion and LIPOLYSIS. Native insulin is a globular protein comprised of a zinc-coordinated hexamer. Each insulin monomer containing two chains, A (21 residues) and B (30 residues), linked by two disulfide bonds. Insulin is used as a drug to control insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (DIABETES MELLITUS, TYPE 1).

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