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.
David P Sonne, Asger Lund, Jens Faber, Jens J Holst, Tina Vilsbøll, and Filip K Knop
Nicolai J Wewer Albrechtsen, Monika J Bak, Bolette Hartmann, Louise Wulff Christensen, Rune E Kuhre, Carolyn F Deacon, and Jens J Holst
To investigate the stability of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucagon in plasma under short- and long-term storage conditions. Pooled human plasma (n=20), to which a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitor and aprotinin were added, was spiked with synthetic GLP-1 (intact, 7–36NH2 as well as the primary metabolite, GLP-1 9–36NH2) or glucagon. Peptide recoveries were measured in samples kept for 1 and 3 h at room temperature or on ice, treated with various enzyme inhibitors, after up to three thawing–refreezing cycles, and after storage at −20 and −80 °C for up to 1 year. Recoveries were unaffected by freezing cycles or if plasma was stored on ice for up to 3 h, but were impaired when samples stood at RT for more than 1 h. Recovery of intact GLP-1 increased by addition of a DPP4 inhibitor (no ice), but was not further improved by neutral endopeptidase 24.11 inhibitor or an inhibitor cocktail. GLP-1, but not glucagon, was stable for at least 1 year. Surprisingly, the recovery of glucagon was reduced by almost 50% by freezing compared with immediate analysis, regardless of storage time. Plasma handling procedures can significantly influence results of subsequent hormone analysis. Our data support addition of DPP4 inhibitor for GLP-1 measurement as well as cooling on ice of both GLP-1 and glucagon. Freeze–thaw cycles did not significantly affect stability of GLP-1 or glucagon. Long-term storage may affect glucagon levels regardless of storage temperature and results should be interpreted with caution.
Justyna Modrzynska, Christine F Klein, Kasper Iversen, Henning Bundgaard, Bolette Hartmann, Maike Moss, Nikolaj Rittig, Niels Moeller, Jens J Holst, and Nicolai J Wewer Albrechtsen
Objective: Glucagon and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) originate from the common precursor, proglucagon, and their plasma concentrations have been reported to be increased during inflammatory conditions. Increased blood glucose levels are frequently observed in septic patients, and therefore we hypothesized that glucagon, but not GLP-1, is increased in individuals with inflammation.
Design: Prospective longitudinal cohort study.
Materials and Methods: We measured glucagon and GLP-1 in plasma sampled consecutively in three cohorts consisting of patients with infective endocarditis (n=16), urosepsis (n=28) and post-operative inflammation following percutaneous aortic valve implantation or thoracic endovascular aortic repair (n=5). Correlations between C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, and glucagon and GLP-1 concentrations were investigated. Additionally, glucagon and GLP-1 concentrations were measured after a bolus infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1ng/kg) in nine healthy young males.
Results: Glucagon and CRP were positively and significantly correlated (r=0.27; P=0.0003), whereas no significant association between GLP-1 and CRP was found (r=0.08, P=0.30). LPS infusion resulted in acute systemic inflammation reflected by increased temperature, pulse, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and concomitantly increased concentrations of glucagon (P<0.05) but not GLP-1.
Conclusions :Systemic inflammation caused by bacterial infections or developed as a non-infected condition is associated with increased plasma concentration of glucagon, but not GLP-1. Hyperglucagonemia may contribute to the impaired glucose control in patients with systemic inflammatory diseases.
Peter L Kristensen, Ulrik Pedersen-Bjergaard, Rikke Due-Andersen, Thomas Høi-Hansen, Lise Grimmeshave, Valeriya Lyssenko, Leif Groop, Jens J Holst, Allan A Vaag, and Birger Thorsteinsson
In healthy carriers of the T allele of the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2), fasting plasma glucagon concentrations are lower compared with those with the C allele. We hypothesised that presence of the T allele is associated with a diminished glucagon response during hypoglycaemia and a higher frequency of severe hypoglycaemia (SH) in type 1 diabetes (T1DM).
Material and methods
This is a post hoc study of an earlier prospective observational study of SH and four mechanistic studies of physiological responses to hypoglycaemia. 269 patients with T1DM were followed in a one-year observational study. A log-linear negative binomial model was applied with events of SH as dependent variable and TCF7L2 alleles as explanatory variable. In four experimental studies including 65 people, TCF7L2 genotyping was done and plasma glucagon concentration during experimental hypoglycaemia was determined.
Incidences of SH were TT 0.54, TC 0.98 and CC 1.01 episodes per patient-year with no significant difference between groups. During experimental hypoglycaemia, the TCF7L2 polymorphism did not influence glucagon secretion.
Patients with T1DM carrying the T allele of the TCF7L2 polymorphism do not exhibit diminished glucagon response during hypoglycaemia and are not at increased risk of severe hypoglycaemia compared with carriers of the C allele.
Amalie R Lanng, Lærke S Gasbjerg, Natasha C Bergmann, Sigrid Bergmann, Mads M Helsted, Matthew P Gillum, Bolette Hartmann, Jens J Holst, Tina Vilsbøll, and Filip K Knop
Ingestion of the calorically dense compound alcohol may cause metabolic disturbances including hypoglycaemia, hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, but the underlying mechanisms are uncertain. The gastrointestinal tract is well recognised as a major influencer on glucose, protein and lipid metabolism, but its role in alcohol metabolism remains unclear.
To examine the effects of oral and intravenous alcohol, respectively, on plasma concentrations of several gluco-regulatory hormones including serum/plasma insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21).
Design and methods
In a double-blinded, randomised, crossover design, we subjected 12 healthy men to intragastric ethanol infusion (IGEI) and an isoethanolaemic intravenous ethanol infusion (IVEI) (0.7 g alcohol per kg body weight), respectively, on two separate experimental days.
Isoethanolaemia during the two alcohol administration forms was obtained (P = 0.38). During both interventions, plasma glucose peaked after ~30 min and thereafter fell below baseline concentrations. GIP and GLP-1 concentrations were unaffected by the two interventions. Insulin concentrations were unaffected by IGEI but decreased during IVEI. C-peptide, insulin secretion rate and glucagon concentrations were lowered similarly during IGEI and IVEI. FGF21 concentrations increased dramatically (nine-fold) and similarly during IGEI and IVEI.
Alcohol does not seem to affect the secretion of incretin hormones but decreased insulin and glucagon secretion independently of gut-derived factors. IGEI as well as IVEI potently stimulate FGF21 secretion indicating a gut-independent effect of alcohol on FGF21 secretion in humans.
David S Mathiesen, Jonatan I Bagger, Katrine B Hansen, Anders E Junker, Astrid Plamboeck, Signe Harring, Thomas Idorn, Mads Hornum, Jens J Holst, Anna E Jonsson, Torben Hansen, Tina Vilsbøll, Asger Lund, and Filip K Knop
The T allele of TCF7L2 rs7903146 is a common genetic variant associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D), possibly by modulation of incretin action. In this study, we evaluated the effect of the TCF7L2 rs7903146 T allele on the incretin effect and other glucometabolic parameters in normal glucose tolerant individuals (NGT) and participants with T2D. The rs7903146 variant was genotyped in cohorts of 61 NGT individuals (23 were heterozygous (CT) or homozygous (TT) T allele carriers) and 43 participants with T2D (20 with CT/TT). Participants were previously examined by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and a subsequent isoglycemic intravenous glucose infusion (IIGI). The incretin effect was assessed by quantification of the difference in integrated beta cell secretory responses during the OGTT and IIGI. Glucose and hormonal levels were measured during experimental days, and from these, indices of beta cell function and insulin sensitivity were calculated. No genotype-specific differences in the incretin effect were observed in the NGT group (P = 0.70) or the T2D group (P = 0.68). NGT T allele carriers displayed diminished glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide response during OGTT (P = 0.01) while T allele carriers with T2D were characterized by lower C-peptide AUC after OGTT (P = 0.04) and elevated glucose AUC after OGTT (P = 0.04). In conclusion, our findings do not exclude that this specific TCF7L2 variant increases the risk of developing T2D via diminished incretin effect, but genotype-related defects were not detectable in these cohorts.
Kim K B Clemmensen, Jonas S Quist, Dorte Vistisen, Daniel R Witte, Anna Jonsson, Oluf Pedersen, Torben Hansen, Jens J Holst, Torsten Lauritzen, Marit E Jørgensen, Signe Torekov, and Kristine Færch
Fasting duration has been associated with lower fasting blood glucose levels, but higher 2-h post-load levels, and research has indicated an adverse effect of ‘weekend behavior’ on human metabolism. We investigated associations of fasting duration and weekday of examination with glucose, insulin, glucagon and incretin responses to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This cross-sectional study is based on data from the ADDITION-PRO study, where 2082 individuals attended a health examination including an OGTT. Linear regression analysis was applied to study the associations of overnight fasting duration and day of the week with glucose, insulin, glucagon, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) responses to an OGTT. We found that a 1 h longer fasting duration was associated with 1.7% (95% CI: 0.8,2.5) higher 2-h glucose levels, as well as a 3.0% (95% CI: 1.3,4.7) higher GIP and 2.3% (95% CI: 0.3,4.4) higher GLP-1 response. Fasting insulin levels were 20.6% (95% CI: 11.2,30.7) higher on Mondays compared to the other weekdays, with similar fasting glucose levels (1.7%, 95% CI: 0.0,3.4). In this study, longer overnight fasting duration was associated with a worsening of glucose tolerance and increased incretin response to oral glucose. We found higher fasting insulin levels on Mondays compared to the other days of the week, potentially indicating a worsened glucose regulation after the weekend.
Charlotte Janus, Dorte Vistisen, Hanan Amadid, Daniel R Witte, Torsten Lauritzen, Søren Brage, Anne-Louise Bjerregaard, Torben Hansen, Jens J Holst, Marit E Jørgensen, Oluf Pedersen, Kristine Færch, and Signe S Torekov
The hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) decreases blood glucose and appetite. Greater physical activity (PA) is associated with lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. While acute exercise may increase glucose-induced response of GLP-1, it is unknown how habitual PA affects GLP-1 secretion. We hypothesised that habitual PA associates with greater glucose-induced GLP-1 responses in overweight individuals.
Cross-sectional analysis of habitual PA levels and GLP-1 concentrations in 1326 individuals (mean (s.d.) age 66 (7) years, BMI 27.1 (4.5) kg/m2) from the ADDITION-PRO cohort. Fasting and oral glucose-stimulated GLP-1 responses were measured using validated radioimmunoassay. PA was measured using 7-day combined accelerometry and heart rate monitoring. From this, energy expenditure (PAEE; kJ/kg/day) and fractions of time spent in activity intensities (h/day) were calculated. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF; mL O2/kg/min) was calculated using step tests. Age-, BMI- and insulin sensitivity-adjusted associations between PA and GLP-1, stratified by sex, were evaluated by linear regression analysis.
In 703 men, fasting GLP-1 concentrations were 20% lower (95% CI: −33; −3%, P = 0.02) for every hour of moderate-intensity PA performed. Higher CRF and PAEE were associated with 1–2% lower fasting GLP-1 (P = 0.01). For every hour of moderate-intensity PA, the glucose-stimulated GLP-1 response was 16% greater at peak 30 min (1; 33%, P rAUC0-30 = 0.04) and 20% greater at full response (3; 40%, P rAUC0-120 = 0.02). No associations were found in women who performed PA 22 min/day vs 32 min/day for men.
Moderate-intensity PA is associated with lower fasting and greater glucose-induced GLP-1 responses in overweight men, possibly contributing to improved glucose and appetite regulation with increased habitual PA.