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Diabetes. 2010 May;59(5):1228-38. doi: 10.2337/db09-0519. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Glucose intolerance and reduced proliferation of pancreatic beta-cells in transgenic pigs with impaired glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide function.

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  • 1Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology and Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis, Gene Center, Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) Munich, Munich, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The insulinotropic action of the incretin glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) is impaired in type 2 diabetes, while the effect of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is preserved. To evaluate the role of impaired GIP function in glucose homeostasis and development of the endocrine pancreas in a large animal model, we generated transgenic pigs expressing a dominant-negative GIP receptor (GIPR(dn)) in pancreatic islets.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

GIPR(dn) transgenic pigs were generated using lentiviral transgenesis. Metabolic tests and quantitative stereological analyses of the different endocrine islet cell populations were performed, and beta-cell proliferation and apoptosis were quantified to characterize this novel animal model.

RESULTS:

Eleven-week-old GIPR(dn) transgenic pigs exhibited significantly reduced oral glucose tolerance due to delayed insulin secretion, whereas intravenous glucose tolerance and pancreatic beta-cell mass were not different from controls. The insulinotropic effect of GIP was significantly reduced, whereas insulin secretion in response to the GLP-1 receptor agonist exendin-4 was enhanced in GIPR(dn) transgenic versus control pigs. With increasing age, glucose control deteriorated in GIPR(dn) transgenic pigs, as shown by reduced oral and intravenous glucose tolerance due to impaired insulin secretion. Importantly, beta-cell proliferation was reduced by 60% in 11-week-old GIPR(dn) transgenic pigs, leading to a reduction of beta-cell mass by 35% and 58% in 5-month-old and 1- to 1.4-year-old transgenic pigs compared with age-matched controls, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

The first large animal model with impaired incretin function demonstrates an essential role of GIP for insulin secretion, proliferation of beta-cells, and physiological expansion of beta-cell mass.

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