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J Biol Chem. 2008 Jun 27;283(26):18365-76. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M710466200. Epub 2008 Apr 17.

Targeted ablation of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide-producing cells in transgenic mice reduces obesity and insulin resistance induced by a high fat diet.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipid Research, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA.


The K cell is a specific sub-type of enteroendocrine cell located in the proximal small intestine that produces glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), xenin, and potentially other unknown hormones. Because GIP promotes weight gain and insulin resistance, reducing hormone release from K cells could lead to weight loss and increased insulin sensitivity. However, the consequences of coordinately reducing circulating levels of all K cell-derived hormones are unknown. To reduce the number of functioning K cells, regulatory elements from the rat GIP promoter/gene were used to express an attenuated diphtheria toxin A chain in transgenic mice. K cell number, GIP transcripts, and plasma GIP levels were profoundly reduced in the GIP/DT transgenic mice. Other enteroendocrine cell types were not ablated. Food intake, body weight, and blood glucose levels in response to insulin or intraperitoneal glucose were similar in control and GIP/DT mice fed standard chow. In contrast to single or double incretin receptor knock-out mice, the incretin response was absent in GIP/DT animals suggesting K cells produce GIP plus an additional incretin hormone. Following high fat feeding for 21-35 weeks, the incretin response was partially restored in GIP/DT mice. Transgenic versus wild-type mice demonstrated significantly reduced body weight (25%), plasma leptin levels (77%), and daily food intake (16%) plus enhanced energy expenditure (10%) and insulin sensitivity. Regardless of diet, long term glucose homeostasis was not grossly perturbed in the transgenic animals. In conclusion, studies using GIP/DT mice demonstrate an important role for K cells in the regulation of body weight and insulin sensitivity.

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