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Diabetes. 1998 Jan;47(1):66-72.

Dual glucagon recognition by pancreatic beta-cells via glucagon and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptors.

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Diabetes Research Center, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.


cAMP is required for normal glucose-induced insulin release by pancreatic beta-cells. In a previous study, we showed that cAMP production in beta-cells depends on the expression of receptors for glucagon, glucagon-like peptide 1(7-36) amide [GLP-1(7-36) amide], and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. Although the latter two peptides are thought to amplify meal-induced insulin release (incretin effect), the role of glucagon in the regulation of insulin release remains elusive. In the present study, we analyzed the interaction of glucagon with its own receptor and with the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor using purified rat beta-cells. Glucagon binding was partially displaced by 1 micromol/l des-His1-[Glu9]glucagon-amide, a glucagon receptor antagonist, and by 1 micromol/l GLP-1. Conversely, GLP-1 binding was competitively inhibited by high glucagon concentrations (Ki = 0.3 micromol/l). Glucagon-induced cAMP production in beta-cells was inhibited both by 1 micromol/l des-His1-[Glu9]glucagon-amide and exendin-(9-39)-amide, a specific GLP-1 receptor antagonist, whereas GLP-1-induced cAMP formation was suppressed only by exendin-(9-39)-amide. Finally, addition of 1 micromol/l exendin-(9-39)-amide to 20 mmol/l glucose-stimulated beta-cells did not antagonize the potentiating effect of 1 nmol/l glucagon, although it prevented 45% of glucagon potentiation when the peptide was administered at 10 nmol/l. Our data suggest that glucagon recognition via two distinct receptors allows pancreatic beta-cells to detect this peptide both when diluted in the systemic circulation and when concentrated as local signal in the islet interstitium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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