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Diabetes. 2007 Jun;56(6):1551-8. Epub 2007 Mar 14.

Downregulation of GLP-1 and GIP receptor expression by hyperglycemia: possible contribution to impaired incretin effects in diabetes.

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Section of Islet Transplantation and Cell Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Stimulation of insulin secretion by the incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) has been found to be diminished in type 2 diabetes. We hypothesized that this impairment is due to a defect at the receptor level induced by the diabetic state, particularly hyperglycemia. Gene expression of incretin receptors, GLP-1R and GIPR, were significantly decreased in islets of 90% pancreatectomized (Px) hyperglycemic rats, with recovery when glucose levels were normalized by phlorizin. Perifused islets isolated from hyperglycemic Px rats showed reduced insulin responses to GLP-1 and GIP. To examine the acute effect of hyperglycemia on incretin receptor expression, a hyperglycemic clamp study was performed for 96 h with reduction of GLP-1 receptor expression but increase in GIP receptor expression. Similar findings were found when islets were cultured at high glucose concentrations for 48 h. The reduction of GLP-1 receptor expression by high glucose was prevented by dominant-negative protein kinase C (PKC)alpha overexpression, whereas GLP-1 receptor expression was reduced with wild-type PKCalpha overexpression. Taken together, GLP-1 and GIP receptor expression is decreased with chronic hyperglycemia, and this decrease likely contributes to the impaired incretin effects found in diabetes.

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