1 Section of Endocrinology Research, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Unit for Diabetes Research, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden;3 unknown4 Section for Translational Metabolic Physiology, The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Section for Translational Metabolic Physiology, The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), secreted from gut L cells upon nutrient intake, forms the basis for novel drugs against type 2 diabetes (T2D). Secretion of GLP-1 has been suggested to be impaired in T2D and in conditions associated with hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance. Further, recent studies support lipotoxicity of GLP-1-producing cells in vitro. However, little is known about the regulation of L-cell viability/function, the effects of insulin signaling, or the potential effects of stable GLP-1 analogs and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. We determined effects of insulin as well as possible autocrine action of GLP-1 on viability/apoptosis of GLP-1-secreting cells in the presence/absence of palmitate, while also assessing direct effects on function. The studies were performed using the GLP-1-secreting cell line GLUTag, and palmitate was used to simulate hyperlipidemia. Our results show that palmitate induced production of reactive oxygen species and caspase-3 activity and reduced cell viability are significantly attenuated by preincubation with insulin/exendin-4. The indicated lipoprotective effect of insulin/exendin-4 was not detectable in the presence of the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) antagonist exendin (9-39) and attenuated in response to pharmacological inhibition of exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac) signaling, while protein kinase A inhibition had no significant effect. Insulin/exendin-4 also significantly stimulate acute and long-term GLP-1 secretion in the presence of glucose, suggesting novel beneficial effects of insulin signaling and GLP-1R activation on glycemia through enhanced mass of GLP-1-producing cells and enhanced GLP-1 secretion. In addition, the effects of insulin indicate that not only is GLP-1 important for insulin secretion but altered insulin signaling may contribute to an altered GLP-1 secretion.