Foetal proglucagon processing in relation to adult appetite control: lessons from a transplantable rat glucagonoma with severe anorexia

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P B Jensen, P J Larsen, C Karlsen, H I Jensen, Jens Juul Holst, O D Madsen

We have previously reported severe anorexia abruptly induced in rats 2-3 weeks after they have been transplanted subcutaneously with the glucagonoma MSL-G-AN. Vagotomy did not affect the time of onset and severity of anorexia, and the anorectic state resembles hunger with strongly elevated neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA levels in the nucleus arcuatus. We now show that circulating levels of bioactive glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) (7-36amide) start to increase above control levels exactly at the time of onset of anorexia. At this time-point, bioactive glucagon as well as total glucagon precursors and GLP-1 metabolites are already vastly elevated compared to controls. We further show that intravenous administration of very high concentrations of GLP-1 to hungry schedule-fed rats causes anorexia in a dose-dependent manner, which is blocked by the GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin (9-39). GLP-1 (7-36amide) has a well-characterized anorectic effect but also causes taste aversion when administered centrally. The anorectic effect is blocked in rats treated neonatally by monosodium glutamate (MSG). We show that MSG treatment does not prevent the MSL-G-AN-induced anorexia, thereby suggesting a different type of anorectic function. We show a very strong component of taste aversion as anorectic rats, when presented to novel or known alternative food items, will resume normal feeding for 1 day, and then redevelop anorexia. We hypothetize that the anorexia in MSL-G-AN tumour-bearing rats correlates with a foetal processing pattern of proglucagon to both glucagon and GLP-1 (7-36amide), and is due to taste aversion. The sudden onset is characterized by a dramatic increase in circulating levels of biologically active GLP-1 (7-36amide), suggesting eventual saturation of proteolytic inactivation of its N-terminus.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

    Research areas

  • Animals, Anorexia, Appetite Regulation, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, Glucagonoma, Male, Neoplasm Transplantation, Pancreatic Neoplasms, Peptide Fragments, Proglucagon, Rats, Receptors, Glucagon, Taste

ID: 38530869