Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

Glucose sensing by gut endocrine cells and activation of the vagal afferent pathway is impaired in a rodent model of type 2 diabetes mellitus

Jennifer Lee, Bethany P. Cummings, Elizabeth Martin, James W. Sharp, James L. Graham, Kimber L. Stanhope, Peter J. Havel, Helen E. Raybould


Glucose in the gut lumen activates gut endocrine cells to release 5-HT, glucagon-like peptide 1/2 (GLP-1/2), and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), which act to change gastrointestinal function and regulate postprandial plasma glucose. There is evidence that both release and action of incretin hormones is reduced in type 2 diabetes (T2D). We measured cellular activation of enteroendocrine and enterochromaffin cells, enteric neurons, and vagal afferent neurons in response to intestinal glucose in a model of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the UCD-T2DM rat. Prediabetic (PD), recent-diabetic (RD, 2 wk postonset), and 3-mo diabetic (3MD) fasted UCD-T2DM rats were given an orogastric gavage of vehicle (water, 0.5 ml /100 g body wt) or glucose (330 μmol/100 g body wt); after 6 min tissue was removed and cellular activation was determined by immunohistochemistry for phosphorylated calcium calmodulin-dependent kinase II (pCaMKII). In PD rats, pCaMKII immunoreactivity was increased in duodenal 5-HT (P < 0.001), K (P < 0.01) and L (P < 0.01) cells in response to glucose; glucose-induced activation of all three cell types was significantly reduced in RD and 3MD compared with PD rats. Immunoreactivity for GLP-1, but not GIP, was significantly reduced in RD and 3MD compared with PD rats (P < 0.01). Administration of glucose significantly increased pCaMKII in enteric and vagal afferent neurons in PD rats; glucose-induced pCaMKII immunoreactivity was attenuated in enteric and vagal afferent neurons (P < 0.01, P < 0.001, respectively) in RD and 3MD. These data suggest that glucose sensing in enteroendocrine and enterochromaffin cells and activation of neural pathways is markedly impaired in UCD-T2DM rats.

  • 5-hydroxytryptamine
  • intestinal glucose
  • incretin
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