Islet-Neogenesis Associated Protein-Pentadecapeptide (INGAP-PP) increases β-cell mass and enhances glucose and amino acids-induced insulin secretion. Our aim was to demonstrate its effect on liver metabolism. For that purpose, adult male Wistar rats were injected twice-daily (10 days) with saline solution or INGAP-PP (250 μg). Thereafter, serum glucose, triglyceride and insulin levels were measured and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) and hepatic insulin sensitivity (HIS) were determined. Liver glucokinase and glucose-6-phosphatase (G-6-Pase) expression and activity, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) expression, phosphofructokinase-2 (PFK-2) protein content, P-Akt/Akt and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (P-GSK3/GSK3) protein ratios and glycogen deposit were also determined. Additionally, glucokinase activity and G-6-Pase and PEPCK gene expression were also determined in isolated hepatocytes from normal rats incubated with INGAP-PP (5 μg/ml).
INGAP-PP administration did not modify any of the serum parameters tested but significantly increased activity of liver glucokinase and the protein level of its cytosolic activator, PFK-2. Conversely, INGAP-PP treated rats decreased gene expression and enzyme activity of gluconeogenic enzymes, G-6-Pase and PEPCK. They also showed a higher glycogen deposit and P-GSK3/GSK3 and P-Akt/Akt ratio. In isolated hepatocytes, INGAP-PP increased GK activity and decreased G-6-Pase and PEPCK expression.
These results demonstrate a direct effect of INGAP-PP on the liver acting through P-Akt signaling pathway. INGAP-PP enhances liver glucose metabolism and deposit and reduces its production/output, thereby contributing to maintain normal glucose homeostasis. These results reinforce the concept that INGAP-PP might become a useful tool to treat people with impaired islet/liver glucose metabolism as it occurs in T2D.