Characterisation and antidiabetic utility of a novel hybrid peptide, exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln

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Enteroendocrine derived hormones such as glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), gastrin and xenin are known to exert complementary beneficial metabolic effects in diabetes. This study has assessed the biological activity and therapeutic utility of a novel GLP-1/gastrin/xenin hybrid peptide, namely exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln hybrid, both alone and in combination with the stable GIP mimetic, (DAla2)GIP. Exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln increased in vitro insulin secretion to a similar or superior extent, as the parent peptides. Insulinotropic effects were mainly linked to modulation of GLP-1 and neurotensin receptors. Exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln also augmented the insulinotropic actions of (DAla2)GIP. Acute administration of exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln in mice induced significant appetite suppressive, glucose lowering and insulin secretory effects, with a duration of biological action beyond 8h. Twice daily administration of exendin-4, exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln, either alone or in combination with (DAla2)GIP, reduced circulating glucose, increased plasma insulin as well as improving glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and metabolic response to GIP in high fat fed mice. Body weight, food intake, circulating glucagon and amylase activity were unaltered. All hybrid peptide treated high fat mice exhibited marked reductions in LDL-cholesterol and body fat mass. Energy expenditure and locomotor activity were increased in mice treated with exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln in combination with (DAla2)GIP. Interestingly, exendin-4 and exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln treatment, but not exendin-4/gastrin/xenin-8-Gln in combination with (DAla2)GIP, reduced pancreatic islet and beta-cell area when compared to high fat controls. These studies confirm that unimolecular multi-agonist peptide hormones exert beneficial metabolic effects in diabetes, highlighting their potential as novel treatment strategies.

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