Arginine-induced glucagon secretion and glucagon-induced enhancement of amino acid catabolism are not influenced by ambient glucose levels in mice

Katharina Maruszczak, Christine Rasmussen, Frederik R Ceutz, Anne Ørgaard, Emilie Elmelund, Michael M Richter, Jens J Holst, Marie Winther-Sørensen*, Nicolai J Wewer Albrechtsen*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Abstract

Amino acids stimulate the secretion of glucagon, and glucagon receptor signaling regulates amino acid catabolism via ureagenesis, together constituting the liver-α cell axis. Impairment of the liver-α cell axis is observed in metabolic diseases such as diabetes. It is, however, unknown whether glucose affects the liver-α cell axis. We investigated the role of glucose on the liver-α cell axis in vivo and ex vivo. The isolated perfused mouse pancreas was used to evaluate the direct effect of low (3.5 mmol/L) and high (15 mmol/L) glucose levels on amino acid (10 mmol/L arginine)-induced glucagon secretion. High glucose levels alone lowered glucagon secretion, but the amino acid-induced glucagon responses were similar in high and low glucose conditions (P = 0.38). The direct effect of glucose on glucagon and amino acid-induced ureagenesis was assessed using isolated perfused mouse livers stimulated with a mixture of amino acids (VaminR, 10 mmol/L) and glucagon (10 nmol/L) during high and low glucose conditions. Urea production increased robustly but was independent of glucose levels (P = 0.95). To investigate the whole body effects of glucose on the liver-α cell axis, four groups of mice received intraperitoneal injections of glucose-Vamin (2 g/kg, + 3.5 µmol/g, respectively, G/V), saline-Vamin (S/V), glucose-saline (G/S), or saline-saline (S/S). Blood glucose did not differ significantly between G/S and G/V groups. Levels of glucagon and amino acids were similar in the G/V and S/V groups (P = 0.28). Amino acids may overrule the inhibitory effect of glucose on glucagon secretion and the liver-α cell axis may operate independently of glucose in mice.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Glucagon is an essential regulator of our metabolism. Recent evidence suggests that the physiological actions of glucagon reside in amino acid catabolism in the so-called liver-α cell axis, in which amino acids stimulate glucagon secretion and glucagon enhances hepatic amino acid catabolism. Here, it is demonstrated that this feedback system is independent of glycemia possibly explaining why hyperglycemia in diabetes may not suppress α cell secretion.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Vol/bind323
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)E207-E214
ISSN0193-1849
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2022

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