THERAPY OF ENDOCRINE DISEASE: Amylin and calcitonin - physiology and pharmacology

2 Citations (Scopus)


Type 2 diabetes is a common manifestation of metabolic dysfunction due to obesity and constitutes a major burden for modern health care systems, in concert with the alarming rise in obesity worldwide. In recent years, several successful pharmacotherapies improving glucose metabolism have emerged and some of these also promote weight loss, thus, ameliorating insulin resistance. However, the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes is not halted by these new anti-diabetic pharmacotherapies. Therefore, novel therapies promoting weight loss further and delaying diabetes progression are needed. Amylin, a beta cell hormone, has satiating properties and also delays gastric emptying and inhibits postprandial glucagon secretion with the net result of reducing postprandial glucose excursions. Amylin acts through the six amylin receptors, which share the core component with the calcitonin receptor. Calcitonin, derived from thyroid C cells, is best known for its role in humane calcium metabolism, where it inhibits osteoclasts and reduces circulating calcium. However, calcitonin, particularly of salmon origin, has also been shown to affect insulin sensitivity, reduce the gastric emptying rate and promote satiation. Preclinical trials with agents targeting the calcitonin receptor and the amylin receptors, show improvements in several parameters of glucose metabolism including insulin sensitivity and some of these agents are currently undergoing clinical trials. Here, we review the physiological and pharmacological effects of amylin and calcitonin and discuss the future potential of amylin and calcitonin-based treatments for patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1261
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)R93-R111
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Calcitonin/therapeutic use
  • Calcium/therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/drug therapy
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide/therapeutic use
  • Obesity/drug therapy
  • Receptors, Calcitonin/therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • Weight Loss


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