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 Stanhope, Peter J Havel, Helen E Raybould

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40 Scopus citations


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 mol/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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-666
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2012



  • 5-hydroxytryptamine
  • Incretin
  • Intestinal glucose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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