Intestinal hormones have been shown to impact on type 2 diabetes.A study published in the journal “Science Translational Medicine” shows that the hormone acts on the receptors of insulin stimulating hormones GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) and GIP (gastric inhibitory peptide) and lowers weight and improves blood sugar.
GLP-1 and GIP are hormones that are formed by the digestive tract. They control food intake and numerous metabolic processes. When glucose (sugar) is ingested, these hormones primarily lead to increased insulin release and subsequent reduction in blood sugar, but they also affect appetite regulation and fat burning.
GLP-1 derived compounds are already in use to treat type 2 diabetes, however; this is the first time that a molecular structure has been developed that combined the effects of the two hormones. The new molecule stimulate both receptors (GLP-1 and GIP)at the same time.
The newly discovered GLP-1/GIP co-agonists lead to improved blood sugar levels and to a significant weight loss and lower blood fat. The researchers also discovered that the new substance also improved metabolism in humans. Possible adverse effects, the most frequent of which are gastrointestinal complaints, are less common and less pronounced with this approach than with the individual hormones.
“Our results give us additional confidence that our combinatorial approach of modulating brain regulatory centers via natural gut hormone signals has superior potential for a transformative diabetes treatment,” explains Prof. Tschöp,one of the lead researchers of the study.
Dr. Finan, the first author of the study, points out that there may be unprecedented potential: “We are quite excited about this new multi-functional agent approach and believe it could become an integral part of a next generation of personalized therapies for type 2 diabetes, as the ratio of the GLP-1 and GIP signal strengths could be adjusted depending on the individual needs of patients.”
B. Finan, T. Ma, N. Ottaway, T. D. Muller, K. M. Habegger, K. M. Heppner, H. Kirchner, J. Holland, J. Hembree, C. Raver, S. H. Lockie, D. L. Smiley, V. Gelfanov, B. Yang, S. Hofmann, D. Bruemmer, D. J. Drucker, P. T. Pfluger, D. Perez-Tilve, J. Gidda, L. Vignati, L. Zhang, J. B. Hauptman, M. Lau, M. Brecheisen, S. Uhles, W. Riboulet, E. Hainaut, E. Sebokova, K. Conde-Knape, A. Konkar, R. D. DiMarchi, M. H. Tschop. Unimolecular Dual Incretins Maximize Metabolic Benefits in Rodents, Monkeys, and Humans. Science Translational Medicine, 2013; 5 (209): 209ra151 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3007218