Background: Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a gut-derived incretin hormone that plays an important role in glucose homeostasis. Its functions include glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, suppression of glucagon secretion, deceleration of gastric emptying, and reduction in appetite and food intake. Despite the numerous antidiabetic properties of GLP-1, its therapeutic potential is limited by its short biological half-life due to rapid enzymatic degradation by dipeptidyl peptidase IV. The present study aimed to demonstrate the therapeutic effects of constitutively expressed GLP-1 in an overt type 2 diabetic animal model using an adenoviral vector system. Methods: A novel plasmid (pAAV-ILGLP-1) and recombinant adenoviral vector (Ad-ILGLP-1) were constructed with the cytomegalovirus promoter and insulin leader sequence followed by GLP-1(7-37) cDNA. Results: The results of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed significantly elevated levels of GLP-1(7-37) secreted by human embryonic kidney cells transfected with the construct containing the leader sequence. A single intravenous administration of Ad-ILGLP-1 into 12-week-old Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats, which have overt type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), achieved near normoglycemia for 3 weeks and improved utilization of blood glucose in glucose tolerance tests. Circulating plasma levels of GLP-1 increased in GLP-1-treated ZDF rats, but diminished 21 days after treatment. When compared with controls, Ad-ILGLP-1-treated ZDF rats had a lower homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance score indicating amelioration in insulin resistance. Immunohistochemical staining showed that cells expressing GLP-1 were found in the livers of GLP-1-treated ZDF rats. Conclusions: These data suggest that GLP-1 gene therapy can improve glucose homeostasis in fully developed diabetic animal models and may be a promising treatment modality for T2DM in humans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Drug Discovery