Niels Vrang

Gubra , Hørsholm, Capital Region, Denmark

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Publications (80)306.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Stimulation of the G protein coupled receptor GPR120 has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects, to promote glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion, and to play a key role in sensing dietary fat and control energy balance. In a search for differentially expressed genes potentially involved in food intake and body-weight regulation we identified GPR120 to be differentially regulated in the intestine of selectively bred diet induced obese (DIO) and diet resistant (DR) rats. Subsequently we investigated the effect of GPR120 receptor stimulation with the long chain fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA) on GLP-1 secretion in rats. Independent of diet (high or low fat), GPR120 expression showed a two-fold increase in the intestine of DIO compared to DR rats. In situ hybridization revealed a broad expression of GPR120 in the gut mucosa in both intestinal epithelial and endocrine cells. Using double in situ hybridization GPR120 mRNA did not appear to be enriched in preproglucagon expressing L-cells. In line with the anatomical data, ALA administration did not increase circulating GLP-1 levels. Our data shows a widespread expression of GPR120 in the gut epithelium and can not confirm a major role for GPR120 in the regulation of GLP-1 secretion. The broad expression of GPR120 in the gut epithelium supports reports indicating a putative role of GPR120 as a sensor of dietary fat.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e88227. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim To investigate the short-term effect of ileal interposition (IT) surgery on gut morphology and enteroendocrine cell numbers in the pre-diabetic Uc Davis Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (UCD-T2DM) rat. Study Design Two-month old male UCD-T2DM rats underwent either sham (n = 5) or IT (n = 5) surgery. Intestines were collected 1.5 months after surgery. The jejunum, ileum and colon regions were processed for histochemical and immunohistochemical labeling and stereological analyses of changes in gut morphometry and number of enteroendocrine cells. Results Stereological analysis of intestinal volume, luminal surface area and the number of all chromogranin A-positive enteroendocrine cells were markedly increased in the IT rats compared with sham-operated animals. Subanalyses of the glucagon-like peptide 2, cholecystokinin, serotonin cells and the neurotensin immunoreactive sub-pool of enteroendocrine cells in the IT region revealed an increase in numbers across phenotypes. However, the density of the different cell types varied. Conclusion IT surgery in the UCD-T2DM rat leads to rapid alterations in gut morphometry and an increase in the number of enteroendocrine cells. This effect may potentially explain why IT surgery delays the onset of type 2 diabetes in the UCD-T2DM rat.
    Regulatory Peptides 01/2014; · 2.06 Impact Factor
  • Diabetes care 12/2013; 36(12):e213. · 7.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To characterise changes in pancreatic beta cell mass during the development of diabetes in untreated male C57BLKS/J db/db mice. Blood samples were collected from a total of 72 untreated male db/db mice aged 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, 24 and 34 weeks, for measurement of terminal blood glucose, HbA1c, plasma insulin, and C-peptide. Pancreata were removed for quantification of beta cell mass, islet numbers as well as proliferation and apoptosis by immunohistochemistry and stereology. Total pancreatic beta cell mass increased significantly from 2.1 ± 0.3 mg in mice aged 5 weeks to a peak value of 4.84 ± 0.26 mg (P < 0.05) in 12-week-old mice, then gradually decreased to 3.27 ± 0.44 mg in mice aged 34 weeks. Analysis of islets in the 5-, 10-, and 24-week age groups showed increased beta cell proliferation in the 10-week-old animals whereas a low proliferation is seen in older animals. The expansion in beta cell mass was driven by an increase in mean islet mass as the total number of islets was unchanged in the three groups. The age-dependent beta cell dynamics in male db/db mice has been described from 5-34 weeks of age and at the same time alterations in insulin/glucose homeostasis were assessed. High beta cell proliferation and increased beta cell mass occur in young animals followed by a gradual decline characterised by a low beta cell proliferation in older animals. The expansion of beta cell mass was caused by an increase in mean islet mass and not islet number.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e82813. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) leads to a rapid remission of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but the underlying mode of action remains incompletely understood. L-cell derived gut hormones such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY) are thought to play a central role in the anti-diabetic effects of RYGB; therefore, an improved understanding of intestinal endocrine L-cell adaptability is considered pivotal. The full rostrocaudal extension of the gut was analyzed in rats after RYGB and in sham-operated controls ad libitum fed or food restricted to match the body weight of RYGB rats. Total number of L-cells, as well as regional numbers, densities and mucosa volumes were quantified using stereological methods. Preproglucagon and PYY mRNA transcripts were quantified by qPCR to reflect the total and relative hormone production capacity of the L-cells. RYGB surgery induced hypertrophy of the gut mucosa in the food exposed regions of the small intestine coupled with a doubling in the total number of L-cells. No changes in L-cell density were observed in any region regardless of surgery or food restriction. The total gene expression capacity of the entire gut revealed a near 200% increase in both PYY and preproglucagon mRNA levels in RYGB rats associated with both increased L-cell number as well as region-specific increased transcription per cell. Collectively, these findings indicate that RYGB in rats is associated with gut hypertrophy, an increase in L-cell number, but not density, and increased PYY and preproglucagon gene expression. This could explain the enhanced gut hormone dynamics seen after RYGB.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e65696. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gut secreted incretin hormones and gastric bypass surgery currently provides some of the most successful treatments for diabetes and obesity respectively. However, despite the evident importance of the gut endocrine system no information exists on the total number and distribution of different types of endocrine cells in the gut. Here we have used the established preclinical Zucker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rat model which displays elevated levels of GLP-1 to assess L-cell distribution and L-cell dynamics in the full rostro-caudal extension of the rat intestinal tract. Using mathematically unbiased stereology we provide total and regional estimates of gut volume, gut surface area and the total number of L-cells throughout the intestinal tract in obese ZDF rats and lean controls. The total number of L-cells in the lean and obese ZDF gut is estimated to 4.8 and 10.9 million, respectively, coupled with a corresponding near doubling in total gut volume and total surface area. L-cell numbers were found to be distributed rather evenly throughout the jejunum, ileum and colon. The present study provides the first stereological report of total L-cell number and L-cell distribution throughout the rat intestinal tract. In contrast to the currently held view, the majority of L-cells are actually located proximal to the traditionally defined ileum and colon.
    American Journal of Translational Research 01/2013; 5(3):347-58.
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    ABSTRACT: Post-operative increases in circulating bile acids have been suggested to contribute to the metabolic benefits of bariatric surgery; however, their mechanistic contributions remain undefined. We have previously reported that ileal interposition (IT) surgery delays the onset of type 2 diabetes in UCD-T2DM rats and increases circulating bile acids, independently of effects on energy intake or body weight. Therefore, we investigated potential mechanisms by which post-operative increases in circulating bile acids improve glucose homeostasis after IT surgery. IT, sham or no surgery was performed on 2-month-old weight-matched male UCD-T2DM rats. Animals underwent an oral fat tolerance test (OFTT) and serial oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT). Tissues were collected at 1.5 and 4.5 months after surgery. Cell culture models were used to investigate interactions between bile acids and ER stress. IT-operated animals exhibited marked improvements in glucose and lipid metabolism, with concurrent increases in postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion during the OFTT and OGTTs, independently of food intake and body weight. Measurement of circulating bile acid profiles revealed increases in circulating total bile acids in IT-operated animals, with a preferential increase in circulating cholic acid concentrations. Gut microbial populations were assessed as potential contributors to the increases in circulating bile acid concentrations, which revealed proportional increases in Gammaproteobacteria in IT-operated animals. Furthermore, IT surgery decreased all three sub-arms of ER stress signaling in liver, adipose and pancreas tissues. Amelioration of ER stress coincided with improved insulin signaling and preservation of β-cell mass in IT-operated animals. Incubation of hepatocyte, adipocyte and β-cell lines with cholic acid decreased ER stress. These results suggest that post-operative increases in circulating cholic acid concentration contribute to improvements in glucose homeostasis after IT surgery by ameliorating ER stress.
    Disease Models and Mechanisms 12/2012; · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been hypothesized that amphipathic peptides might bind to membranes prior to activating their cognate receptors, but this has proven difficult to test. The peptide hormone PYY3-36 is believed to perform its appetite-suppressing actions through binding to hypothalamic Y2 receptors. It has been proposed that PYY3-36 via its amphipathic α-helix binds to the plasma membrane prior to receptor docking. Here, our aim was to study the implication of this hypothesis using new analogs of PYY3-36. We first studied membrane binding of PYY3-36. Next, we designed a series of PYY3-36 analogs to increase membrane-binding affinity by substituting the N-terminal segment with a de novo designed α-helical, amphipathic sequence. These 2-helix variants of PYY3-36 were assembled by solid-phase peptide synthesis. Pharmacological studies demonstrated that even though the native peptide sequence was radically changed, highly active Y2 receptor agonists were generated. A potent analog, with a Kd of 4 nM for membranes, was structurally characterized by NMR in the membrane-bound state, which clearly showed that it formed the expected 2-helix. The topology of the peptide-micelle association was studied by paramagnetic relaxation enhancement using a spin label, which confirmed that the hydrophobic residues bound to the membrane. Our studies further support the hypothesis that PYY3-36 associates with the membrane and indicate that this can be used in the design of novel molecules with high receptor binding potency. These observations are likely to be generally important for peptide hormones and biopharmaceutical drugs derived from them. This new 2-helix variant of PYY3-36 will be useful as a tool compound for studying peptide-membrane interactions.
    Journal of Peptide Science 08/2012; 18(9):579-87. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data indicate that dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors have anti-inflammatory and β-cell-sparing effects in animal models of type 1 diabetes. To evaluate the effects of the DPP4 inhibitor linagliptin on β-cell mass and insulinitis, we examined the progression of diabetes (blood glucose >11  mmol/l) in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice with terminal stereological assessment of cellular pancreatic changes. Female NOD mice were fed a normal chow diet or a diet containing linagliptin 0.083  g/kg chow for 60 days. At study end, the incidence of diabetes in linagliptin-treated mice was reduced by almost 50% compared with vehicle (10 of 31 mice vs 18 of 30 mice, P=0.021). The total islet mass and total β-cell mass, identified by insulin immunoreactivity, were greater in non-diabetic linagliptin-treated mice compared with non-diabetic vehicle-treated mice (P<0.01 for both) but were greatly reduced in diabetic mice irrespective of treatment. No changes were seen in the α, δ and γ endocrine cell pool. Moreover, the total mass of lymphocyte insulinitis was significantly reduced in linagliptin-treated mice compared with vehicle. The data indicate that linagliptin treatment delays the onset of diabetes in NOD mice by protecting β-cell mass.
    Journal of Endocrinology 07/2012; 214(3):381-7. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A possible association between glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogs and incidences of pancreatitis has been suggested based on clinical studies. In male and female diabetic Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats, we investigated the effects of continuous administration of liraglutide and exenatide on biochemical [lipase, pancreatic amylase (P-amylase)] and histopathological markers of pancreatitis. Male and female ZDF rats were dosed for 13 wk with liraglutide (0.4 or 1.0 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) sc once daily) or exenatide (0.25 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) sc, Alzet osmotic minipumps). P-amylase and lipase plasma activity were measured, and an extended histopathological and stereological (specific cell mass and proliferation rate) evaluation of the exocrine and the endocrine pancreas was performed. Expectedly, liraglutide and exenatide lowered blood glucose and Hb A(1c) in male and female ZDF rats, whereas β-cell mass and proliferation rate were increased with greatly improved blood glucose control. Whereas neither analog affected lipase activity, small increases in P-amylase activity were observed in animals treated with liraglutide and exenatide. However, concurrent or permanent increases in lipase and P-amylase activity were never observed. Triglycerides were lowered by both GLP-1 analogs. The qualitative histopathological findings did not reveal adverse effects of liraglutide. The findings were mainly minimal in severity and focal in distribution. Similarly, the quantitative stereological analyses revealed no effects of liraglutide or exenatide on overall pancreas weight or exocrine and duct cell mass or proliferation. The present study demonstrates that, in overtly diabetic male and female ZDF rats, prolonged exposure to GLP-1 receptor agonists does not affect biochemical or histopathological markers of pancreatitis, and whereas both exenatide and liraglutide increase β-cell mass, they have no effect on the exocrine pancreas. However, clinical outcome studies and studies using primate tissues and/or studies in nonhuman primates are needed to further assess human risk.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 05/2012; 303(2):E253-64. · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    Gitte Hansen, Jacob Jelsing, Niels Vrang
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    ABSTRACT: To validate the gubra DIO-rats as a useful animal model of human obesity. The gubra diet-induced obesity (DIO) rat model was based on male Sprague-Dawley rats with ad libitum access to regular chow and a palatable diet rich in fat and sugar. To evaluate the versatility of the gubra DIO-rats as a valid model of human obesity syndrome, the efficacy of 2 weight loss compounds liraglutide and sibutramine with different mechanisms of action were examined in 7-month-old gubra DIO-rats. Liraglutide (200 μg/kg, sc) was administered bi-daily, and sibutramine (5 mg/kg, po) was administered once daily for 23 d. Both the compounds effectively reduced the food intake, body weight and total fat mass as measured by nuclear magnetic resonance. Whereas the 5-HT reuptake inhibitor/5-HT receptor agonist sibutramine reduced the intake of both chow and the gubra-diet, the GLP-1 analogue liraglutide predominantly reduced the intake of the highly palatable diet, indicating a shift in food preference. Sibutramine lowered the insulin sensitivity index, primarily via reductions in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. This animal model responds well to 2 weight loss compounds with different mechanisms of action. Moreover, the gubra DIO-rat can be particularly useful for the testing of compounds with potential effects on diet preference.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 02/2012; 33(2):194-200. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies with the novel once daily glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue liraglutide and the GLP-1 receptor agonist exenatide have revealed profound insulinotrophic and antidiabetic effects, but also potent effects on gastric emptying (GE) and long-term and lasting reductions in body weight. In this study, we examined the acute and chronic effects of two different GLP-1 analogues with different pharmacokinetic profiles on GE, food intake and body weight. On the basis of a series of dose-finding studies, the doses of exenatide and liraglutide with similar acute anorectic effects were identified. GE was assessed using a standard acetaminophen release assay. After the acute test, rats were dosed bi-daily for 14 days in which period food intake and body weight was monitored. On day 14, the GE rate was reassessed. While both compounds exerted robust acute reductions in GE, the effect was markedly diminished following 14 days of dosing with liraglutide. In contrast, exenatide-treated rats still displayed a profound reduction in GE at the 14-day time-point. Both compounds exerted similar effects on body weight. The data suggest that the 'gastric inhibitory' GLP-1 receptors in rats are subject to desensitization/tachyphylaxis but that this effect is dependent on full 24-h exposure as obtained by liraglutide. The body weight-lowering effects of GLP-1 receptor stimulation are not subject to desensitization. These data indicate that regulation of appetite signals in the brain, and not GE, is the main mechanism for liraglutide-induced weight loss.
    Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism 01/2012; 14(6):531-8. · 5.18 Impact Factor
  • Niels Vrang, Kevin Grove
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    ABSTRACT: The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) contains a small population of neurons expressing preproglucagon. In these neurons preproglucagon is processed to the glucagon-like-peptides 1 and 2 (GLP-1 and GLP-2) and oxyntomodulin. Whereas the neuroanatomy of these neurons is well characterized in rodents the location and projection of preproglucagon neurons have never been described in primates. The purpose of the present study was to characterize the location of preproglucagon neurons and their projections in the non-human primate using radioactive in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. In situ hybridization revealed preproglucagon mRNA expressing neurons in the caudal nucleus of the solitary tract extending laterally through the intermediate reticular nucleus into the A1 area. Using an antibody raised against rat GLP-2, GLP-2-immunoreactive (-ir) cell bodies were found in the same areas as the preproglucagon mRNA. Only very few GLP-2-ir nerve fibers were observed in the caudal brainstem and mostly in the same areas as the GLP-2-ir cell bodies. The most prominent GLP-2-ir terminal fields were detected in the hypothalamus and rostrally in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis complex. In the hypothalamus, GLP-2-ir fibers arborized extensively in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH) and the arcuate nucleus (Arc), the latter containing the densest fiber-plexus. The findings indicate that the brainstem preproglucagon neuronal system is highly conserved between rat and non-human primate with the exception of a much denser innervation of the mediobasal hypothalamus in the primate brain.
    Brain research 06/2011; 1397:28-37. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    Niels Vrang, Philip Just Larsen
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    ABSTRACT: The scientific understanding of preproglucagon derived peptides has provided people with type 2 diabetes with two novel classes of glucose lowering agents, the dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists. For the scientists, the novel GLP-1 agonists, and DPP-IV inhibitors have evolved as useful tools to understand the role of the preproglucagon derived peptides in normal physiology and disease. However, the overwhelming interest attracted by GLP-1 analogues as potent incretins has somewhat clouded the efforts to understand the importance of preproglucagon derived peptides in other physiological contexts. In particular, our neurobiological understanding of the preproglucagon expressing neuronal pathways in the central nervous system as well as the degree to which central GLP-1 receptors are targeted by peripherally administered GLP-1 receptor agonists is still fairly limited. The role of GLP-1 as an anorectic neurotransmitter is well recognized, but clarification of the neuronal targets and physiological basis of this response is further warranted, as is the mapping of GLP-1 sensitive neurons involved in a variety of neuroendocrine and behavioral responses. Further recent evidence points to GLP-1 as a central neuropeptide with neuroprotective capabilities potentially mitigating a wide array of neurodegenerative conditions. It is the aim of the present review to summarize our current understanding of preproglucagon derived peptides as neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.
    Progress in Neurobiology 11/2010; 92(3):442-62. · 9.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of obesity is increasing with an alarming rate worldwide and there is a need for efficacious satiety drugs. PYY3-36 has been shown to play a role in hypothalamic appetite regulation and novel analogs targeting the Y2 receptor have potential as drugs for the treatment of obesity. We have designed a series of novel PYY3-36 isoforms, by first adding the dipeptide Ile-Lys N-terminal to the N(α) of Ser-13 in PYY13-36 and then anchoring the N-terminal segment, e.g. PYY3-12, to the new Lys N(ε)-amine. We hypothesized that such modifications would alter the folding of PYY, due to changes in the turn motif, which could change the binding mode to the Y receptor sub-types and possibly also alter metabolic stability. In structure-affinity/activity relationship experiments, one series of PYY isoforms displayed equipotency towards the Y receptors. However, an increased Y2 receptor potency for the second series of PYY isoforms resulted in enhanced Y receptor selectivity compared to PYY3-36. Additionally, acute as well as chronic mice studies showed body-weight-lowering effects for one of the PYY isoforms, which was also reflected in a reduction of circulating leptin levels. Interestingly, while the stability and pharmacokinetic profile of PYY3-36 and the N-terminally modified PYY3-36 analogue were identical, only mice treated with the branched analogue showed marked increases in adiponectin levels as well as reductions in non-esterified free fatty acids and triglycerides.
    Journal of Peptide Science 11/2010; 16(11):664-73. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study was initiated to improve our understanding of pancreatic beta-cell dynamics in male Zucker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rats and hence provide a framework for future diabetes studies in this animal model. Male ZDF rats from 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20 and 26 weeks of age were subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The animals were then euthanized and pancreases were removed for morphometric analyses of pancreatic beta-cell mass. As evident by a marked fourfold increase in insulin secretion, insulin resistance developed rapidly from 6 to 8 weeks of age. Simultaneously, the pancreatic beta-cell mass expanded from 6.17 ± 0.41 mg at 6 weeks of age, reaching a maximum of 16.5 ± 2.5 mg at 16 weeks of age, at which time pancreatic beta-cell mass gradually declined. The corresponding changes in glucose/insulin homeostasis were analysed using a standard insulin sensitivity index (ISI), an area under the curve (AUC) glucose-insulin index, or simple semi-fasted glucose levels. The study demonstrated that male ZDF rats underwent rapid changes in pancreatic beta-cell mass from the onset of insulin resistance to frank diabetes coupled directly to marked alterations in glucose/insulin homeostasis. The study underscores the need for a critical co-examination of glucose homeostatic parameters in studies investigating the effects of novel anti-diabetic compounds on pancreatic beta-cell mass in the male ZDF rat. A simple assessment of fasting glucose levels coupled with information about age can provide a correct indication of the actual pancreatic beta-cell mass and the physiological state of the animal.
    Journal of Anatomy 11/2010; 217(5):624-30. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The availability of useful animal models reflecting the human obesity syndrome is crucial in the search for novel compounds for the pharmacological treatment of obesity. In the current study, we have performed an extensive characterization of the obesity syndrome in a polygenetic animal model, namely the selectively bred diet-induced obese (DIO) and diet-resistant (DR) rat strains. We show that they constitute useful models of the human obesity syndrome. DIO and DR rats were fed either a high-energy (HE) or a standard chow (Chow) diet from weaning to 9 months of age. Metabolic characterization including blood biochemistry and glucose homeostasis was examined at 2, 3, 6, and 9 months of age. Furthermore, in 6-month-old HE-fed DIO rats, the anti-obesity effects of liraglutide and sibutramine were examined in a 28-day study. Only HE-fed DIO rats developed visceral obesity, hyperleptinemia, hyperinsulinemia, and dyslipidemia, and showed a worsening of glucose tolerance over time. In line with the hyperlipidemic profile, a severe hepatic fat infiltration was observed in DIO rats at 6 months of age. The effects of liraglutide and sibutramine were tested in 6-month-old DIO rats. Both compounds effectively reduced food intake and body weight in DIO rats. Liraglutide furthermore improved glucose tolerance when compared with sibutramine. Our data highlights the usefulness of a polygenetic animal model for screening of compounds affecting food intake, body weight, and glucose homeostasis. Furthermore, the results underscore the effectiveness of GLP-1 mimetics both as anti-diabetes and anti-obesity agents.
    Journal of Endocrinology 09/2010; 206(3):287-96. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The increasing prevalence of obesity worldwide calls for safe and highly efficacious satiety drugs. PYY3-36 has been implicated in food intake regulation, and novel peptide analogues with high Y2 receptor-subtype selectivity and potency have potential as drugs for the treatment of obesity. It has been hypothesized that PYY3-36 associates with the plasma membrane prior to receptor activation such that the amphipathic alpha-helix of PYY3-36 possibly guides the C-terminal pentapeptide into the correct conformation for receptor activation. Ala-scans are used routinely to study the effect of individual amino acids in a given peptide sequence. Here we report the glyco-scan of the peptide hormone PYY3-36, in which hydroxyl side-chain functionalities were glycosylated; in addition new glycosylation sites were introduced. An array of novel PYY3-36 analogues with a glycan positioned in the water-membrane interface or in the N terminal were screened for Y-receptor affinity and selectivity as well as metabolic stability. Interestingly, in contrast to the Y1 and Y4 receptors, the Y2 receptor readily accommodated glycosylations. Especially glycosylations in the alpha-helical region of PYY3-36 were favorable both in terms of Y-receptor selectivity and endopeptidase resistance. We thus report several PYY3-36 analogues with enhanced Y-receptor selectivity. Our results can be used in the design of novel PYY analogues for the treatment of obesity. The glyco-scan concept, as systematically demonstrated here, has the potential for a wider applicability.
    ChemBioChem 02/2010; 11(3):366-74. · 3.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gut hormone PYY3-36 influences food intake and body weight via interaction with hypothalamic presynaptic Y2 receptors (Y2R). Novel Y2R-selective analogues of PYY3-36 are therefore potential drug candidates for the treatment of obesity. It has been hypothesized that PYY3-36 and possibly also the related PP-fold peptides, NPY and PP, bind to the membrane via their amphipathic alpha-helix prior to receptor interaction. The PYY3-36 amphipathic alpha-helix causes the peptide to associate with the membrane, making it essential for Y receptor potency as it potentially guides the C-terminal pentapeptide into the correct conformation for receptor activation. Based on this hypothesis, the importance of the amphipathic nature of PYY3-36, as well as the ability of amphipathic alpha-helices to interact in solution to form di- and tetramers, we redesigned the peptide architecture by addition of an amphipathic alpha-helix via the Lys 4 side chain of PYY3-36. Two different amphipathic sequences were introduced; first, PYY17-31, the native alpha-helix of PYY, and secondly, its retro counterpart, PYY31-17, which is also predicted to form an alpha-helix. Moreover, several different turn motifs between the branching point and the additional alpha-helix were tested. Several novel peptides with nanomolar Y2R binding affinities, as well as increased Y receptor selectivity, were identified. CD experiments showed the modifications to be well accepted, and an increase in mean ellipticity (ME) signifying an increased degree of alpha-helicity was observed. Receptor binding experiments indicated that the direction of the additional alpha-helix is less important, in contrast to the turn motifs, which greatly affect the Y1R binding and thus determine the Y1R activity. Conversely, the structure-activity relationships from in vivo data showed that the peptide containing the retro-sequence was inactive, even though the binding data demonstrated high affinity and selectivity. This demonstrates that radical redesign of peptide architecture can provide nanomolar binding with improved subtype selectivity and with in vivo efficacy.
    ChemMedChem 02/2010; 5(4):545-51. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using restriction fragment differential display (RFDD) technology, we have identified the imprinted gene neuronatin (Nnat) as a hypothalamic target under the influence of leptin. Nnat mRNA expression is decreased in several key appetite regulatory hypothalamic nuclei in rodents with impaired leptin signaling and during fasting conditions. Furthermore, peripheral administration of leptin to ob/ob mice normalizes hypothalamic Nnat expression. Comparative immunohistochemical analysis of human and rat hypothalami demonstrates that NNAT protein is present in anatomically equivalent nuclei, suggesting human physiological relevance of the gene product(s). A putative role of Nnat in human energy homeostasis is further emphasized by a consistent association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human Nnat gene and severe childhood and adult obesity.
    Obesity 10/2009; 18(7):1289-96. · 3.92 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
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306.87 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2014
    • Gubra
      Hørsholm, Capital Region, Denmark
    • University of Southern Denmark
      Odense, South Denmark, Denmark
  • 1994–2013
    • University of Copenhagen
      • • Department of Human Nutrition
      • • Department of Chemistry
      • • Faculty of Life Sciences
      • • Department of Clinical Biochemistry
      • • Centre for Medical Parasitology
      Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2002
    • Center for Clinical and Basic Research
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1999
    • IT University of Copenhagen
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1996–1999
    • University of Toronto
      • Department of Psychology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada