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Microbially produced glucagon-like peptide 1 improves glucose tolerance in mice

Journal article
Authors Tulika Arora
U. Wegmann
A. Bobhate
Ying Shiuan Lee
Thomas U. Greiner
D. J. Drucker
A. Narbad
Fredrik Bäckhed
Published in Molecular Metabolism
Volume 5
Issue 8
Pages 725-730
ISSN 2212-8778
Publication year 2016
Published at Wallenberg Laboratory
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 725-730
Language en
Keywords Lactococcus lactis, Glucose tolerance, Recombinant bacteria, GLP-1, lactococcus-lactis, insulin sensitivity, interleukin-10, expression, receptor, Endocrinology & Metabolism
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Objective: The enteroendocrine hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is an attractive anti-diabetic therapy. Here, we generated a recombinant Lactococcus lactis strain genetically modified to produce GLP-1 and investigated its ability to improve glucose tolerance in mice on chow or high-fat diet (HFD). Methods: We transformed L. lactis FI5876 with either empty vector (pUK200) or murine GLP-1 expression vector to generate LL-UK200 and LL-GLP1, respectively, and determined their potential to induce insulin secretion by incubating primary islets from wild-type (WT) and GLP-1 receptor knockout (GLP1R-KO) mice with culture supernatant of these strains. In addition, we administered these strains to mice on chow or HFD. At the end of the study period, we measured plasma GLP-1 levels, performed intraperitoneal glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance tests, and determined hepatic expression of the gluconeogenic genes G6pc and Pepck. Results: Insulin release from primary islets of WT but not GLP1R-KO mice was higher following incubation with culture supernatant from LL-GLP1 compared with LL-UK200. In mice on chow, supplementation with LL-GLP1 versus LL-UK200 promoted increased vena porta levels of GLP1 in both WT and GLP1R-KO mice; however, LL-GLP1 promoted improved glucose tolerance in WT but not in GLP1R-KO mice, indicating a requirement for the GLP-1 receptor. In mice on HFD and thus with impaired glucose tolerance, supplementation with LL-GLP1 versus LL-UK200 promoted a pronounced improvement in glucose tolerance together with increased insulin levels. Supplementation with LL-GLP1 versus LL-UK200 did not affect insulin tolerance but resulted in reduced expression of G6pc in both chow and HFD-fed mice. Conclusions: The L. lactis strain genetically modified to produce GLP-1 is capable of stimulating insulin secretion from islets and improving glucose tolerance in mice. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

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