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Exogenous GLP-1 stimulates TCA cycle and suppresses gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis in late-fasted northern elephant seals pups.

  • Dhillon, Jaapna
  • Viscarra, Jose A
  • Newman, John W
  • Fiehn, Oliver
  • Crocker, Daniel E
  • Ortiz, Rudy M
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
eScholarship - University of California
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The postweaning fast of northern elephant seal pups is characterized by a lipid-dependent metabolism and associated with a decrease in plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), insulin, and glucose and increased gluconeogenesis (GNG) and ketogenesis. We have also demonstrated that exogenous GLP-1 infusion increased plasma insulin despite simultaneous increases in cortisol and glucagon, which collectively present contradictory regulatory stimuli of GNG, ketogenesis, and glycolysis. To assess the effects of GLP-1 on metabolism using primary carbon metabolite profiles in late-fasted seal pups, we dose-dependently infused late-fasted seals with low (LDG; 10 pM/kg; n = 3) or high (HDG; 100 pM/kg; n = 4) GLP-1 immediately following a glucose bolus (0.5 g/kg), using glucose without GLP-1 as control (n = 5). Infusions were performed in similarly aged animals 6-8 wk into their postweaning fast. The plasma metabolome was measured from samples collected at five time points just prior to and during the infusions, and network maps constructed to robustly evaluate the effects of GLP-1 on primary carbon metabolism. HDG increased key tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolites, and decreased phosphoenolpyruvate and acetoacetate (P < 0.05) suggesting that elevated levels of GLP-1 promote glycolysis and suppress GNG and ketogenesis, which collectively increase glucose clearance. These GLP-1-mediated effects on cellular metabolism help to explain why plasma GLP-1 concentrations decrease naturally in fasting pups as an evolved mechanism to help conserve glucose during the late-fasting period.

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