The GLP-1 receptor agonist lixisenatide reduces postprandial glucose in patients with diabetes secondary to total pancreatectomy: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded crossover trial

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Aims/hypothesis: Treatment of diabetes secondary to total pancreatectomy remains a challenge and insulin constitutes the only glucose-lowering treatment for these patients. We hypothesised that the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist lixisenatide would improve postprandial glucose tolerance in totally pancreatectomised patients. Methods: In a double-blinded, randomised, crossover study, 12 totally pancreatectomised individuals (age: 65.0 ± 9.5 mean±SD years; BMI: 22.9 ± 3.9 kg/m2) and 12 healthy control individuals (age 66.1 ± 7.6 years; BMI: 24.0 ± 2.9 kg/m2) underwent two 3 h liquid mixed-meal tests (with paracetamol for assessment of gastric emptying) after single-dose injection of 20 μg of lixisenatide or placebo. Basal insulin was given the night before each experimental day; no insulin was given during study days. Results: Compared with placebo, lixisenatide reduced postprandial plasma glucose excursions in the pancreatectomy group (baseline-subtracted AUC [bsAUC] [mean±SEM]: 548 ± 125 vs 1447 ± 95 mmol/l × min, p < 0.001) and in the control group (−126 ± 12 vs 222 ± 51 mmol/l × min, p < 0.001). In the pancreatectomy group a mean peak glucose concentration of 23.3 ± 1.0 mmol/l was reached at time point 134 ± 11 min with placebo, compared with a mean peak glucose concentration of 18 ± 1.4 mmol/l (p = 0.008) at time point 148 ± 13 min (p = 0.375) with lixisenatide. In the control group a mean peak concentration of 8.2 ± 0.4 mmol/l was reached at time point 70 ± 13 min with placebo, compared with a mean peak concentration of 5.5 ± 0.1 mmol/l (p < 0.001) at time point 8 ± 25 min (p = 0.054) with lixisenatide. Lixisenatide also reduced gastric emptying and postprandial glucagon responses in the pancreatectomy group (66 ± 84 vs 1190 ± 311 pmol/l × min, p = 0.008) and in the control group (141 ± 100 vs 190 ± 100 pmol/l × min, p = 0.034). In the pancreatectomy group, C-peptide was undetectable in plasma. In the control group, postprandial plasma C-peptide responses were reduced with lixisenatide (18 ± 17 vs 189 ± 31 nmol/l × min, p < 0.001). Conclusions/interpretation: The GLP-1 receptor agonist lixisenatide reduces postprandial plasma glucose excursions in totally pancreatectomised patients. The mode of action seems to involve deceleration of gastric emptying and reduced postprandial responses of gut-derived glucagon. Trial registration: NCT02640118. Funding: This study was funded by an unrestricted investigator-initiated study grant from Sanofi. Support was also received from from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, the A.P. Møller Foundation for the Advancement of Medical Science and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1285-1298
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • Extrapancreatic glucagon, Gastric emptying, GLP-1, GLP-1 receptor agonist, Glucagon, Postprandial glucose metabolism, Secondary diabetes, Total pancreatectomy

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