The improved glucose tolerance of Ffar
The improved glucose tolerance of Ffar1R258W/R258W mice on HFD was unexpected. In combination with similar fasting blood glucose levels, the significant lower fasting plasma insulin of mutant mice compared to wild-type mice is indicative of improved insulin sensitivity. However, peripheral insulin resistance assessed with ipITT was not different between wild-type and mutant mice. The degree of liver steatosis was also independent of the expression of a functional FFAR1. Indeed, any change of liver steatosis and insulin resistance can only be attributed to an indirect effect of FFAR1, since the receptor is not expressed in rodent liver, muscle and adipose tissue (Refs. , ; data not shown). The lower basal plasma insulin levels of Ffar1R258W/R258W compared to wild-type mice could be attributed to FFAR1 deficiency, because fatty acids are increased after overnight fasting and blood glucose levels were elevated, i.e. at 6 mM. In view of similar HFD-induced insulin resistance and liver steatosis, the significantly higher glucose excursions in wild-type mice during ipGTT cannot be explained by β-cell dysfunction only. It is more likely that additional, insulin-independent factors regulating blood glucose levels, e.g. via the regulation of hepatic glucose production, account for differences in glucose tolerance between wild-type and FFAR1 mutant mice. An increased sympathetic tone and the hormone glucagon are the main glucose mobilizing factors , . Single-cell transcriptome analysis of human islet CHIR-98014 synthesis suggests the expression of Ffar1 not only in β-cells but also in α-cells . Moreover, analysis of rat α-cells indicates that FFAR1 expression is under the control of PAX6 . At least in rodents, long chain fatty acids stimulate glucagon secretion at low glucose, i.e. under hypoglycemic condition . However, there was no significant difference in plasma glucagon levels of CD-fed mutant and wild-type mice under fasting conditions. In HFD-fed mice, glucagon levels were much lower than in CD-fed mice and unfortunately under the detection level. In view of stable glucagon levels in humans during FFAR1-agonist administration and the lack of FFAR1-dependent stimulation of glucagon secretion in isolated human and rat islets at high glucose, it seems unlikely that FFAR1-dependent glucagon secretion inducing hepatic glucose mobilization accounts for higher glucose levels during a glucose load , . Recently, evidence was presented that FFAR1 deficient mice display higher noradrenaline levels in brain . The effects of changes in sympathetic nervous function during fat-rich feeding on glucose homeostasis in FFAR1-deficient mice require further studies. During ipGTT, plasma insulin concentrations increased to a similar level in wild-type and Ffar1R258W/R258W mice, reflecting a β-cell glucose-responsiveness independent of FFAR1 function. Indeed, during ipGTT, plasma fatty acid concentrations decline and, therefore, it is unlikely that FFAR1 contributes to insulin secretion during ipGTT . Glucose homeostasis is further regulated by incretins, and FFAR1-agonists increase incretin release in rodents , , . In contrast to the significantly different plasma glucose levels at 30 min after ip glucose administration, 30 min after an oral glucose load, plasma glucose levels were not significantly different between wild-type and Ffar1R258W/R258W mice. GLP-1 secretion is stimulated by FFAR1 from the vascular but not from the luminal site, making it unlikely that FFAR1 is activated and augments incretin secretion during an oral glucose load when plasma fatty acids decline , . Plasma glucose homeostasis is maintained via an interaction of many organs, which generate a large variety of metabolic regulators. Only a detailed analysis of the individual players and the reciprocal influences will give an explanation why Ffar1R258W/R258W mice are protected against diet induced glucose intolerance.