Direct effects of GLP-1, kinase-mediated, on glucose and lipid metabolism in rat and human extrapancreatic tissues, are amply documented and also changes in type-2 diabetic (T2D) patients. Here, we explored the characteristics of the GLP-1 action and those of its analogs Ex-4 and Ex-9, on muscle glucose transport (GT) and metabolism in human morbid obesity (OB), as compared with normal and T2D subjects. In primary cultured myocytes from OB, GT and glycogen synthase a (GSa) activity values were lower than normal, and comparable to those reported in T2D patients; GT was increased by either GLP-1 or Ex-9 in a more efficient manner than in normal or T2D, up to normal levels; the Ex-4 increasing effect on GSa activity was two times that in normal cells, while Ex-9 failed to modify the enzyme activity. In OB, the control value of all kinases analyzed - PI3K, PKB, MAPKs, and p70s6K - although lower than that in normal or T2D subjects, the cells maintained their response capability to GLP-1, Ex-4, Ex-9 and insulin, with some exceptions. GLP-1 and exendins showed a direct normalizing action in the altered glucose uptake and metabolism in the muscle of obese subjects, which in the case of GLP-1 could account, at least in part, for the reported restoration of the metabolic conditions of these patients after restrictive surgery.
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