Agonists at GPR119 mediate secretion of GLP-1 from mouse enteroendocrine cells through glucose-independent pathways

Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Apr;165(8):2799-807. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01754.x.


Background and purpose: The G protein-coupled receptor 119 (GPR119) mediates insulin secretion from pancreatic β cells and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) release from intestinal L cells. While GPR119-mediated insulin secretion is glucose dependent, it is not clear whether or not GPR119-mediated GLP-1 secretion similarly requires glucose. This study was designed to address the glucose-dependence of GPR119-mediated GLP-1 secretion, and to explore the cellular mechanisms of hormone secretion in L cells versus those in β cells.

Experimental approach: GLP-1 secretion in response to GPR119 agonists and ion channel modulators, with and without glucose, was analysed in the intestinal L cell line GLUTag, in primary intestinal cell cultures and in vivo. Insulin secretion from Min6 cells, a pancreatic β cell line, was analysed for comparison.

Key results: In GLUTag cells, GPR119 agonists stimulated GLP-1 secretion both in the presence and in the absence of glucose. In primary mouse colon cultures, GPR119 agonists stimulated GLP-1 secretion under glucose-free conditions. Moreover, a GPR119 agonist increased plasma GLP-1 in mice without a glucose load. However, in Min6 cells, GPR119-mediated insulin secretion was glucose-dependent. Among the pharmacological agents tested in this study, nitrendipine, an L-type voltage-dependent calcium channel blocker, dose-dependently reduced GLP-1 secretion from GLUTag cells, but had no effect in Min6 cells in the absence of glucose.

Conclusions and implications: Unlike that in pancreatic β cells, GPR119-mediated GLP-1 secretion from intestinal L cells was glucose-independent in vitro and in vivo, probably because of a higher basal calcium tone in the L cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Colforsin / pharmacology
  • Colon / cytology
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Enteroendocrine Cells / drug effects*
  • Enteroendocrine Cells / metabolism
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / metabolism*
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oleic Acids / pharmacology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / agonists*


  • Endocannabinoids
  • Gpr119 protein, mouse
  • Oleic Acids
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Colforsin
  • oleoylethanolamide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucose
  • Calcium