A Potential Role for Endogenous Glucagon in Preventing Post-Bariatric Hypoglycemia

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Obesity and obesity-related diseases are major public health concerns that have been exponentially growing in the last decades. Bariatric surgery is an effective long-term treatment to achieve weight loss and obesity comorbidity remission. Post-bariatric hypoglycemia (PBH) is a late complication of bariatric surgery most commonly reported after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). PBH is the end result of postprandial hyperinsulinemia but additional endocrine mechanisms involved are still under debate. Our aim was to characterize entero-pancreatic hormone dynamics associated with postprandial hypoglycemia after RYGB. Individuals previously submitted to RYGB (N=23) in a single tertiary hospital presenting PBH symptoms (Sym, n=14) and asymptomatic weight-matched controls (Asy, n=9) were enrolled. Participants underwent a mixed-meal tolerance test (MMTT) to assess glucose, total amino acids (total AA), insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and neurotensin (NT). We found that hypoglycemia during the MMTT was equally frequent in Sym and Asy groups (p=1.000). Re-grouped according to glucose nadir during the MMTT (Hypo n=11 vs NoHypo n=12; nadir = 3.05 mmol/l), subjects presented no differences in anthropometric (BMI: p=0.527) or metabolic features (HbA(1c): p=0.358), yet distinct meal-elicited hormone dynamics were identified. Postprandial glucose excursion and peak glucose levels were similar (p>0.05), despite distinct late glycemic outcomes (t=60 min and t=90 min: p0.05). In sum, after RYGB, postprandial hyperinsulinemia is key in triggering PBH, but a parallel and earlier rise in endogenous glucagon might sustain the inter-individual variability in glycemic outcome beyond the effect of hyperinsulinism, advocating a potential pivotal role for glucagon in preventing hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia.

TidsskriftFrontiers in Endocrinology
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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