Context: Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inactivates the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide. It can also affect the orexigenic hormone neuropeptide Y (NPY1–36) which is truncated by DPP-IV to NPY3–36, as a consequence NPY’s affinity changes from receptor Y1, which mediates the antilipolytic function of NPY, to other NPY receptors. Little is known whether DPP-IV inhibitors for the treatment of type 2 diabetic (T2DM) patients could influence these pathways.
Aims: To investigate the in vitro effects of NPY with DPP-IV inhibition in isolated abdominal subcutaneous (AbdSc) adipocytes on fat metabolism, and assessment of NPY receptor and DPP-IV expression in adipose tissue (AT).
Methods: Ex vivo human AT was taken from women undergoing elective surgery (body mass index: 27.5 (mean ± s.d.) ± 5 kg/m2, age: 43.7 ± 10 years, n = 36). Isolated AbdSc adipocytes were treated with human recombinant (rh)NPY (1–100 nM) with and without DPP-IV inhibitor (1 M); glycerol release and tissue distribution of DPP-IV, Y1 and Y5 messenger RNA (mRNA) were measured and compared between lean and obese subjects.
Results and conclusion: rhNPY reduced glycerol release, an effect that was further enhanced by co-incubation with a DPP-IV inhibitor [control: 224 (mean ± s.e.) ± 37 μmol/l; NPY, 100 nM: 161 ± 27 μmol/l**; NPY 100 nM/DPP-IV inhibitor, 1 M: 127 ± 14 μmol/l**; **p < 0.01, n = 14]. DPP-IV was expressed in AbdSc AT and omental AT with relative DPP-IV mRNA expression lower in AbdSc AT taken from obese [77 ± 6 signal units (SU)] vs. lean subjects (186 ± 29 SU*, n = 10). Y1 was predominantly expressed in fat and present in all fat depots but higher in obese subjects, particularly the AbdSc AT-depot (obese: 1944 ± 111 SU vs. lean: 711 ± 112 SU**, n = 10). NPY appears to be regulated by AT-derived DPP-IV. DPP-IV inhibitors augment the antilipolytic effect of NPY in AT. Further studies are required to show whether this explains the lack of weight loss in T2DM patients treated with DPP-IV inhibitors.