Gastrectomy with Roux-en-Y reconstruction as a lean model of bariatric surgery.

19 Apr 2018

BACKGROUND: Altered enteroendocrine hormone responses are widely believed to underlie the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery in type 2 diabetes. While elevated postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is considered one of the mediators, increased postprandial glucagon levels have recently been implicated. OBJECTIVES: We investigated hormonal responses in lean patients after prophylactic total gastrectomy (PTG), as a model of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass without the confounding effects of obesity or massive weight loss. SETTING: University hospital, United Kingdom. METHODS: Ten participants after PTG and 9 healthy volunteers were recruited for oral glucose tolerance tests. Plasma glucose, insulin, GLP-1, peptide YY, glucose-dependent insulinotropic-polypeptide, glucagon, oxyntomodulin, glucagon(1-61), and glicentin levels were assessed using immunoassays and/or mass spectrometry. RESULTS: PTG participants exhibited accelerated plasma glucose appearance, followed, in 3 of 10 cases, by hypoglycemia (<3 mM glucose). Plasma GLP-1, peptide YY, glucose-dependent insulinotropic-polypeptide, glicentin, and oxyntomodulin responses were elevated, and glucagon appeared to rise in PTG participants when measured with a glucagon-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We revisited the specificity of this assay, and demonstrated significant cross-reactivity with glicentin and oxyntomodulin at concentrations observed in PTG plasma. Reassessment of glucagon with the same assay using a modified protocol, and by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, demonstrated suppression of glucagon secretion after oral glucose tolerance tests in both PTG and control cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: Care should be taken when assessing glucagon levels in the presence of elevated plasma levels of other proglucagon products. Substantial elevation of GLP-1 and insulin responses after PTG likely contribute to the observed hypoglycemia, and mirror similar hormone levels and complications observed in bariatric weight loss patients.