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B. Beck

Summary

The gastrointestinal hormone, gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), has been isolated and characterized because of its enterogastrone-type effects. It is also named glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and is actually considered to be the main incretin factor of the entero-insular axis. Besides these well-described effects on gastric secretion and pancreatic β cells, it also has direct metabolic effects on other tissues and organs, such as adipose tissue, liver, muscle, gastrointestinal tract and brain. In adipose tissue it is involved in the activation and regulation of lipoprotein lipase (LPL); it also inhibits glucagon-induced lipolysis and potentiates the effect of insulin on incorporation of fatty acids into triglycerides. It may play a role in the development of obesity because of the hypersensitivity of adipose tissue of obese animals to some of these actions. In the liver it does not modify insulin extraction, and its incretin effects are due only to the stimulation of insulin secretion and synthesis. It reduces hepatic glucose output and inhibits glucagon-stimulated glycogenolysis. It might increase glucose utilization in peripheral tissues such as muscle. GIP also has an effect on the volume and/or electrolyte composition of intestinal secretion and saliva. The functional importance of its effect on the hormones of the anterior pituitary lobe remains to be established, as it has never been detected in the brain.

Its links with insulin are very close and the presence of insulin is sometimes necessary for the greater efficiency of both hormones. GIP can be considered as a true metabolic hormone, with most of its functions tending to increase anabolism.

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G Medri, I Sergi, M-J Papandréou, P Beck-Peccoz, B Verrier, and C Ronin

ABSTRACT

Alkaline (pI 8·6–7·5) and neutral (pI 7·0–6·0) isoforms of human TSH have been isolated from a highly purified intrapituitary preparation by isoelectric focusing and compared for their respective actions on thyroid cell proliferation. Both TSH isoforms displayed the same ability to bind to porcine thyroid membranes as the original hormone preparation, indicating a similar recognition at the receptor sites. Alkaline forms showed a higher potency in inducing either cyclic AMP (cAMP) production or [3H]thymidine incorporation in FRTL-5 cells (half-maximal effective doses (ED50 values)=0·25 and 0·29 nm respectively) compared with their neutral counterparts (ED50 values=0·66 and 0·70 nm respectively). Increasing the concentration of alkaline forms in the presence of a half-maximal concentration of neutral TSH resulted in a profound inhibition of cell growth without a significant change in cAMP. Conversely, increasing the amount of neutral forms in the presence of a half-maximal dose of alkaline TSH resulted in an additive response for cAMP production but not in cell proliferation.

To assess whether glycosylation might be responsible for the variation in hormone action, both alkaline and neutral TSH isoforms were tested for recognition of their carbohydrate chains by concanavalin A (Con A) and ricin. No major difference was found in binding to Con A, indicating that the contribution of carbohydrates to changes in hormone pI was not related to core branching. Very few galactose residues were accessible in either hormone fraction since little binding to ricin was observed. Isoelectric focusing of TSH forms before and after neuraminidase treatment revealed that neutral forms had a higher sialic acid content than alkaline TSH.

In conclusion, the current findings show that TSH isoforms differentially affect cAMP production and cell growth. TSH fractions with a high sialic acid content and a low mitogenic activity behave as antagonists to the more active forms for cell proliferation. It is suggested that physiological control of TSH action at the thyroid gland may reside in the respective amounts of various TSH forms which, once bound to their receptor, can induce variable activation of post-receptor events while controlling cell proliferation.