Esculentin-2cha-related peptides modulate islet cell function and improve glucose tolerance in mice with diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance

Opeolu O. Ojo, Dinesh K. Srinivasan, Bosede O. Owolabi, Srividya Vasu, J. Michael Conlon, Peter R. Flatt, Yasser H.A. Abdel-Wahab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The frog skin host-defense peptide esculentin-2CHa (GFSSIFRGVA10KFASKGLGK D20LAKLGVDLVA30CKISKQC) displays antimicrobial, antitumor, and immunomodulatory properties. This study investigated the antidiabetic actions of the peptide and selected analogues. Esculentin-2CHa stimulated insulin secretion from rat BRIN-BD11 clonal pancreatic β-cells at concentrations greater than 0.3 nM without cytotoxicity by a mechanism involving membrane depolarization and increase of intracellular Ca2+. Insulinotropic activity was attenuated by activation of KATP channels, inhibition of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels and chelation of extracellular Ca2+. The [L21K], [L24K], [D20K, D27K] and [C31S,C37S] analogues were more potent but less effective than esculentin-2CHa whereas the [L28K] and [C31K] analogues were both more potent and produced a significantly (P < 0.001) greater maximum response. Acute administration of [L28K]esculentin-2CHa (75 nmol/kg body weight) to high fat fed mice with obesity and insulin resistance enhanced glucose tolerance and insulin secretion. Twice-daily administration of this dose of [L28K]esculentin-2CHa for 28 days had no significant effect on body weight, food intake, indirect calorimetry or body composition. However, mice exhibited decreased non-fasting plasma glucose (P < 0.05), increased non-fasting plasma insulin (P < 0.05) as well as improved glucose tolerance and insulin secretion (P < 0.01) following both oral and intraperitoneal glucose loads. Impaired responses of isolated islets from high fat fed mice to established insulin secretagogues were restored by [L28K]esculentin-2CHa treatment. Peptide treatment was accompanied by significantly lower plasma and pancreatic glucagon levels and normalization of α-cell mass. Circulating triglyceride concentrations were decreased but plasma cholesterol and LDL concentrations were not significantly affected. The data encourage further investigation of the potential of esculentin-2CHa related peptides for treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0141549
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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