Estrogens and Type 2 Diabetes
Figure: Estrogen ester
There is an interesting connection between sex hormones and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Since women have increased glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) responses to glucose than comparably aged men, there appears to be a correlation between sex hormones and GLP-1 release. The impact of estrogens on proglucagon-producing cells is evaluated in a new publication, JCI Insight, led by Sandra Handgraaf of the University of Geneva Medical School. A reduction in the incidence of T2D in postmenopausal women has been previously noted when estrogen replacement therapies have been used. Subsequently, Handgraaf and her team tested the response to 17-β estradiol (E2) treatment in ovariectomized (ovx) mice and discovered that E2 replacement in fact increased GLP-1 from pancreatic cells and induced GLP-1 secretion, while hormonal deprivation led to a change in glucose tolerance. They also found that an ERβ agonist, WAY200070, was able to stimulate GLP-1 secretion and restore glucose tolerance in the ovx mice by activating the ERβ pathway. The results were also seen in human alpha cells, in vitro.1
- S. Handgraaf et al., JCI Insights, 3(7), 1 (2018).