Article Abstract

Calcitonin gene-related peptide: neuroendocrine communication between the pancreas, gut, and brain in regulation of blood glucose

Authors: Sayali A. Pendharkar, Monika Walia, Marie Drury, Maxim S. Petrov


Background: Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a ubiquitous neuropeptide, plays a diverse and intricate role in chronic low-grade inflammation, including conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and diabetes of the exocrine pancreas. Diabetes of exocrine pancreas is characterised by chronic hyperglycemia and is associated with persistent low-grade inflammation and altered secretion of certain pancreatic and gut hormones. While CGRP may regulate glucose homeostasis and the secretion of pancreatic and gut hormones, its role in chronic hyperglycemia after acute pancreatitis (CHAP) is not known. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between CGRP and CHAP.
Methods: Fasting blood samples were collected to measure insulin, HbA1c, CGRP, amylin, C-peptide, glucagon, pancreatic polypeptide (PP), somatostatin, gastric inhibitory peptide, glicentin, glucagon-like peptide-1 and 2, and oxyntomodulin. Modified Poisson regression analysis and linear regression analyses were conducted. Five statistical models were used to adjust for demographic, metabolic, and pancreatitis-related risk factors.
Results: A total of 83 patients were recruited. CGRP was significantly associated with CHAP in all five models (P-trend <0.005). Further, it was significantly associated with oxyntomodulin (P<0.005) and glucagon (P<0.030). Oxyntomodulin and glucagon independently contributed 9.7% and 7%, respectively, to circulating CGRP variance. Other pancreatic and gut hormones were not significantly associated with CGRP.
Conclusions: CGRP is involved in regulation of blood glucose in individuals after acute pancreatitis. This may have translational implications in prevention and treatment of diabetes of the exocrine pancreas.