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Amylin as a Potential Therapy for Feline Diabetes

Furrer D, Kaufmann K, Reusch CE, et al. Amylin reduces plasma glucagon concentration in cats. The Veterinary Journal 2010;184:236-240.

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common endocrine disease in cats and is becoming a model for DM in humans because cats develop a form of the disease similar to the human type-2 DM. Amylin is a normal secretory product of pancreatic beta cells and plays an important role in controlling nutrient fluxes. Amylin is an established therapy along with insulin in human diabetics because it reduces post-prandial glucagon secretion and slows gastric emptying. This study was the first to investigate if amylin reduces plasma glucagon levels in cats. Twelve male domestic shorthair cats were tested using an intravenous arginine test (IVAST), a meal response test (MRT), and an IV glucose response test (IVGTT). A single dose injection of a non-amyloidogenic amylin lowered plasma glucagon levels under all three test conditions. Blood insulin concentrations were also lowered following amylin administration in the IVAST and IVGTT relative to controls. The reduced post-prandial glucagon secretion found with the MRT indicates that amylin may have therapeutic potential in controlling post-prandial nutrient metabolism in diabetic cats. This aspect is considered one of the most significant benefits of the combination insulin-amylin treatment in human diabetics. Therefore, amylin may have a therapeutic potential in diabetic cats and may have a use as an adjunct to insulin in their treatment, reducing the insulin requirement to control glycemia. [VT]

Related articles:
O’Brien TD. Pathogenesis of feline diabetes mellitus. Mol Cell Endocrinol 2002;197:213-219.