Liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 is associated with improved pancreatic insulin secretion in adults with overweight and obesity

Stark, Romana ORCID: 0000-0002-4264-0060, Feehan, Jack ORCID: 0000-0002-9627-1299, Mousa, Aya ORCID: 0000-0002-7356-4523, Andrews, Zane B ORCID: 0000-0002-9097-7944 and de Courten, Barbora ORCID: 0000-0001-8760-2511 (2023) Liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 is associated with improved pancreatic insulin secretion in adults with overweight and obesity. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 25 (5). pp. 1213-1220. ISSN 1462-8902


Aims: To examine association of liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 (LEAP2), an endogenous ghrelin antagonist with anorexiant effects, to key cardiometabolic risk factors in people with overweight and obesity. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we sought to identify associations between LEAP2 levels and cardiometabolic risk factors, including body composition (dual X-ray absorptiometry), insulin and glucose metabolism (oral and intravenous glucose tolerance tests and hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamps), plasma lipids and inflammation markers (ELISA and multiplex assays). Results: In 65 participants with overweight or obesity (63.1% male, mean age 31.3 ± 8.5 years), LEAP2 levels were associated with total body fat, but not with body mass index or waist-hip ratio in both univariable and age- and sex-adjusted models (P < 0.05). Higher LEAP2 level was also positively associated with higher insulin secretion in univariable (P = 0.047) and multivariable models adjusted for age, sex and body fat (P = 0.03), but not with fasting glucose levels (P ≥ 0.05). Higher LEAP2 levels were associated insulin resistance (P = 0.07) after adjustment for age and sex, but the association disappeared after an additional adjustment for body fat (P = 0.2). There was an inverse association between LEAP2 levels and nuclear factor kappa-B (NFκB) activity in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells in age-, sex- and body fat-adjusted models (P = 0.04). There were no associations with cardiovascular risk factors (lipids, blood pressure) or other inflammation markers. Conclusions: These results provide important insights into the association between LEAP2 and cardiometabolic health in a high-risk population of individuals with overweight and obesity. This is a first report of an association between LEAP2 and insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity and NFκB activity. LEAP2 may represent an important potential therapeutic target to promote insulin secretion in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1111/dom.14968
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3202 Clinical sciences
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords obesity, insulin, LEAP2, cardiometabolic risk
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