Destruction and dysfunction of pancreatic beta-cells, resulting in absolute and relative insulin deficiency, represent key abnormalities in the pathogenesis of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, respectively. Following the discovery of amylin, a second beta-cell hormone that is co-secreted with insulin in response to nutrient stimuli, it was realized that diabetes represents a state of bihormonal beta cell deficiency and that lack of amylin action may contribute to abnormal glucose homeostasis. Experimental studies show that amylin acts as a neuroendocrine hormone that complements the effects of insulin in postprandial glucose regulation through several centrally mediated effects. These include a suppression of postprandial glucagon secretion and a vagus-mediated regulation of gastric emptying, thereby helping to control the influx of endogenous and exogenous glucose, respectively. In animal studies, amylin has also been shown to reduce food intake and body weight, consistent with an additional satiety effect. Pramlintide is a soluble, non-aggregating, injectable, synthetic analog of human amylin currently under development for the treatment of type 1 and insulin-using type 2 diabetes. Long-term clinical studies have consistently demonstrated that pre-prandial s.c. injections of pramlintide, in addition to the current insulin regimen, reduce HbA1c and body weight in type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients, without an increase in insulin use or in the event rate of severe hypoglycemia. The most commonly observed side effects were gastrointestinal-related, mainly mild nausea, which typically occurred upon initiation of treatment and resolved within days or weeks. Amylin replacement with pramlintide as an adjunct to insulin therapy is a novel physiological approach toward improved long-term glycemic and weight control in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Keywords: pramlintide, insulin therapy, type diabetes mellitus, glucose homeostasis, amyliomimetic agents, amylin receptor agonists, beta-cell hormones, gastric emptying, glucagon, postprandial hyperglycemia
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