Background and Aims: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery significantly improves glucose metabolism independently of surgery-induced weight loss; partly due to the increased postprandial secretion of the insulinotropic gut hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Mouse studies have shown that intestinally derived ketone bodies inhibit GLP-1 secretion from enteroendocrine L cells, and it was recently suggested that RYGB-induced downregulation of intestinal ketogenesis contributes to the increased GLP-1 secretion after RYGB. We investigated the intestinal expression of genes involved in ketogenesis and postprandial plasma GLP-1 responses before and after RYGB.

Materials and Methods: Twenty obese individuals underwent mixed meal tests and anterograde enteroscopy with gut mucosal biopsy retrieval before and 3 months after RYGB. A global gene expression analysis was performed on the mucosal biopsies. Here, we report the expression of genes involved in ketogenesis and postprandial plasma GLP-1 responses.

Results: We observed a significant 7.6-fold downregulation of the gene encoding 3-hydroxy-3- methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 2 (HMGCS2) (the rate-determining enzyme in ketogenesis) in the alimentary limb after RYGB. The proglucagon gene encoding GLP-1 was significantly upregulated after surgery and postprandial plasma GLP-1 responses increased significantly after RYGB.

Conclusions: RYGB-induced downregulation of intestinal HMGCS2 gene expression in obese individuals may indicate reduced intestinal ketogenesis; supporting the notion (originating from animal studies) that reduced ketone body-mediated inhibition of L cells constitute a contributor to postprandial hypersecretion of GLP-1 after RYGB.


C. Legart: None. T. Jorsal: None. C.A. Hagemann: Employee; Self; Gubra. D. Worm: None. C.B. Juhl: None. A.R. Andries: None. C. Zhang: Employee; Self; Gubra. N. Vrang: Board Member; Self; Gubra. Employee; Self; Gubra. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Gubra. K. Rigbolt: Employee; Self; Gubra. J. Jelsing: Board Member; Self; Gubra. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Gubra. T. Vilsbøll: Advisory Panel; Self; AstraZeneca, Mundipharma International, Novo Nordisk A/S, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Consultant; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lilly Diabetes, Medscape, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Sanofi. F.K. Knop: Advisory Panel; Self; AstraZeneca, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Mundipharma International, Novo Nordisk A/S, Sanofi. Consultant; Self; Carmot Therapeutics, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk A/S. Research Support; Self; AstraZeneca, Gubra, Novo Nordisk A/S, Sanofi, Zealand Pharma A/S. Speaker’s Bureau; Self; AstraZeneca, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Norgine B.V., Novo Nordisk A/S.

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