A physiological level of rhubarb fiber increases proglucagon gene expression and modulates intestinal glucose uptake in rats.J Nutr 1997; 127(10):1923-8JN
Previous work demonstrated that a high fiber diet upregulates proglucagon mRNA and secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 [GLP-1(7-37)] and insulin compared with an elemental fiber-free diet. This study examined whether similar intakes of fibers differing in physiochemical and fermentative properties alter the expression of intestinal hormones and intestinal absorptive properties. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a 50 g/kg cellulose or rhubarb fiber diet for 14 d. Ileal proglucagon mRNA levels were significantly higher in rats fed rhubarb fiber than in those fed cellulose fiber (9.3 +/- 0.9 vs. 6.2 +/- 1.0 densitometer units). Proglucagon mRNA in the colon did not differ between diet treatments. Plasma c-peptide concentrations were significantly higher 30 min after an oral glucose tolerance test in the rhubarb vs. cellulose group (1627 +/- 67 vs. 1290 +/- 71 pmol/L). Passive permeability, measured by the uptake of L-glucose, was significantly higher in the jejunum of rats fed cellulose compared with those fed rhubarb fiber. Adjusting total glucose uptake for passive permeability and unstirred water layer resistance resulted in a higher Km being calculated for the jejunum and ileum of the cellulose fiber group. Jejunal and ileal carrier-mediated uptakes (Vmax) were not altered by diet and reflected the lack of difference between groups in sodium-dependent glucose cotransporter (SGLT-1) and sodium-independent glucose transporter (GLUT2) mRNA levels. Replacing cellulose fiber with rhubarb fiber in a diet upregulated ileal proglucagon mRNA and resulted in a reduced passive permeability but did not affect glucose transport of the small intestine. This work establishes the importance of dietary fiber fermentability in modulating intestinal proglucagon expression and possibly glucose homeostasis.