Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Activation Enhances Gut Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Secretion and Improves Glucose Homeostasis

  1. Zhiming Zhu
  1. Department of Hypertension and Endocrinology, Center for Hypertension and Metabolic Diseases, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing Institute of Hypertension, Chongqing, China
  1. Corresponding author: Zhiming Zhu, zhuzm{at}
  1. P.W. and Z.Y. contributed equally to this study.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is rapidly prevailing as a serious global health problem. Current treatments for T2DM may cause side effects, thus highlighting the need for newer and safer therapies. We tested the hypothesis that dietary capsaicin regulates glucose homeostasis through the activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1)-mediated glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion in the intestinal cells and tissues. Wild-type (WT) and TRPV1 knockout (TRPV1−/−) mice were fed dietary capsaicin for 24 weeks. TRPV1 was localized in secretin tumor cell-1 (STC-1) cells and ileum. Capsaicin stimulated GLP-1 secretion from STC-1 cells in a calcium-dependent manner through TRPV1 activation. Acute capsaicin administration by gastric gavage increased GLP-1 and insulin secretion in vivo in WT but not in TRPV1−/− mice. Furthermore, chronic dietary capsaicin not only improved glucose tolerance and increased insulin levels but also lowered daily blood glucose profiles and increased plasma GLP-1 levels in WT mice. However, this effect was absent in TRPV1−/− mice. In db/db mice, TRPV1 activation by dietary capsaicin ameliorated abnormal glucose homeostasis and increased GLP-1 levels in the plasma and ileum. The present findings suggest that TRPV1 activation–stimulated GLP-1 secretion could be a promising approach for the intervention of diabetes.


  • Received October 26, 2011.
  • Accepted April 12, 2012.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See for details.

| Table of Contents

This Article

  1. Diabetes vol. 61 no. 8 2155-2165
  1. Supplementary Data
  2. All Versions of this Article:
    1. db11-1503v1
    2. 61/8/2155 most recent