A whey protein hydrolysate promotes insulinotropic activity in a clonal pancreatic β-cell line and enhances glycemic function in ob/ob mice

Type Article

Journal Article


C. Gaudel; A. B. Nongonierma; S. Maher; S. Flynn; M. Krause; B. A. Murray; P. M. Kelly; A. W. Baird; R. J. FitzGerald; P. Newsholme

Year of publication



J Nutr








Whey protein hydrolysates (WPHs) represent novel antidiabetic agents that affect glycemia in animals and humans, but little is known about their insulinotropic effects. The effects of a WPH were analyzed in vitro on acute glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic BRIN-BD11 β cells. WPH permeability across Caco-2 cell monolayers was determined in a 2-tiered intestinal model. WPH effects on insulin resistance were studied in vivo following an 8-wk oral ingestion (100 mg/kg body weight) by ob/ob (OB-WPH) and wild-type mice (WT-WPH) compared with vehicle control (OB and WT groups) using a 2 × 2 factorial design, genotype × treatment. BRIN-BD11 cells showed a robust and reproducible dose-dependent insulinotropic effect of WPH (from 0.01 to 5.00 g/L). WPH bioactive constituents were permeable across Caco-2 cell monolayers. In the OB-WPH and WT-WPH groups, WPH administration improved glucose clearance after a glucose challenge (2 g/kg body weight), as indicated by differences in the area under curves (AUCs) (P ≤ 0.05). The basal plasma glucose concentration was not affected by WPH treatment in either genotype. The plasma insulin concentration was lower in the OB-WPH than in the OB group (P ≤ 0.005) but was similar between the WT and WT-WPH groups; the interaction genotype × treatment was significant (P ≤ 0.005). Insulin release from pancreatic islets isolated from the OB-WPH group was greater (P ≤ 0.005) than that from the OB group but did not differ between the WT-WPH and WT groups; the interaction genotype × treatment was not significant. In conclusion, an 8-wk oral administration of WPH improved blood glucose clearance, reduced hyperinsulinemia, and restored the pancreatic islet capacity to secrete insulin in response to glucose in ob/ob mice. Hence, it may be useful in diabetes management.