Inhibition of upper small intestinal mTOR lowers plasma glucose levels by inhibiting glucose production

T. M.Zaved Waise, Mozhgan Rasti, Frank A. Duca, Song Yang Zhang, Paige V. Bauer, Christopher J. Rhodes, Tony K.T. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Glucose homeostasis is partly controlled by the energy sensor mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the muscle and liver. However, whether mTOR in the small intestine affects glucose homeostasis in vivo remains unknown. Here, we first report that delivery of rapamycin or an adenovirus encoding the dominant negative acting mTOR-mutated protein into the upper small intestine is sufficient to inhibit small intestinal mTOR signaling and lower glucose production in rodents with high fat diet-induced insulin resistance. Second, we found that molecular activation of small intestinal mTOR blunts the glucose-lowering effect of the oral anti-diabetic agent metformin, while inhibiting small intestinal mTOR alone lowers plasma glucose levels by inhibiting glucose production in rodents with diabetes as well. Thus, these findings illustrate that inhibiting upper small intestinal mTOR is sufficient and necessary to lower glucose production and enhance glucose homeostasis, and thereby unveil a previously unappreciated glucose-lowering effect of small intestinal mTOR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number714
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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