Dysregulation of glucagon is associated with the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. We previously reported that postprandial hyperglucagonemia is more obvious than fasting hyperglucagonemia in type 2 diabetes patients. However, which nutrient stimulates glucagon secretion in the diabetic state and the underlying mechanism after nutrient intake are unclear. To answer these questions, we measured plasma glucagon levels in diabetic mice after oral administration of various nutrients. The effects of nutrients on glucagon secretion were assessed using islets isolated from diabetic mice and palmitate-treated islets. In addition, we analyzed the expression levels of branched chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism-related enzymes and their metabolites in diabetic islets. We found that protein, but not carbohydrate or lipid, increased plasma glucagon levels in diabetic mice. Among amino acids, BCAAs, but not the other essential or nonessential amino acids, increased plasma glucagon levels. BCAAs also directly increased the intracellular calcium concentration in α cells. When...

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