(HealthDay News) – An experimental drug may be able to control blood glucose levels in patients with a form of congenital hyperinsulinism, according to a study published online Aug 1 in Diabetes.

Andrew C Calabria, MD, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues treated nine patients with congenital hyperinsulinism due to inactivating mutations in the potassium adenosine triphosphate (ATP) channel (KATPHI) with exendin-(9-39) (a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor antagonist) or vehicle on two different days.

The researchers found that subjects treated with exendin-(9-39) had increased mean nadir blood glucose and glucose area under the curve during fasting. Exendin-(9-39) also lowered insulin-to-glucose ratios but had no effect on fasting glucagon and intact glucagon-like peptide-1. Insulin secretion from pancreatic islets from newborns with KATPHI was inhibited after treatment with exendin-(9-39).

“Our data show that exendin-(9-39) elevates fasting glucose in human subjects with KATPHI,” Calabria and colleagues conclude. “Given the lack of available therapies, antagonism of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor represents a novel therapeutic target to control hypoglycemia in congenital hyperinsulinism and could have a beneficial impact on morbidity and improve long-term outcomes for this devastating disorder.”

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