British Journal of Nutrition

Metabolism and Metabolic Studies

Evaluation of the long-term effects of gastric inhibitory polypeptide–ovalbumin conjugates on insulin resistance, metabolic dysfunction, energy balance and cognition in high-fat-fed mice

Nigel Irwina1 c1, Ian A. Montgomerya1 and Peter R. Flatta1

a1 School of Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, SAAD Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK


The effects of active immunisation with gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) or (proline3)GIP–ovalbumin conjugates on insulin resistance, metabolic dysfunction, energy expenditure and cognition were examined in high-fat-fed mice. Normal mice were injected (subcutaneously) once every 14 d for 98 d with GIP–ovalbumin conjugates, with transfer to a high-fat diet on day 21. Active immunisation resulted in GIP antibody generation and significantly (P < 0·01 to P < 0·001) reduced circulating non-fasting plasma insulin concentrations compared to high-fat control mice from day 70 onwards. The glycaemic responses to intraperitoneal glucose or nutrient ingestion were significantly improved in all treated mice, with corresponding stimulated plasma insulin levels depressed compared to high-fat controls. These changes were associated with substantially (P < 0·001) improved glucose-lowering responses to exogenous insulin and decreases of muscle and fat TAG, pancreatic insulin, circulating total and LDL-cholesterol levels (P < 0·01 to P < 0·001). Treatment with GIP–ovalbumin conjugates was not associated with alterations in energy expenditure, indirect calorimetry or aspects of cognitive function. The observed changes were almost identical in GIP and (Pro3)GIP immunised mice and were independent of any effects on food intake or body weight. Further tests established that coupling of GIP peptides to ovalbumin abolished any intrinsic insulin-releasing or glucose-lowering activity. These results suggest that induction of GIP-neutralising antibodies with GIP–ovalbumin conjugates is an effective means of countering the metabolic abnormalities induced by high-fat feeding and does not adversely have an impact on a marker of cognition function or energy expenditure.

(Received March 30 2011)

(Revised August 22 2011)

(Accepted August 23 2011)

(Online publication January 20 2012)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr N. Irwin, fax +44 28 70 323939, email


† These authors contributed equally to the work.

Abbreviations: AUC, area under the curve; GIP, gastric inhibitory polypeptide; Pro3, proline3; RI, recognition index