Cardiovascular Effects of Incretin-Based Therapies

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Abstract
The Review of Diabetic Studies,2011,8,3,382-391.
Published:November 2011
Type:Review Article
Authors:
Author(s) affiliations:

Michael Lehrke and Nikolaus Marx

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Aachen, Pauwelsstraße 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

Abstract:

GLP-1-modulating therapies are a class of anti-diabetic drugs that improve glycemic control by stimulating glucosedependent insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells. In addition, GLP-1-based therapies have a variety of extrapancreatic effects, including satiety induction and gastric mobility reduction, which extend to distinct cardiovascular actions. GLP-1 was found to reduce infarct size in the context of acute myocardial ischemia which depends on the activation of prosurvival pathways including PI3-kinase, Akt, and ERK1/2. Also, GLP-1 augments the left ventricular function in dilative and metabolic cardiomyopathy, possibly by increasing insulin independent cardiomyocyte glucose uptake. Furthermore, experimental and preliminary clinical evidence suggest vasoprotective efficacy of GLP-1 mediated by improved endothelial function and anti-inflammatory capacities leading to atheroprotection. Mechanistically, the GLP-1 receptor is relevant for glucose lowering efficacy of GLP-1. However, many of its vasoprotective actions have also been described for the GLP-1 metabolite (9-37), which does not activate the GLP-1 receptor, suggesting the presence of an additional, yet unknown, signaling pathway. Ongoing research investigates the relevance of these observations in human disease and underlying mechanisms, which are reviewed in the present article.