Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor activation modulates pancreatitis-associated gene expression but does not modify the susceptibility to experimental pancreatitis in mice.

Department of Medicine, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Diabetes (Impact Factor: 8.47). 07/2009; 58(9):2148-61. DOI: 10.2337/db09-0626
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Clinical reports link use of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists exenatide and liraglutide to pancreatitis. However, whether these agents act on the exocrine pancreas is poorly understood.
We assessed whether the antidiabetic agents exendin (Ex)-4, liraglutide, the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor sitagliptin, or the biguanide metformin were associated with changes in expression of genes associated with the development of experimental pancreatitis. The effects of Ex-4 when administered before or after the initiation of caerulein-induced experimental pancreatitis were determined. The importance of endogenous GLP-1R signaling for gene expression in the exocrine pancreas and the severity of pancreatitis was assessed in Glp1r(-/-) mice.
Acute administration of Ex-4 increased expression of egr-1 and c-fos in the exocrine pancreas. Administration of Ex-4 or liraglutide for 1 week increased pancreas weight and induced expression of mRNA transcripts encoding the anti-inflammatory proteins pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP) (RegIIIbeta) and RegIIIalpha. Chronic Ex-4 treatment of high-fat-fed mice increased expression of PAP and reduced pancreatic expression of mRNA transcripts encoding for the proinflammatory monocyte chemotactic protein-1, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3. Sitagliptin and metformin did not significantly change pancreatic gene expression profiles. Ex-4 administered before or after caerulein did not modify the severity of experimental pancreatitis, and levels of pancreatic edema and serum amylase were comparable in caerulein-treated Glp1r(-/-) versus Glp1r(+/+) mice.
These findings demonstrate that GLP-1 receptor activation increases pancreatic mass and selectively modulates the expression of genes associated with pancreatitis. However, activation or genetic elimination of GLP-1R signaling does not modify the severity of experimental pancreatitis in mice.

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