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: 8.1). 07/2009; 58(9):2148-61. DOI: 10.2337/db09-0626
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Laurie Baggio, Apr 17, 2015
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    • "But, in these last studies, GLP-1 agonists administration did not exceed 6 days or 4 weeks. Nevertheless , exenatide treatment upregulated PAP/Reg3b (pancreatitisassociated protein) expression as already observed in the course of pancreatic carcinogenesis and pancreatitis (Graf et al., 2006; Gigoux et al., 2008; Koehler et al., 2009; Tatarkiewicz et al., 2010). At last, Nyborg et al. (2012) did not observe pancreatitis in non-diabetic mice, rats, or monkeys after 2 years of liraglutide treatment at exposure levels up to 60 times higher than in humans. "
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    ABSTRACT: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a large family of receptors that sense molecules outside the cell and activate inside signal transduction pathways and cellular responses. GPCR are involved in a wide variety of physiological processes, including in the neuroendocrine system. GPCR are also involved in many diseases and are the target of 30% of marketed medicinal drugs. Whereas the majority of the GPCR-targeting drugs have proved their therapeutic benefit, some of them were associated with undesired effects. We develop two examples of used drugs whose therapeutic benefits are tarnished by carcinogenesis risks. The chronic administration of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogs widely used to treat type-2 diabetes was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic or thyroid cancers. The long-term treatment with the estrogen antagonist tamoxifen, developed to target breast cancer overexpressing estrogen receptors ER, presents agonist activity on the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor which is associated with an increased incidence of endometrial cancer and breast cancer resistance to hormonotherapy. We point out and discuss the need of pharmacological studies to understand and overcome the undesired effects associated with the chronic administration of GPCR ligands. In fact, biological effects triggered by GPCR often result from the activation of multiple intracellular signaling pathways. Deciphering which signaling networks are engaged following GPCR activation appears to be primordial to unveil their contribution in the physiological and physiopathological processes. The development of biased agonists to elucidate the role of the different signaling mechanisms mediated by GPCR activation will allow the generation of new therapeutic agents with improved efficacy and reduced side effects. In this regard, the identification of GLP-1R biased ligands promoting insulin secretion without inducing pro-tumoral effects would offer therapeutic benefit.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Frontiers in Endocrinology
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    • "Animal studies showed that GLP-1-based treatments induced pancreatitis in a rat model of type 2 diabetes, with medications such as sitagliptin increasing pancreatic ductal replication and acinar-to-ductal metaplasia.22–24 Exenatide has also been found to induce pancreatic acinar inflammation, with abnormal acinar cells and a high frequency of cell death.25 "
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    ABSTRACT: A 55-year-old Japanese man with a 3-year history of type 2 diabetes mellitus was admitted to our hospital for upper abdominal pain. Control of diabetes mellitus was good with voglibose and metformin, with sitagliptin added to this regimen 8 months prior. His pancreatic enzyme levels were elevated, and abdominal computed tomography (CT) showed diffuse pancreatic swelling with fluid accumulation and ascites of CT grade 3. The patient was diagnosed with severe acute pancreatitis. There were no obvious causes for pancreatitis except the recently administered sitagliptin. Since incretin-related drugs entered the market, the number of incretin-related drugs prescriptions rapidly increased and so did the incidence of pancreatitis. There are several reports suggesting the correlation between incretin-related drugs and pancreatitis, such as a report based on data obtained from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which revealed a significant correlation between the administration of exenatide or sitagliptin and pancreatitis. However, there also is a report that denied the evidence for such in a large cohort study. The relation between incretin based drugs and pancreatitis is still controversial.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports
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    • "single dose to chronic, 2-year dosing) did not show pancreatitis based on tests of pancreatic function or histomorphology. Exenatide use in normal, obese and diabetic models did not exacerbate experimental pancreatitis; conversely, it had beneficial actions in some models 12,13. More recent studies also failed to show any adverse effects on the exocrine pancreas related to exenatide or liraglutide (another GLP1-RA) use 14,15. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims The potential association of glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) with the development of pancreatitis or pancreatic malignancies in patients with diabetes has been suggested. This study evaluated the long-term effects of the GLP-1RA exenatide on pancreatic exocrine structure and function in the Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rat model of type 2 diabetes. Methods Rats received subcutaneous twice-daily injections of 0 (control), 6, 40 and 250 µg/kg/day exenatide for 3 months. Clinical signs, body and pancreas weight, food consumption, HbA1c, fasting serum amylase, lipase, glucose and insulin concentrations were evaluated during treatment and after a 28-day off-drug period to assess the reversibility of any observed effects. Morphometric analysis of pancreatic ductal cell proliferation and apoptosis were performed. Results Plasma exenatide concentrations were several-fold higher than therapeutic levels observed in humans. No exenatide-related effects were observed on clinical signs, lipase concentration, pancreatic weight, pancreatic histology, ductal cell proliferation or apoptosis. Exenatide improved animal survival, physical condition, glucose concentrations and HbA1c, decreased food intake, and increased serum insulin concentration. Total amylase concentrations, although within normal ranges, were slightly higher in exenatide-treated rats; following the off-drug period, total amylase concentrations were comparable in treated and untreated rats. Exenatide-related minimal-to-moderate islet hypertrophy was observed at doses ≥6 µg/kg/day, with dose-related increases in incidence and degree. These changes were still present after the off-drug period. Conclusions Chronic administration of exenatide in ZDF rats resulted in the expected metabolic benefits and improved animal survival, with no adverse effects noted on pancreatic exocrine structure and function.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism
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