Myocardial fibrosis is a key process in diabetic cardiomyopathy. However, their underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated, leading to a lack of therapy. The glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) enhancer, sitagliptin, reduces hyperglycemia but may also trigger direct effects on the heart.
Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats developed type-II diabetes and received sitagliptin, an anti-hyperglycemic drug (metformin) or vehicle (n=10, each). After cardiac structure and function assessment, plasma and left ventricles were isolated for biochemical studies. Cultured cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts were used for in
Untreated GK rats exhibited hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, plasma GLP-1 decrease, and cardiac cell-death, hypertrophy, fibrosis and prolonged deceleration time. Moreover, cardiac pro-apoptotic/necrotic, hypertrophic and fibrotic factors were up-regulated. Importantly, both sitagliptin and metformin lessened all these parameters. In cultured cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts, high-concentration of palmitate or glucose induced cell-death, hypertrophy and fibrosis. Interestingly, GLP-1 and its insulinotropic-inactive metabolite, GLP-1(9-36), alleviated these responses. In addition, despite a specific GLP-1 receptor was only detected in cardiomyocytes, GLP-1 isoforms attenuated the pro-fibrotic expression in cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts. In addition, GLP-1 receptor signalling may be linked to PPARδ activation, and metformin may also exhibit anti-apoptotic/necrotic and anti-fibrotic direct effects in cardiac cells.
Sitagliptin, via GLP-1 stabilization, promoted cardioprotection in type-II diabetic hearts primarily by limiting hyperglycemia e hyperlipidemia. However, GLP-1 and GLP-1(9-36) promoted survival and anti-hypertrophic/fibrotic effects on cultured cardiac cells, suggesting cell-autonomous cardioprotective actions.