Activation of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors improves insulin sensitivity and induces vasodilatation and diuresis. AC3174 is a peptide analogue with pharmacologic properties similar to the GLP-1 receptor agonist, exenatide. Hypothetically, chronic AC3174 treatment could attenuate salt-induced hypertension, cardiac morbidity, insulin resistance, and renal dysfunction in Dahl salt-sensitive (DSS) rats.
DSS rats were fed low salt (LS, 0.3% NaCl) or high salt (HS, 8% NaCl) diets. HS rats were treated with vehicle, AC3174 (1.7 pmol/kg/min), or GLP-1 (25 pmol/kg/min) for 4 weeks via subcutaneous infusion. Other HS rats received captopril (150 mg/kg/day) or AC3174 plus captopril.
HS rat survival was improved by all treatments except GLP-1. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was lower in LS rats and in GLP-1, AC3174, captopril, or AC3174 plus captopril HS rats than in vehicle HS rats (p < 0.05). AC3174 plus captopril attenuated the deleterious effects of high salt on posterior wall thickness, LV mass, and the ratio of LV mass to body weight (P ≤ 0.05). In contrast, GLP-1 had no effect on these cardiovascular parameters. All treatments reduced LV wall stress. GLP-1, AC3174, captopril, or AC3174 plus captopril normalized fasting insulin and HOMA-IR (P ≤ 0.05). AC3174, captopril, or AC3174 plus captopril improved renal function (P ≤ 0.05). Renal morphology in HS rats was associated with extensive sclerosis. Monotherapy with AC3174, captopril, or GLP-1 attenuated renal damage. However, AC3174 plus captopril produced the most effective improvement.
Thus, AC3174 had antihypertensive, cardioprotective, insulin-sensitizing, and renoprotective effects in the DSS hypertensive rat model. Furthermore, AC3174 improved animal survival, an effect not observed with GLP-1.