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      The DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin attenuates the progress of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein-E-knockout mice via AMPK- and MAPK-dependent mechanisms


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          The dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor sitagliptin, a new anti-diabetic medicine, is effective in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus by increasing the activation and duration of action of glucagon-like peptide-1. Since atherosclerosis is the main pathological feature of diabetic cardiovascular complications, it is important to investigate the anti-atherosclerotic effect of sitagliptin and explore the relevant mechanisms.


          Male apolipoprotein-E-knockout mice were randomly divided into two groups and fed either high-fat diet (HFD) or HFD plus sitagliptin at a concentration of 0.3% for 16 weeks. Body weight, food intake, blood glucose, serum lipids and adhesion molecules were measured. The atherosclerotic plaque area and its histological composition were analyzed using Sudan staining and immunohistochemistry. The expression of inflammatory cytokines (monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and interleukin (IL)-6) and the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in the aortas were determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot, respectively.


          Mice treated with sitagliptin developed fewer atherosclerotic plaques than the control group (7.64 ± 1.98% vs 12.91 ± 1.15%, p < 0.001), particularly in the aortic arch and abdominal aorta, where plaques were decreased 1.92- and 2.74-fold, respectively (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01). Sitagliptin significantly reduced the content of collagen fiber in plaques 1.2-fold (p < 0.05). Moreover, sitagliptin significantly reduced the expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and interleukin-6 in the aorta (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05), as well as the serum levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and P-selectin (both p < 0.05). In addition, Sitagliptin induced phosphorylation of AMPK and Akt (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01), while suppressed phosphorylation of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) 1/2 (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01) in aortas.


          Our present study indicates that sitagliptin can reduce the area of the atherosclerotic lesion, possibly by regulating the AMPK and MAPK pathways and then reducing leukocyte –endothelial cell interaction and inflammation reactions. These actions are independent of weight loss and glucose-reducing effects.

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          Inhibition of Monocyte Adhesion to Endothelial Cells and Attenuation of Atherosclerotic Lesion by a Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonist, Exendin-4

          OBJECTIVE Exogenous administration of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) or GLP-1 receptor agonists such as an exendin-4 has direct beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. However, their effects on atherosclerogenesis have not been elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of GLP-1 on accumulation of monocytes/macrophages on the vascular wall, one of the earliest steps in atherosclerogenesis. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS After continuous infusion of low (300 pmol · kg−1 · day−1) or high (24 nmol · kg−1 · day−1) dose of exendin-4 in C57BL/6 or apolipoprotein E–deficient mice (apoE−/−), we evaluated monocyte adhesion to the endothelia of thoracic aorta and arteriosclerotic lesions around the aortic valve. The effects of exendin-4 were investigated in mouse macrophages and human monocytes. RESULTS Treatment with exendin-4 significantly inhibited monocytic adhesion in the aortas of C57BL/6 mice without affecting metabolic parameters. In apoE−/− mice, the same treatment reduced monocyte adhesion to the endothelium and suppressed atherosclerogenesis. In vitro treatment of mouse macrophages with exendin-4 suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and suppressed nuclear translocation of p65, a component of nuclear factor-κB. This effect was reversed by either MDL-12330A, a cAMP inhibitor or PKI14-22, a protein kinase A–specific inhibitor. In human monocytes, exendin-4 reduced the expression of CD11b. CONCLUSIONS Our data suggested that GLP-1 receptor agonists reduced monocyte/macrophage accumulation in the arterial wall by inhibiting the inflammatory response in macrophages, and that this effect may contribute to the attenuation of atherosclerotic lesion by exendin-4.
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            A dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, des-fluoro-sitagliptin, improves endothelial function and reduces atherosclerotic lesion formation in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.

            The aim of this study was to investigate the antiatherogenic effects of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, des-fluoro-sitagliptin (DFS). The new class of anti-type 2 diabetes drugs, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, improves glucose metabolism by increasing levels of active glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1. Endothelial function was examined by acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation using aortic rings and atherosclerotic lesion development in the entire aorta in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice fed a high-fat diet with or without DFS, and the antiatherogenic effects of DFS were investigated in cultured human macrophages and endothelial cells. Plasma levels of active GLP-1 were measured in patients with or without coronary artery disease. DFS significantly improved endothelial dysfunction (89.9 ± 3.9% vs. 79.2 ± 4.3% relaxation at 10(-4) mol/l acetylcholine, p < 0.05) associated with increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation and reduced atherosclerotic lesion area (17.7% [15.6% to 25.8%] vs. 24.6% [19.3% to 34.6%], p < 0.01) compared with vehicle treatment. In cultured human macrophages, DFS significantly increased GLP-1-induced cytosolic levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate compared with GLP-1 alone, resulted in inhibiting phosphorylation of c-jun N-terminal kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and nuclear factor-kappa B p65 nuclear translocation through the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A pathway, and suppressed proinflammatory cytokines (i.e., interleukin-1-beta, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 production in response to lipopolysaccharide. DFS-enhanced GLP-1 activity sustained endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation and decreased endothelial senescence and apoptosis compared with GLP-1 alone. In the human study, fasting levels of active GLP-1 were significantly lower in patients with coronary artery disease than those without (3.10 pmol/l [2.40 to 3.62 pmol/l] vs. 4.00 pmol/l [3.10 to 5.90 pmol/l], p < 0.001). A DPP-4 inhibitor, DFS, exhibited antiatherogenic effects through augmenting GLP-1 activity in macrophages and endothelium. Copyright © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Exendin-4 stimulates proliferation of human coronary artery endothelial cells through eNOS-, PKA- and PI3K/Akt-dependent pathways and requires GLP-1 receptor.

              Endothelial cells have a robust capacity to proliferate and participate in angiogenesis, which underlies the maintenance of intimal layer integrity. We previously showed the presence of the GLP-1 receptor in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) and the ameliorative actions of GLP-1 on endothelial dysfunction in type 2 diabetic patients. Here, we have studied the effect of exendin-4 on cell proliferation and its underlying mechanisms in HCAECs. Incubation of HCAECs with exendin-4 resulted in a dose-dependent increase in DNA synthesis and an increased cell number, associated with an enhanced eNOS and Akt activation, which were inhibited by PKA, PI3K, Akt or eNOS inhibitors and abolished by a GLP-1 receptor antagonist. Similar effects were obtained by applying GLP-1 (7-36) or GLP-1 (9-36). Co-incubation of exendin-4 and GLP-1 did not show additive effects. Our results suggest that exendin-4 stimulates proliferation of HCAECs through PKA-PI3K/Akt-eNOS activation pathways via a GLP-1 receptor-dependent mechanism. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Cardiovasc Diabetol
                Cardiovasc Diabetol
                Cardiovascular Diabetology
                BioMed Central
                4 February 2014
                : 13
                : 32
                [1 ]Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, China
                Copyright © 2014 Zeng et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 29 January 2014
                : 30 January 2014
                Original Investigation

                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                sitagliptin,leukocyte–endothelial cell interaction,inflammation,atherosclerosis,ampk signaling pathway mapk signaling pathway


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