Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor sitagliptin protects endothelial function in hypertension through a glucagon-like peptide 1-dependent mechanism.Hypertension. 2012 Sep; 60(3):833-41.H
Sitagliptin, a selective dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor, inhibits the inactivation and degradation of glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, little is known about the role of GLP-1 in hypertension. This study investigated whether the activation of GLP-1 signaling protects endothelial function in hypertension. Two-week sitagliptin treatment (10 mg/kg per day, oral gavage) improved endothelium-dependent relaxation in renal arteries, restored renal blood flow, and reduced systolic blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. In vivo sitagliptin treatment elevated GLP-1 and GLP-1 receptor expressions, increased cAMP level, and subsequently activated protein kinase A, liver kinase B1, AMP-activated protein kinase-α and endothelial NO synthase in spontaneously hypertensive rat renal arteries. Inhibition of GLP-1 receptor, adenylyl cyclase, protein kinase A, AMP-activated protein kinase-α, or NO synthase reversed the protective effects of sitagliptin. We also demonstrate that GLP-1 receptor agonist exendin 4 in vitro treatment had similar vasoprotective effects in spontaneously hypertensive rat renal arteries and increased NO production in spontaneously hypertensive rat aortic endothelial cells. Studies using transient expressions of wild-type and dominant-negative AMP-activated protein kinase-α2 support the critical role of AMP-activated protein kinase-α in mediating the effect of GLP-1 in endothelial cells. Ex vivo exendin 4 treatment also improved endothelial function of renal arteries from hypertensive patients. Our results elucidate that upregulation of GLP-1 and related agents improve endothelial function in hypertension by restoring NO bioavailability, suggesting that GLP-1 signaling could be a therapeutic target in hypertension-related vascular events.