Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptors in the kidney: impact on renal autoregulation.Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2020 02 01; 318(2):F443-F454.AJ
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and strategies based on this blood sugar-reducing and appetite-suppressing hormone are used to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) is also present in the kidney, where it influences renal function. The effect of GLP-1 on the kidney varies between humans and rodents. The effect of GLP-1 on kidney function also seems to vary depending on its concentration and the physiological or pathological state of the kidney. In studies with rodents or humans, acute infusion of pharmacological doses of GLP-1 stimulates natriuresis and diuresis. However, the effect on the renal vasculature is less clear. In rodents, GLP-1 infusion increases renal plasma flow and glomerular filtration rate, suggesting renal vasodilation. In humans, only a subset of the study participants exhibits increased renal plasma flow and glomerular filtration rate. Differential status of kidney function and changes in renal vascular resistance of the preglomerular arterioles may account for the different responses of the human study participants. Because renal function in patients with type 2 diabetes is already at risk or compromised, understanding the effects of GLP-1R activation on kidney function in these patients is particularly important. This review examines the distribution of GLP-1R in the kidney and the effects elicited by GLP-1 or GLP-1R agonists. By integrating results from acute and chronic studies in healthy individuals and patients with type 2 diabetes along with those from rodent studies, we provide insight into how GLP-1R activation affects renal function and autoregulation.