Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists improve islet function and delay gastric emptying in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This meta-analysis aimed to investigate the effects of the once-daily prandial GLP-1 receptor agonist lixisenatide on postprandial plasma glucose (PPG), glucagon and insulin levels.
Six randomized, placebo-controlled studies of lixisenatide 20 µg once daily were included in this analysis: lixisenatide as monotherapy (GetGoal-Mono), as add-on to oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs; GetGoal-M, GetGoal-S) or in combination with basal insulin (GetGoal-L, GetGoal-Duo-1 and GetGoal-L-Asia). Change in 2-h PPG and glucose excursion were evaluated across six studies. Change in 2-h glucagon and postprandial insulin were evaluated across two studies. A meta-analysis was performed on least square (LS) mean estimates obtained from analysis of covariance (ANCOVA)-based linear regression.
Lixisenatide significantly reduced 2-h PPG from baseline (LS mean difference vs. placebo: -4.9 mmol/l, p < 0.001) and glucose excursion (LS mean difference vs. placebo: -4.5 mmol/l, p < 0.001). As measured in two studies, lixisenatide also reduced postprandial glucagon (LS mean difference vs. placebo: -19.0 ng/l, p < 0.001) and insulin (LS mean difference vs. placebo: -64.8 pmol/l, p < 0.001). There was a stronger correlation between 2-h postprandial glucagon and 2-h PPG with lixisenatide than with placebo.
Lixisenatide significantly reduced 2-h PPG and glucose excursion together with a marked reduction in postprandial glucagon and insulin; thus, lixisenatide appears to have biological effects on blood glucose that are independent of increased insulin secretion. These effects may be, in part, attributed to reduced glucagon secretion.