Background: The failing heart demonstrates a preference for glucose as its metabolic substrate. Whether enhancing myocardial glucose uptake favorably influences left ventricular (LV) contractile performance in heart failure remains uncertain. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a naturally occurring incretin with potent insulinotropic effects the action of which is attenuated when glucose levels fall below 4 mmol. We examined the impact of recombinant GLP-1 (rGLP-1) on LV and systemic hemodynamics and myocardial substrate uptake in conscious dogs with advanced dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) as a mechanism for overcoming myocardial insulin resistance and enhancing myocardial glucose uptake.
Methods and results: Thirty-five dogs were instrumented and studied in the fully conscious state. Advanced DCM was induced by 28 days of rapid pacing. Sixteen dogs with advanced DCM received a 48-hour infusion of rGLP-1 (1.5 pmol x kg(-1) x min(-1)). Eight dogs with DCM served as controls and received 48 hours of a saline infusion (3 mL/d). Infusion of rGLP-1 was associated with significant (P<0.02) increases in LV dP/dt (98%), stroke volume (102%), and cardiac output (57%) and significant decreases in LV end-diastolic pressure, heart rate, and systemic vascular resistance. rGLP-1 increased myocardial insulin sensitivity and myocardial glucose uptake. There were no significant changes in the saline control group.
Conclusions: rGLP-1 dramatically improved LV and systemic hemodynamics in conscious dogs with advanced DCM induced by rapid pacing. rGLP-1 has insulinomimetic and glucagonostatic properties, with resultant increases in myocardial glucose uptake. rGLP-1 may be a useful metabolic adjuvant in decompensated heart failure.