Impact of glucagon-like peptide-1 on endothelial function

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2009 Dec;11 Suppl 3:19-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2009.01074.x.


Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the major cause of mortality and morbidity in individuals with diabetes. Individuals with diabetes often have a variety of factors such as hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, insulin resistance and obesity, which increase their risks of endothelial dysfunction and CV disease. The incretin hormones, such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), induce the glucose-dependent secretion of insulin, improve beta-cell function and induce slowing of gastric emptying and feelings of satiety - which result in reduced food intake and weight loss. Therapeutic treatments targeting the incretin system, such as GLP-1 receptor agonists, offer the potential to address beta-cell dysfunction (one the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of type 2 diabetes), as well as the resulting hyperglycaemia. Initial evidence now suggests that incretins could have beneficial effects on endothelial function and the CV system through both indirect effects on the reduction of hyperglycaemia and direct effects mediated through GLP-1 receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms. If these initial findings are confirmed in larger clinical trials, GLP-1 receptor antagonists could help to address the major CV risks faced by patients with diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / metabolism
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / prevention & control
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Incretins / therapeutic use*
  • Weight Loss / drug effects


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Incretins
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1