Background: Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an incretin hormone that has a wide range of effects on glucose metabolism and cardiovascular function (e.g., improving insulin sensitivity, reduction in appetite, modulation of heart rate, blood pressure and myocardial contractility). Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with an increased risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. Novel glycemic control drugs, the dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, work by inhibiting the inactivation of incretin hormones, GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). In spite of good effects of these drugs in diabetic patients, circulating levels of incretins and their role in MetS are largely unknown.
Methods: To examine relationships between incretin hormones and MetS risk factors, we measured circulating levels of incretins in obese high-risk patients for cardiovascular disease. Fasting serum GLP-1 and GIP levels were measured by ELISA. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of metabolic variables in the fasting state in two subject groups: with MetS (n = 60) and pre-MetS (n = 37).
Results: Fasting levels of Serum GLP -1 in the peripheral circulation were significantly increased correlated with the accumulation of MetS risk factors components (r = 0. 470, P < 0.001). There was a significant interaction between circulating GLP-1 and GIP, serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, and serum uric acid concentrations but not waist circumference, fasting glucose, HbA1c, or presence of diabetes.
Conclusion: Circulating levels of GLP-1 in relation to the accumulation in MetS factors suggested that MetS patients with elevated levels of GLP-1 are high-risk patients for cardiovascular disease, independent with the presence of diabetes.