Aim: Previous studies with the novel once daily glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue liraglutide and the GLP-1 receptor agonist exenatide have revealed profound insulinotrophic and antidiabetic effects, but also potent effects on gastric emptying (GE) and long-term and lasting reductions in body weight. In this study, we examined the acute and chronic effects of two different GLP-1 analogues with different pharmacokinetic profiles on GE, food intake and body weight.
Methods: On the basis of a series of dose-finding studies, the doses of exenatide and liraglutide with similar acute anorectic effects were identified. GE was assessed using a standard acetaminophen release assay. After the acute test, rats were dosed bi-daily for 14 days in which period food intake and body weight was monitored. On day 14, the GE rate was reassessed.
Results: While both compounds exerted robust acute reductions in GE, the effect was markedly diminished following 14 days of dosing with liraglutide. In contrast, exenatide-treated rats still displayed a profound reduction in GE at the 14-day time-point. Both compounds exerted similar effects on body weight.
Conclusion: The data suggest that the 'gastric inhibitory' GLP-1 receptors in rats are subject to desensitization/tachyphylaxis but that this effect is dependent on full 24-h exposure as obtained by liraglutide. The body weight-lowering effects of GLP-1 receptor stimulation are not subject to desensitization. These data indicate that regulation of appetite signals in the brain, and not GE, is the main mechanism for liraglutide-induced weight loss.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.