Incretin hormones, including glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a target for diabetes mellitus (DM) treatment, are associated with cardioprotection. As dipeptidyl-peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibition increases plasma GLP-1 levels in vivo, we investigated the cardioprotective effects of the DPP-IV inhibitor vildagliptin in a murine heart failure (HF) model. We induced transverse aortic constriction (TAC) in C57BL/6J mice, simulating pressure-overloaded cardiac hypertrophy and HF. TAC or sham-operated mice were treated with or without vildagliptin. An intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test revealed that blood glucose levels were higher in the TAC than in sham-operated mice, and these levels improved with vildagliptin administration in both groups. Vildagliptin increased plasma GLP-1 levels in the TAC mice and ameliorated TAC-induced left ventricular enlargement and dysfunction. Vildagliptin palliated both myocardial apoptosis and fibrosis in TAC mice, demonstrated by histological, gene and protein expression analyses, and improved survival rate on day 28 (TAC with vildagliptin, 67.5%; TAC without vildagliptin, 41.5%; P < 0.05). Vildagliptin improved cardiac dysfunction and overall survival in the TAC mice, both by improving impaired glucose tolerance and by increasing GLP-1 levels. DPP-IV inhibitors represent a candidate treatment for HF patients with or without DM.
Keywords: dipeptidyl-peptidase IV inhibitor; heart failure; impaired glucose tolerance.