Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist administration suppresses both water and saline intake in rats

J Neuroendocrinol. 2013 Oct;25(10):929-38. doi: 10.1111/jne.12086.


Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) plays an important role in energy homeostasis. Injections of GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists suppress food intake, and endogenous GLP-1 is released when nutrients enter the gut. There is also growing evidence that the GLP-1 system is involved in the regulation of body fluid homeostasis. GLP-1R agonists suppress water intake independent of their effects on food intake. It is unknown, however, whether this suppressive effect of GLP-1R agonists extends to saline intake. Accordingly, we tested the effect of the GLP-1R agonists liraglutide (0.05 μg) and exendin-4 (0.05 μg) on water and saline intake, as stimulated either by angiotensin II (AngII) or by water deprivation with partial rehydration (WD-PR). Each agonist suppressed AngII-induced water intake; however, only exendin-4 suppressed saline intake. WD-PR-induced water and saline intakes were both attenuated by each agonist. Analysis of drinking microstructure after WD-PR found a reliable effect of the agonists on burst number. Furthermore, exendin-4 conditioned a robust taste avoidance to saccharine; however, there was no similar effect of liraglutide. To evaluate the relevance of the conditioned taste avoidance, we tested whether inducing visceral malaise by injection of lithium chloride (LiCl) suppressed fluid intake. Injection of LiCl did not suppress water or saline intakes. Overall, these results indicate that the fluid intake suppression by GLP-1R activation is not selective to water intake, is a function of post-ingestive feedback, and is not secondary to visceral malaise.

Keywords: exendin-4; fluid intake; liraglutide; thirst.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Lithium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Glucagon / agonists*
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Water*


  • Glp1r protein, rat
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Receptors, Glucagon
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary
  • Water
  • Lithium Chloride