DPP-4 inhibitor induces FGF21 expression via sirtuin 1 signaling and improves myocardial energy metabolism

Heart Vessels. 2021 Jan;36(1):136-146. doi: 10.1007/s00380-020-01711-z. Epub 2020 Oct 18.


Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors are widely used incretin-based therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. We investigated the cardioprotective effect of a DPP-4 inhibitor, vildagliptin (vilda), on myocardial metabolism and cardiac performance under pressure overload. Mice were treated with either vehicle or vilda, followed by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). After 3 weeks of TAC, cardiac hypertrophy and impairment of systolic function were attenuated in vilda-treated mice. Pressure-volume analysis showed that vilda treatment significantly improved left-ventricular contractile efficiency in TAC heart. Myocardial energy substrate analysis showed that vilda treatment significantly increased glucose uptake as well as fatty acid uptake. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), a peptide involved in the regulation of energy metabolism, increased in TAC heart and was further increased by vilda treatment. FGF21 was strongly expressed in cardiac fibroblasts than in cardiomyocytes in mouse heart after TAC with vilda treatment. Vilda treatment markedly induced FGF21 expression in human cardiac fibroblasts through a sirtuin (Sirt) 1-mediated pathway, suggesting that fibroblast-mediated FGF21 expression may regulate energy metabolism and exert vilda-mediated beneficial effects in stressed heart. Vilda induced a metabolic regulator, FGF21 expression in cardiac fibroblasts via Sirt1, and increased contractile efficiency in murine pressure-overloaded heart.

Keywords: Cardiac fibroblast; Heart failure; Hypertrophy; Metabolism.