OBJECTIVE - The efficacy of liraglutide, a human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog, to prevent or delay diabetes in UCD-T2DM rats, a model of polygenic obese type 2 diabetes, was investigated. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - At 2 months of age, male rats were divided into three groups: control, food-restricted, and liraglutide. Animals received liraglutide (0.2 mg/kg s.c.) or vehicle injections twice daily. Restricted rats were food restricted to equalize body weights to liraglutide-treated rats. Half of the animals were followed until diabetes onset, whereas the other half of the animals were killed at 6.5 months of age for tissue collection. RESULTS - Before diabetes onset energy intake, body weight, adiposity, and liver triglyceride content were higher in control animals compared with restricted and liraglutide-treated rats. Energy-restricted animals had lower food intake than liraglutide-treated animals to maintain the same body weights, suggesting that liraglutide increases energy expenditure. Liraglutide treatment delayed diabetes onset by 4.1 ± 0.8 months compared with control (P < 0.0001) and by 1.3 ± 0.8 months compared with restricted animals (P < 0.05). Up to 6 months of age, energy restriction and liraglutide treatment lowered fasting plasma glucose and A1C concentrations compared with control animals. In contrast, liraglutide-treated animals exhibited lower fasting plasma insulin, glucagon, and triglycerides compared with both control and restricted animals. Furthermore, energy-restricted and liraglutide-treated animals exhibited more normal islet morphology. CONCLUSIONS - Liraglutide treatment delays the development of diabetes in UCD-T2DM rats by reducing energy intake and body weight, and by improving insulin sensitivity, improving lipid profiles, and maintaining islet morphology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism