The GLP-1 mimetic exenatide potentiates insulin secretion in healthy cats

Chen Gilor, T. K. Graves, S. Gilor, T. K. Ridge, M. Rick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The glucagon-like peptide-1 mimetic exenatide has a glucose-dependent insulinotropic effect, and it is effective in controlling blood glucose (BG) with minimal side effects in people with type 2 diabetes. Exenatide also delays gastric emptying, increases satiety, and improves β-cell function. We studied the effect of exenatide on insulin secretion during euglycemia and hyperglycemia in cats. Nine young, healthy, neutered, purpose-bred cats were used in a randomized, cross-over design. BG concentrations during an oral glucose tolerance test were determined in these cats previously. Two isoglycemic glucose clamps (mimicking the BG concentration during the oral glucose tolerance test) were performed in each cat on separate days, one without prior treatment (IGC) and the second with exenatide (1 μg/kg) injected subcutaneously 2 h before (ExIGC). BG, insulin, and exenatide concentrations were measured, and glucose infusion rates were recorded and compared in paired tests between the two experiments. After exenatide injection, insulin serum concentrations increased significantly (2.4-fold; range 1.0- to 9.2-fold; P = 0.004) within 15 min. This was followed by a mild decrease in BG concentration and a return of insulin concentration to baseline despite a continuous increase in serum exenatide concentrations. Insulin area under the curve (AUC) during ExIGC was significantly higher than insulin AUC during IGC (AUC ratio, 2.0 0.4; P = 0.03). Total glucose infused was not significantly different between IGC and ExIGC. Exenatide was detectable in plasma at 15 min after injection. The mean exenatide concentration peaked at 45 min and then returned to baseline by 75 min. Exenatide was still detectable in the serum of three of five cats 8 h after injection. No adverse reactions to exenatide were observed. In conclusion, exenatide affects insulin secretion in cats in a glucose-dependent manner, similar to its effect in other species. Although this effect was not accompanied by a greater ability to dispose of an intravenous glucose infusion, other potentially beneficial effects of exenatide on pancreatic β cells, mainly increasing their proliferation and survival, should be investigated in cats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Feline
  • Glucagon
  • Incretin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Animals


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