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Arch Hellen Med, 31(6), November-December 2014, 686-692


Extrapancreatic effects of glucagon-like peptide-1

A. Papazafiropoulou,1 S. Pappas,1 N. Papanas2
1Diabetes Center, Third Department of Internal Medicine, "Agios Panteleimon" General Hospital of Nikaia, Piraeus,
2Diabetes Clinic, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is considered to be the most important of the incretin hormones (incretins), which are gastrointestinal hormones that are secreted after meals and reduce postprandial hyperglycemia. Apart from its action on the pancreatic islets, GLP-1 has a variety of extrapancreatic effects on the heart, blood vessels and the gastrointestinal system, in the regulation of appetite and satiety, and on the central nervous system (CNS). In addition, other possible pleiotropic effects are being investigated. In the cardiovascular system, GLP-1 improves systolic function, reduces myocardial ischemia, lowers the blood pressure and improves endothelial function, thereby reducing of the progression of atherosclerosis. GLP-1 also increases satiety leading to a reduction in food intake. In the gastrointestinal system, it exerts a strong inhibitory effect on the secretion of gastric and pancreatic enzymes and on gastric emptying. In the CNS, GLP-1 maintains a constant concentration of glucose in the brain and it exerts neuroprotective activity in regions associated with cognition (such as the hippocampus and the amygdala), and in the substantia nigra. Finally, various actions of GLP-1 that await confirmation in clinical practice include kidney protection, reduction of acute lung injury and protection from peripheral nerve degeneration.

Key words: Bone metabolism, Central nervous system, Gastrointestinal tract, Glucagon-like peptide-1, Heart.

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