Studies have indicated that dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists reduce infarct size after myocardial ischaemia. Whether these agents modify cardiac remodelling after ischaemia is unclear. Furthermore, it is not known if combination of the two types of drugs is superior to either agent alone. We investigated the modulatory effect of the DPP-4 inhibitor linagliptin alone, the GLP-1 activator liraglutide alone, or the two agents together on myocardial infarct size, left ventricular contractile function and cardiac remodelling signals after a brief period of left coronary artery (LCA) occlusion. C57BL/6 mice were treated with vehicle, the DPP-4 inhibitor linagliptin, the GLP-1 activator liraglutide, or both agents together for 5 days, and then subjected to LCA occlusion (1 h) and reperfusion (3 h). Ischaemia–reperfusion increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and expression of NADPH oxidase (p47phox, p22phox and gp91phox subtypes), collagens, fibronectin and proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin 6, tumour necrosis factor α and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) in the LCA-supplied regions. Pre-treatment with linagliptin or liraglutide reduced infarct size, protected cardiomyocytes from injury and preserved cardiac contractile function in a similar fashion. It is interesting that profibrotic (collagen deposition) signals were expressed soon after ischaemia–reperfusion. Both linagliptin and liraglutide suppressed ROS generation, NADPH oxidase and proinflammatory signals, and reduced collagen deposition. Addition of linagliptin or liraglutide had no significant additive effect above and beyond that of liraglutide and linagliptin given alone. In conclusion, linagliptin and liraglutide can improve cardiac contractile function and indices of cardiac remodelling, which may be related to their role in inhibition of ROS production and proinflammatory cytokines after ischaemia.

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