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The GLP-1 Analogs Liraglutide and Semaglutide Reduce Atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− and LDLr−/− Mice by a Mechanism That Includes Inflammatory Pathways

Günaj Rakipovski, Bidda Rolin, Jane Nøhr, Ib Klewe, Klaus S. Frederiksen, Robert Augustin, Jacob Hecksher-Sørensen, Camilla Ingvorsen, Joseph Polex-Wolf, Lotte Bjerre Knudsen
JACC: Basic to Translational Science2018
The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) liraglutide and semaglutide reduce cardiovascular risk in type 2 diabetes patients. The mode of action is suggested to occur through modified atherosclerotic progression. In this study, both of the compounds significantly attenuated plaque lesion development in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE?/?) mice and low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDLr?/?) mice. This attenuation was partly independent of weight and cholesterol lowering. In aortic tissue, exposure to a Western diet alters expression of genes in pathways relevant to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, including leukocyte recruitment, leukocyte rolling, adhesion/extravasation, cholesterol metabolism, lipid-mediated signaling, extracellular matrix protein turnover, and plaque hemorrhage. Treatment with semaglutide significantly reversed these changes. These data suggest GLP-1RAs affect atherosclerosis through an anti-inflammatory mechanism.
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