Exendin-4 protects against post-myocardial infarction remodelling via specific actions on inflammation and the extracellular matrix

Emma Robinson, Roslyn S. Cassidy, Mitchel Tate, Youyou Zhao, Samuel Lockhart, Danielle Calderwood, Rachel Church, Mary K. McGahon, Derek P. Brazil, Barbara J. McDermott, Brian D. Green, David J. Grieve

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Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an insulin-releasing hormone clinically exploited for glycaemic control in diabetes, which also confers acute cardioprotection and benefits in experimental/clinical heart failure. We specifically investigated the role of the GLP-1 mimetic, exendin-4, in post-myocardial infarction (MI) remodelling, which is a key contributor to heart failure. Adult female normoglycaemic mice underwent coronary artery ligation/sham surgery prior to infusion with exendin-4/vehicle for 4 weeks. Metabolic parameters and infarct sizes were comparable between groups. Exendin-4 protected against cardiac dysfunction and chamber dilatation post-MI and improved survival. Furthermore, exendin-4 modestly decreased cardiomyocyte hypertrophy/apoptosis but markedly attenuated interstitial fibrosis and myocardial inflammation post-MI. This was associated with altered extracellular matrix (procollagen IαI/IIIαI, connective tissue growth factor, fibronectin, TGF-β3) and inflammatory (IL-10, IL-1β, IL-6) gene expression in exendin-4-treated mice, together with modulation of both Akt/GSK-3β and Smad2/3 signalling. Exendin-4 also altered macrophage response gene expression in the absence of direct actions on cardiac fibroblast differentiation, suggesting cardioprotective effects occurring secondary to modulation of inflammation. Our findings indicate that exendin-4 protects against post-MI remodelling via preferential actions on inflammation and the extracellular matrix independently of its established actions on glycaemic control, thereby suggesting that selective targeting of GLP-1 signalling may be required to realise its clear therapeutic potential for post-MI heart failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20
Number of pages15
JournalBasic Research in Cardiology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2015

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