The anti-hyperglycemic agent linagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve endothelial cell function. In this study, we hypothesized that DPP-IV inhibition with linagliptin would improve impaired cerebral blood flow in diabetic rats through improved insulin-induced cerebrovascular relaxation and reversal of pathological cerebrovascular remodeling that subsequently leads to improvement of cognitive function.Main methods:
Male type-2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) and nondiabetic Wistar rats were treated with linagliptin, and ET-1 plasma levels and dose response curves to ET-1 (0.1–100 nM) in basilar arteries were assessed. The impact of TLR2 antagonism on ET-1 mediated basilar contraction and endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine (ACh, 1 nM–1 M) in diabetic GK rats was examined with antibody directed against the TLR2 receptor (Santa Cruz, 5 μg/mL). The expression of TLR2 in middle cerebral arteries (MCAs) from treated rats and in brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVEC) treated with 100 nM linagliptin was assessed.Key findings:
Linagliptin lowered plasma ET-1 levels in diabetes, and reduced ET-1-induced vascular contraction. TLR2 antagonism in diabetic basilar arteries reduced ET-1-mediated cerebrovascular dysfunction and improved endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. Linagliptin treatment in the BMVEC was able to reduce TLR2 expression in cells from both diabetic and nondiabetic rats.Conclusions:
These results suggest that inhibition of DPPIV using linagliptin improves the ET-1-mediated cerebrovascular dysfunction observed in diabetes through a reduction in ET-1 plasma levels and reduced cerebrovascular hyperreactivity. This effect is potentially a result of linagliptin causing a decrease in endothelial TLR2 expression and a subsequent increase in NO bioavailability.