Separation of emetic and anorexic responses of exendin-4, a GLP-1 receptor agonist inSuncus murinus(house musk shrew)

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Abstract

The use of glucagon-like peptide-1 (7–36) amide (GLP-1) receptor agonists for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus is commonly associated with nausea and vomiting. Therefore, the present studies investigated the potential of GLP-1 receptor ligands to modulate emesis and feeding in Suncus murinus. Exendin-4, a selective GLP-1 receptor agonist, was administered subcutaneously (1–30 nmol/kg) or intracerebroventricularly (0.03–3 nmol) after 12-h of fasting. In other studies, animals were pretreated with the GLP-1 receptor antagonist, exendin (9–39), or saline (5 μl) 15 min prior to exendin-4 (3 nmol, i.c.v.). Behaviour of animals and food and water intake were then recorded for 1–2 h; c-Fos expression was also assessed in the brains of animals in the i.c.v. studies. The subcutaneous administration of exendin-4 reduced food and water intake (p < 0.001) and induced emesis in 40% of animals (p > 0.05). The intracerebroventricular administration of exendin-4 also prevented feeding, and induced emesis (p < 0.01). In these studies, exendin (9–39) (30 nmol, i.c.v.) antagonised emesis induced by exendin-4 and the increased c-Fos expressions in the brainstem and hypothalamus (p < 0.05), but it was ineffective in reversing the exendin-4-induced inhibition of food and water intake (p > 0.05). These data suggest that exendin-4 exerts its emetic effects in the brainstem and/or hypothalamus via GLP-1 receptors. The action of exendin-4 to suppress feeding may involve non-classical GLP-1 receptors or other mechanisms.

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