Incretin-based therapy for the treatment of bone fragility in diabetes mellitus

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Abstract

Bone fractures are common comorbidities of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Bone fracture incidence seems to develop due to increased risk of falls, poor bone quality and/or anti-diabetic medications. Previously, a relation between gut hormones and bone has been suspected. Most recent evidences suggest indeed that two gut hormones, namely glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), may control bone remodeling and quality. The GIP receptor is expressed in bone cells and knockout of either GIP or its receptor induces severe bone quality alterations. Similar alterations are also encountered in GLP-1 receptor knock-out animals associated with abnormal osteoclast resorption. Some GLP-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) have been approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and although clinical trials may not have been designed to investigate bone fracture, first results suggest that GLP-1RA may not exacerbate abnormal bone quality observed in T2DM. The recent design of double and triple gut hormone agonists may also represent a suitable alternative for restoring compromised bone quality observed in T2DM. However, although most of these new molecules demonstrated weight loss action, little is known on their bone safety. The present review summarizes the most recent findings on peptide-based incretin therapy and bone physiology.

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