GLP-1 and its based drugs possess extrapancreatic metabolic functions, including that in the liver. These direct hepatic metabolic functions explain their therapeutic efficiency for subjects with insulin resistance. The direct hepatic functions could be mediated by previously assumed “degradation” products of GLP-1 without involving canonic GLP-1R. Although GLP-1 analogs were created as therapeutic incretins, extrapancreatic functions of these drugs, as well as native GLP-1, have been broadly recognized. Among them, the hepatic functions are particularly important. Postprandial GLP-1 release contributes to insulin secretion, which represses hepatic glucose production. This indirect effect of GLP-1 is known as the gut-pancreas-liver axis. Great efforts have been made to determine whether GLP-1 and its analogs possess direct metabolic effects on the liver, as the determination of the existence of direct hepatic effects may advance the therapeutic theory and clinical practice on subjects with insulin resistance. Furthermore, recent investigations on the metabolic beneficial effects of previously assumed “degradation” products of GLP-1 in the liver and elsewhere, including GLP-128–36 and GLP-132–36, have drawn intensive attention. Such investigations may further improve the development and the usage of GLP-1-based drugs. Here, we have reviewed the current advancement and the existing controversies on the exploration of direct hepatic functions of GLP-1 and presented our perspectives that the direct hepatic metabolic effects of GLP-1 could be a GLP-1 receptor-independent event involving Wnt signaling pathway activation.
- glucagon-like peptide-1-based drugs
- glucagon-like peptide-128–36
- glucagon-like peptide-132–36
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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