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Do incretins improve endothelial function?

Jun-ichi Oyama1*, Yukihito Higashi2 and Koichi Node1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Saga University, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga 849-8501, Japan

2 Department of Cardiovascular Regeneration and Medicine, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2014, 13:21  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-21

Published: 15 January 2014


An impaired endothelial function has been recognized in the early stage of atherosclerosis, and is a major factor affecting the future development of cardiovascular events. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is widely prevalent, and is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. T2DM is associated with increases in both morbidity and mortality, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

New therapies based on the incretin hormone and its actions are now becoming widely used, and appear to offer advantages over conventional therapies by keeping the body weight steady and limiting hypoglycemia, while also achieving attractive glycemic control. However, there is little data available about the effects of incretins on the cardiovascular system.

This review will focus on the effects of incretin therapies, including glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogs and dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitors, on the endothelial function, and will discuss the potential mechanisms underlying these effects.

Incretin; GLP-1; DPP-4 inhibitor; Endothelial function; Diabetes mellitus type 2