Drug Improves Islet Transplant in Diabetic Mice

Liraglutide improves islet engraftment and function

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetic mice receiving a transplant of pancreatic islet cells have improved islet engraftment and function if given liraglutide, a long-acting human glucagon-like peptide 1 analogue, starting on the day of the transplant, according to the results of a study published online May 29 in Endocrinology.

Shaheed Merani, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues treated diabetic mice with liraglutide after a marginal mass syngeneic islet transplant.

The researchers found that mice treated with liraglutide became normoglycemic significantly faster (median one day versus seven days), had improved glucose tolerance, reduced apoptosis of the transplanted beta-cells and improved glucose-dependent insulin secretion. Liraglutide was not effective if given 90 days post-transplant and glucose tolerance was diminished if liraglutide was discontinued 90 days post-transplant, they note.

"Overall, our data shows that liraglutide has a beneficial impact on the engraftment and function of syngeneic islet transplants in mice, when administered continuously starting on the day of transplant," Merani and colleagues conclude.

One of the study authors is an employee of and owns stock in NovoNordisk. NovoNordisk provided the liraglutide used in the study.

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