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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2012 Jul;342(1):71-80. doi: 10.1124/jpet.111.191098. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

The dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor linagliptin attenuates inflammation and accelerates epithelialization in wounds of diabetic ob/ob mice.

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  • 1Pharmazentrum Frankfurt/ZAFES, Klinikum der JW Goethe-Universität, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, D-60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


In recent years, new and effective therapeutic agents for blood glucose control have been added to standard diabetes therapies: dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, which prolong the bioavailability of the endogenously secreted incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Full-thickness excisional wounding was performed in wild-type (C57BL/6J) and diabetic [C57BL/6J-obese/obese (ob/ob)] mice. DPP-4 activity was inhibited by oral administration of linagliptin during healing. Wound tissue was analyzed by using histological, molecular, and biochemical techniques. In healthy mice, DPP-4 was constitutively expressed in the keratinocytes of nonwounded skin. After skin injury, DPP-4 expression declined and was lowest during the most active phase of tissue reassembly. In contrast, in ob/ob mice, we observed increasing levels of DPP-4 at late time points, when delayed tissue repair still occurs. Oral administration of the DPP-4 inhibitor linagliptin strongly reduced DPP-4 activity, stabilized active GLP-1 in chronic wounds, and improved healing in ob/ob mice. At day 10 postwounding, linagliptin-treated ob/ob mice showed largely epithelialized wounds characterized by the absence of neutrophils. In addition, DPP-4 inhibition reduced the expression of the proinflammatory markers cyclooxygenase-2 and macrophage inflammatory protein-2, but enhanced the formation of myofibroblasts in healing wounds from ob/ob mice. Our data suggest a potentially beneficial role of DPP-4 inhibition in diabetes-affected wound healing.

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