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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Jun;95(6):2607-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-2741.

Time for testing incretin therapies in early type 1 diabetes?

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Department of Internal Medicine, San Raffaele Scientific Institute and Vita Salute San Raffaele University, 20132 Milan, Italy.


Incretin-based compounds, including glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 inhibitors, have emerged as a new class of agents for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In this article, the potential and supporting evidence for extending their use to early type 1 diabetes are reviewed. The rationale relies on the assumption that these drugs, in addition to their action on insulin secretion and glucose regulation, may be effective in preserving and even expanding the beta-cell mass. This assumption is based on data from in vitro and animal studies, with no clear demonstrations in humans. This class of drugs may represent an entirely new approach to the treatment of type 1 diabetes, focused on protection and preservation of beta-cells, an ideal complement to immune interventions inhibiting or modulating the pathogenetic autoimmune process. The ideal candidates for this treatment are patients at the time of clinical onset of type 1 diabetes or individuals with preclinical type 1 diabetes who still have a significant viable beta-cell mass.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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