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Diabetologia. 2011 Sep;54(9):2381-91. doi: 10.1007/s00125-011-2217-2. Epub 2011 Jun 22.

Chronic treatment with a glucagon receptor antagonist lowers glucose and moderately raises circulating glucagon and glucagon-like peptide 1 without severe alpha cell hypertrophy in diet-induced obese mice.

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Merck, RY80N-A58, 126 East Lincoln Avenue, Rahway, NJ, USA.



Antagonism of the glucagon receptor (GCGR) represents a potential approach for treating diabetes. Cpd-A, a potent and selective GCGR antagonist (GRA) was studied in preclinical models to assess its effects on alpha cells.


Studies were conducted with Cpd-A to examine the effects on glucose-lowering efficacy, its effects in combination with a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, and the extent and reversibility of alpha cell hypertrophy associated with GCGR antagonism in mouse models.


Chronic treatment with Cpd-A resulted in effective and sustained glucose lowering in mouse models in which endogenous murine Gcgr was replaced with human GCGR (hGCGR). Treatment with Cpd-A also led to stable, moderate elevations in both glucagon and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) levels, which were completely reversible and not associated with a hyperglycaemic overshoot following termination of treatment. When combined with a DPP-4 inhibitor, Cpd-A led to additional improvement of glycaemic control correlated with elevated active GLP-1 levels after glucose challenge. In contrast to Gcgr-knockout mice in which alpha cell hypertrophy was detected, chronic treatment with Cpd-A in obese hGCGR mice did not result in gross morphological changes in pancreatic tissue.


A GRA lowered glucose effectively in diabetic models without significant alpha cell hypertrophy during or following chronic treatment. Treatment with a GRA may represent an effective approach for glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes, which could be further enhanced when combined with DPP-4 inhibitors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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