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PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23570. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023570. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Albiglutide, a long lasting glucagon-like peptide-1 analog, protects the rat heart against ischemia/reperfusion injury: evidence for improving cardiac metabolic efficiency.

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Heart Failure Discovery Performance Unit, Metabolic Pathways and Cardiovascular Therapy Area Unit, GlaxoSmithKline, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.



The cardioprotective effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and analogs have been previously reported. We tested the hypothesis that albiglutide, a novel long half-life analog of GLP-1, may protect the heart against I/R injury by increasing carbohydrate utilization and improving cardiac energetic efficiency.


Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with albiglutide and subjected to 30 min myocardial ischemia followed by 24 h reperfusion. Left ventricle infarct size, hemodynamics, function and energetics were determined. In addition, cardiac glucose disposal, carbohydrate metabolism and metabolic gene expression were assessed. Albiglutide significantly reduced infarct size and concomitantly improved post-ischemic hemodynamics, cardiac function and energetic parameters. Albiglutide markedly increased both in vivo and ex vivo cardiac glucose uptake while reducing lactate efflux. Analysis of metabolic substrate utilization directly in the heart showed that albiglutide increased the relative carbohydrate versus fat oxidation which in part was due to an increase in both glucose and lactate oxidation. Metabolic gene expression analysis indicated upregulation of key glucose metabolism genes in the non-ischemic myocardium by albiglutide.


Albiglutide reduced myocardial infarct size and improved cardiac function and energetics following myocardial I/R injury. The observed benefits were associated with enhanced myocardial glucose uptake and a shift toward a more energetically favorable substrate metabolism by increasing both glucose and lactate oxidation. These findings suggest that albiglutide may have direct therapeutic potential for improving cardiac energetics and function.

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