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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012 Jun;14(6):531-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2012.01557.x. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Liraglutide: short-lived effect on gastric emptying -- long lasting effects on body weight.

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Gubra ApS, Hørsholm, Denmark.



Previous studies with the novel once daily glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue liraglutide and the GLP-1 receptor agonist exenatide have revealed profound insulinotrophic and antidiabetic effects, but also potent effects on gastric emptying (GE) and long-term and lasting reductions in body weight. In this study, we examined the acute and chronic effects of two different GLP-1 analogues with different pharmacokinetic profiles on GE, food intake and body weight.


On the basis of a series of dose-finding studies, the doses of exenatide and liraglutide with similar acute anorectic effects were identified. GE was assessed using a standard acetaminophen release assay. After the acute test, rats were dosed bi-daily for 14 days in which period food intake and body weight was monitored. On day 14, the GE rate was reassessed.


While both compounds exerted robust acute reductions in GE, the effect was markedly diminished following 14 days of dosing with liraglutide. In contrast, exenatide-treated rats still displayed a profound reduction in GE at the 14-day time-point. Both compounds exerted similar effects on body weight.


The data suggest that the 'gastric inhibitory' GLP-1 receptors in rats are subject to desensitization/tachyphylaxis but that this effect is dependent on full 24-h exposure as obtained by liraglutide. The body weight-lowering effects of GLP-1 receptor stimulation are not subject to desensitization. These data indicate that regulation of appetite signals in the brain, and not GE, is the main mechanism for liraglutide-induced weight loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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