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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2016 Nov 1;311(5):H1214-H1224. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00316.2016. Epub 2016 Sep 16.

GLP-1 inhibits VEGFA-mediated signaling in isolated human endothelial cells and VEGFA-induced dilation of rat mesenteric arteries.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; and.
Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark;


We investigated the acute effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), GLP-1(1-36), and GLP-1(7-36) on vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGFA)-induced endothelium-dependent signaling and vasodilation. Our hypothesis was that GLP-1 released from intestinal l-cells modulates processes related to PLCγ activation, Src, and endothelial NOS (eNOS) signaling, thereby controlling endothelial vessel tone. By using RT-PCR analysis, we found mRNA for the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC), human retinal microvascular endothelial cells, and rat arteries. In isolated rat mesenteric resistance arteries precontracted with the thromboxane analog U46619 to 80-90% of maximum contraction, VEGFA (25 ng/ml) caused a small and gradual relaxation (28.9 ± 3.9%). Pretreatment of arteries with either GLP-1(1-36) (500 nM) or GLP-1(7-36) (1 nM) abolished the VEGFA-induced relaxation. VEGFA-induced relaxations were also inhibited in endothelial-denuded arteries and in arteries pretreated with the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (100 μM). In vivo studies on male Wistar rats also revealed that GLP-1(7-36) inhibited VEGFA-induced vasodilation of the same arteries. In isolated endothelial cells, GLP-1(1-36) and GLP-1(7-36) caused a reduction in VEGFA-induced phosphorylation of PLCγ. Ca2+ imaging of endothelial cells and rat mesenteric resistance arteries using fura-2, revealed that both GLP-1 analogs caused a reduction in VEGFA-induced Ca2+ signaling. GLP-1(1-36) also reduced VEGFA-induced eNOS phosphorylation in HDMEC. In conclusion, GLP-1 reduced relaxation induced by VEGFA in resistance arteries by inhibiting VEGFR2-mediated Ca2+ signaling and endothelial NO synthesis. GLP-1, on its own, also induced phosphorylation of Src and ERK1/2 that can lead to proliferation and is implicated in vessel permeability.


GLP-1R; PLCγ and eNOS; VEGFA signaling; endothelial cells; vasodilation

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