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Cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist treatment induces glucagon release and shows an additive therapeutic effect with GLP-1 agonist in diet-induced obese mice

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Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor antagonists reduce body weight and improve insulin sensitivity. Preclinical data indicates that an acute dose of CB1 antagonist rimonabant causes an increase in blood glucose. A stable analog of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), exendin-4 improves glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreas, and reduces appetite through activation of GLP-1 receptors in the central nervous system and liver. We hypothesized that the insulin secretagogue effect of GLP-1 agonist exendin-4 may synergize with the insulin-sensitizing action of rimonabant. Intraperitoneal as well as intracerebroventricular administration of rimonabant increased serum glucose upon glucose challenge in overnight fasted, diet-induced obese C57 mice, with concomitant rise in serum glucagon levels. Exendin-4 reversed the acute hyperglycemia induced by rimonabant. The combination of exendin-4 and rimonabant showed an additive effect in the food intake, and sustained body weight reduction upon repeated dosing. The acute efficacy of both the compounds was additive for inducing nausea-like symptoms in conditioned aversion test in mice, whereas exendin-4 treatment antagonized the effect of rimonabant on forced swim test upon chronic dosing. Thus, the addition of exendin-4 to rimonabant produces greater reduction in food intake owing to increased aversion, but reduces the other central nervous system side effects of rimonabant. The hyperglucagonemia induced by rimonabant is partially responsible for enhancing the antiobesity effect of exendin-4.
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Keywords: exendin-4; exendine-4; hyperglycemia; hyperglycémie; insulin; insuline; rimonabant

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Zydus Research Centre, Cadila Healthcare Limited, Sarkhej-Bavla N.H. No. 8A, Moraiya, Ahmedabad 382210, India. 2: Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Zydus Research Centre, Cadila Healthcare Limited, Sarkhej-Bavla N.H. No. 8A, Moraiya, Ahmedabad 382210, India.

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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