The effects of incretin hormones on cerebral glucose metabolism in health and disease

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Incretin hormones, notably glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), are gluco-regulatory hormones with pleiotropic effects also in the central nervous system. Apart from a local production of GLP-1, systemic administration of the hormone has been shown to influence a number of cerebral pathologies, including neuroinflammation. Given the brains massive dependence on glucose as its major fuel, we here review the mechanistics of cerebral glucose transport and metabolism, focusing on the deleterious effects of both hypo- and hyperglycaemia. GLP-1, when administered as long-acting analogues or intravenously, appears to decrease transport of glucose in normoglycaemic conditions, without affecting the total cerebral glucose content. During hypoglycaemia this effect seems abated, whereas during hyperglycaemia GLP-1 regulates cerebral glucose metabolism towards stable levels resembling normoglycaemia. In Alzheimer's disease, a 6-month intervention with GLP-1 maintained cerebral glucose levels at baseline levels, contrasting the decline otherwise seen in Alzheimer's. Kinetic studies suggest blood-brain barrier (BBB) glucose transport as the key player in GLP-1 mediated effects on cerebral glucose metabolism. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Metabolic Impairment as Risk Factors for Neurodegenerative Disorders.'

Original languageEnglish
Issue numberPart B
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 202512521