Author(s): Biswas SC, Buteau J, Greene LA
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Abstract Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a glucoincretin hormone most intensively studied for its actions on insulin secreting beta-cells. GLP-1 and its receptor are also found in brain and accumulating evidence indicates that GLP-1 has neuroprotective actions. Here, we investigated whether GLP-1 protects neuronal cells from death evoked by nerve growth factor (NGF) withdrawal. Compromised trophic factor signaling may underlie neurodegenerative diseases ranging from Alzheimer disease to diabetic neuropathies. We report that GLP-1 provides sustained protection of cultured neuronal PC12 cells and sympathetic neurons from degeneration and death caused by NGF deprivation. Past work shows that NGF deprivation induces the pro-apoptotic protein Bim which contributes to neuron death. Here, we find that GLP-1 suppresses Bim induction promoted by NGF deprivation. Thus, GLP-1 may protect neurons, at least in part, by suppressing Bim induction. Our findings support the idea that drugs that mimic or elevate GLP-1 represent potential therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.
This article was published in Neurochem Res
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism