Cardiovascular, renal and gastrointestinal effects of incretin-based therapies: an acute and 12-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, mechanistic intervention trial in type 2 diabetes

MM Smits, L Tonneijck, MHA Muskiet, T Hoekstra, MHH Kramer, IC Pieters, Djuna Cahen, M Diamant, DH van Raalte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Incretin-based therapies, that is, glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 receptor agonists and dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitors, are relatively novel antihyperglycaemic drugs that are frequently used in type 2 diabetes management. Apart from glucose-lowering, these agents exhibit pleiotropic actions that may have favourable and unfavourable clinical consequences. Incretin-based therapies have been associated with heart rate acceleration, heart failure, acute renal failure and acute pancreatitis. Conversely, these agents may reduce blood pressure, glomerular hyperfiltration, albuminuria and hepatic steatosis. While large-sized cardiovascular safety trials can potentially identify the clinical significance of some of these pleiotropic actions, small-sized mechanistic studies are important to understand the (patho) physiological rationale of these findings. The current protocol describes a mechanistic study to assess cardiovascular, renal and gastrointestinal effects, and mechanisms of incretin-based therapies in type 2 diabetes. Methods and analyses: 60 patients with type 2 diabetes will undergo acute and prolonged randomised, double-blind, intervention studies. The acute intervention will consist of intravenous administration of the GLP-1 receptor agonist exenatide or placebo. For the prolonged intervention, patients will be randomised to 12-week treatment with the GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide, the DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin or matching placebos. For each examined organ system, a primary end point is defined. Primary cardiovascular end point is change in resting heart rate variability assessed by beat-to-beat heart rate monitor and spectral analyses software. Primary renal end point is change in glomerular filtration rate assessed by the classic inulin clearance methodology. Primary gastrointestinal end points are change in pancreatic exocrine function assessed by MRI-techniques (acute intervention) and faecal elastase-1 levels (12-week intervention). Secondary end points include systemic haemodynamics, microvascular function, effective renal plasma flow, renal tubular function, pancreatic volume and gallbladder emptying-rate. Medical ethics and dissemination: The study is approved by the local Ethics Review Board (VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam) and conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and Good Clinical Practice.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Article numbere009579
JournalBMJ Open Gastroenterology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-20-01

Cite this