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Diabetes, Incretin Therapy and Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm – What Does the Evidence Show?

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 5 ]


Camilla Krizhanovskii * and Anders Franco-Cereceda   Pages 432 - 439 ( 8 )


Epidemiological evidence supports a reduced prevalence of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA) and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) in patients with Diabetes (DM). The mechanisms underlying this negative association are unknown. Some studies support that hyperglycemia has effects on the Extracellular Matrix (ECM), resulting in collagen cross-links and altered proteolytic activity, which ultimately counteracts aneurysm formation. However, recent experimental research indicates that incretin- based anti-diabetic therapy and Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) may reduce the formation of TAA. GLP-1 is a peptide hormone, released from intestinal L-cells in response to hormonal, neural and nutrient stimuli. In addition to potentiation of meal-stimulated insulin secretion, GLP-1 signaling exerts numerous pleiotropic effects on various tissues, including protective effects on the myocardium and vascular endothelium. Recent studies also report protective effects of GLP-1 based therapy on the formation of aneurysms in animal models and direct effects of GLP-1 signaling on the molecular mechanisms suggested to influence TAA formation, including inflammation, proteolytic activity and collagen composition. In this narrative review, we present the available evidence for effects of GLP-1 on experimental aneurysm development and discuss the potential role of GLP-1 in aneurysm formation based on available data from pre-clinical and clinical studies.


Thoracic aortic aneurysm, aorta, proteolytic activity, incretin therapy, type 2 diabetes, glucagon-like peptide-1.


Sodertalje Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Stockholm, Sodertalje Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Stockholm

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