GLP-1: Benefits beyond pancreas

G. Muscogiuri, A. Cignarelli, F. Giorgino, F. Prodram, D. Santi, G. Tirabassi, G. Balercia, R. Modica, A. Faggiano, A. Colao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is an intestinal hormone secreted after the ingestion of various nutrients. The main role of GLP-1 is to stimulate insulin secretion in a glucose-dependent manner. However, the expression of GLP-1 receptor was found to be expressed in a variety of tissues beyond pancreas such as lung, stomach, intestine, kidney, heart and brain. Beyond pancreas, a beneficial effect of GLP-1 on body weight reduction has been shown, suggesting its role for the treatment of obesity. In addition, GLP-1 has been demonstrated to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and to have a direct cardioprotective effect, fostering heart recovery after ischemic injury. Further, data from both experimental animal models and human studies have shown beneficial effect of GLP-1 on bone metabolism, either directly or indirectly on bone cells. Materials and methods: We review here the recent findings of the extra-pancreatic effects of GLP-1 focusing on both basic and clinical studies, thus opening future perspectives to the use of GLP-1 analogs for the treatment of disease beyond type 2 diabetes. Conclusion: Finally, the GLP-1 has been demonstrated to have a beneficial effect on both vascular, degenerative diseases of central nervous system and psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1153
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 7 2014


  • Body weight
  • Bone
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Central nervous system
  • GLP-1
  • Pancreas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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