, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 723-732
Date: 08 Aug 2013

Use of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Agonists to Improve Islet Graft Performance

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Abstract

Human islet transplantation is an effective and promising therapy for type I diabetes. However, long-term insulin independence is both difficult to achieve and inconsistent. De novo or early administration of incretin-based drugs is being explored for improving islet engraftment. In addition to its glucose-dependent insulinotropic effects, incretins also lower postprandial glucose excursion by inhibiting glucagon secretion, delaying gastric emptying, and can protect beta-cell function. Incretin therapy has so far proven clinically safe and tolerable with little hypoglycemic risk. The present review aims to highlight the new frontiers in research involving incretins from both in vitro and in vivo animal studies in the field of islet transplant. It also provides an overview of the current clinical status of incretin usage in islet transplantation in the management of type I diabetes.