Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 1735–1745 | Cite as

Beneficial effects of liraglutide (GLP1 analog) in the hippocampal inflammation

  • Andre R. C. Barreto-Vianna
  • Marcia B. Aguila
  • Carlos A. Mandarim-de-Lacerda
Original Article


The brain is very sensitive to metabolic dysfunctions induced by diets high in saturated fatty acids, leading to neuroinflammation. The liraglutide has been found to have neuroprotective effects. However, its neuroprotective action in a model of palmitate-induced neuroinflammation had not yet been evaluated. Mice were intracerebroventricular (ICV) infused with palmitate and received subcutaneous liraglutide. The hippocampal dentate gyrus and CA1 regions were analyzed (morphology and inflammation-related proteins in microglia and astrocyte by confocal microscopy). Also, a real-time PCR was performed to measure the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha and interleukin (IL) 6. Palmitate ICV infusion resulted in pronounced inflammation response in the hippocampus, reactive microgliosis, and astrogliosis, with hypertrophied IBA1 immunoreactive microglia, increased microglial density with ameboid shape, decreased in the number of branches and junctions and increased the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II expression. Also, we observed in the hippocampus of ICV palmitate infused mice an elevation in the pro-inflammatory cytokine levels TNFalpha and IL6. Liraglutide induced the neuroprotective microglial phenotype, characterized by an increased microglia complexity (enlarged Feret’s diameter), an improved number of both cell junctions and processes, and lower circularity, accompanied by a significant reduction in TNFalpha and IL6 expressions. The study provides evidence that liraglutide may be a suitable treatment against the palmitate-induced neuroinflammation, which it is characterized by the reactive microgliosis and astrogliosis, as well as increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, which has been described as one of the primary causes of several pathologies of the central nervous system.


Intracerebroventricular infusion Saturated fatty acids Neuroinflammation Hippocampus Microglia 



The study was financially supported by the FAPERJ (Rio de Janeiro State Foundation for Scientific Research,, grant number E26/201.186/2014 to CAML) and CNPq (Brazilian Council of Science and Technology, grant numbers 302154/20116 and 442673/20140 to CAML).

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andre R. C. Barreto-Vianna
    • 1
  • Marcia B. Aguila
    • 1
  • Carlos A. Mandarim-de-Lacerda
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Morphometry, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases, Biomedical Center, Institute of BiologyState University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Centro Biomedico, Instituto de Biologia, Laboratorio de Morfometria, Metabolismo e doenca Cardiovascular ( do Estado do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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