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Researchers continue to investigate cardioprotective effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists


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2 minutes

Daniel J. Drucker, MD
Daniel J. Drucker, MD

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and similar cardiovascular events, but questions remain about the mechanisms behind the cardioprotection the drugs provide.

During a Virtual Scientific Sessions symposium on Monday, June 15, three researchers will address the question, How Do GLP-1 Receptor Agonists Provide Cardioprotection? The two-hour symposium begins at 8:00 a.m. CT.

Daniel J. Drucker, MD, Senior Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, will review the cellular targets related to cardioprotection. GLP-1 has many simultaneous actions on different cell types within several tissues, so it’s difficult to pin down with absolute certainty how and where GLP-1 acts to reduce cardiovascular disease, Dr. Drucker explained. But researchers are gaining new insights.

“There’s quite a bit of new preclinical data in studies examining how and where GLP-1 acts,” Dr. Drucker said. “We will highlight the notable insights made in these recently published studies.”

Dr. Drucker’s laboratory studies the physiology and mechanisms of gut peptides, with a focus on glucagon and the glucagon-like peptides and their receptors. “We continue to probe how GLP-1 acts on its receptor that’s been detected in rare cell populations in many organs—from the immune system to blood vessels, heart, and even the brain—in ongoing attempts to deduce pathways and possibilities that explain GLP-1 action,” he said.

Another presenter, Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD, will review the direct and indirect mechanisms connecting GLP-1 and atherosclerosis. Dr. Rajagopalan, who has been at the forefront of developing innovative, noninvasive approaches to diagnose and treat complex cardiovascular diseases, is Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at University Hospitals and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Case Western Reserve University.

Mansoor Husain, MD, FRCPC, Senior Scientist at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, will examine the evidence that GLP-1 receptor agonists create positive cardiovascular outcomes. Dr. Husain and his research colleagues have a specific emphasis on identifying therapeutic targets and the underlying cardiovascular complications of diabetes, including the biology of GLP-1 and its metabolites in the cardiovascular system.


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