Scientific article
Open access

Retinal pigment epithelial cells express a functional receptor for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)

Published inMediators of inflammation, vol. 2013, 975032
Publication date2013

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a gut-derived incretin hormone that has been shown to improve glucose homeostasis in type 2 diabetes. The biological effects of GLP-1 are mediated by its specific receptor GLP-1R that is expressed in a wide range of tissues, where it is responsible of the extra-pancreatic effects of GLP-1. Since the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), that forms the outer retinal barrier, has a key role in protecting from diabetic retinopathy (DR), we investigated the potential expression and function of GLP-1R in a RPE cell line. ARPE-19 cells were cultured in DMEM/F12 supplemented with 10% FBS. The expression of GLP-1R was evaluated at both mRNA and protein levels. Then, the activation postreceptor intracellular signal transduction pathways (extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 [ERK1/2] and protein kinase B [PKB]) were assessed by western blot in normal cells or silenced for GLP-1R in the presence or absence of 10 nmol/L GLP-1. The potential connections between intracellular signalling pathways triggered by GLP-1 stimulation were performed before incubating cells with kinase pharmacological inhibitors of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK)1/2, phosphatydilinositol-3kinase (PI3K), or epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The results showed that GLP1R is expressed at both mRNA and protein level in ARPE-19 cells. Stimulation with GLP-1 strongly activated PKB and ERK1/2 phosphorylation till 40 min of exposure. GLP-1-mediated activation of both kinases was dependent on the upstream activation of PI3K and EGFR. Finally, treatment with GLP-1 did not affect the spontaneous release of VEGF-A from ARPE-19 cells. In conclusion, this paper showed that the presence of functional GLP-1R is expressed in RPE cells. These data might represent the rationale to further investigate the potential direct beneficial effects of GLP-1 treatment against DR.

  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology
  • Gene Silencing
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1/pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptor, Epidermal Growth Factor/metabolism
  • Receptors, Glucagon/metabolism
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium/cytology/pathology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism
Citation (ISO format)
PUDDU, Alessandra et al. Retinal pigment epithelial cells express a functional receptor for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). In: Mediators of inflammation, 2013, vol. 2013, p. 975032. doi: 10.1155/2013/975032
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0962-9351

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