Glucagon-like peptide-1 and its receptor agonist exendin-4 modulate cholangiocyte adaptive response to cholestasis.
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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Cholangiopathies are characterized by progressive dysregulation of the balance between proliferation and death of cholangiocytes. In the course of cholestasis, cholangiocytes undergo a neuroendocrine transdifferentiation and their biology is regulated by neuroendocrine hormones. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), secreted by neuroendocrine cells, sustains beta-cell survival in experimental diabetes and induces the neuroendocrine transdifferentiation of pancreatic ductal cells. GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) selective agonist exendin-4 is used in humans as a novel therapeutic tool for diabetes. The aim of this study was to define if GLP-1 modulates cholangiocyte biologic response to cholestasis. METHODS: Expression of GLP-1R in cholangiocytes was determined. Effects on cholangiocyte proliferation of the in vitro and in vivo exposure to GLP-1 or exendin-4, together with the intracellular signals, were then studied. Synthesis of GLP-1 by cholangiocytes and the effects of GLP-1R blockage on their growth were also determined. RESULTS: Cholangiocytes express the GLP-1 receptor, which is up-regulated in the course of cholestasis. GLP-1 and exendin-4 increase cholangiocyte growth both in vitro and in vivo. The GLP-1R signal is mediated by the phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinase, cAMP/Protein Kinase A, and Ca(2+)-CamKIIalpha but not by the ERK1/2 and PKCalpha pathways. Proliferating cholangiocytes synthesize GLP-1: neutralization of its action by GLP-1R antagonist blunts cholangiocyte response to cholestasis. CONCLUSIONS: GLP-1 is required for the cholangiocyte adaptive response to cholestasis. Cholangiocytes are susceptible to the activation of GLP-1R and respond with increased proliferation and functional activity. Exendin-4 availability for employment in humans and these data may open novel perspectives for the medical treatment of cholangiopathies.
author list (cited authors)
Marzioni, M., Alpini, G., Saccomanno, S., Candelaresi, C., Venter, J., Rychlicki, C., ... Benedetti, A.
complete list of authors
Marzioni, Marco||Alpini, Gianfranco||Saccomanno, Stefania||Candelaresi, Cinzia||Venter, Juliet||Rychlicki, Chiara||Fava, Giammarco||Francis, Heather||Trozzi, Luciano||Glaser, Shannon||Benedetti, Antonio