Incretin-based therapies exploit the insulinotropic actions of the gut hormones gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) for the treatment of diabetes and include GLP-1 receptor agonists and inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), the enzyme that inactivates the incretin hormones in the body. Both drug classes improve metabolic control in type 2 diabetes (T2DM), with GLP-1 receptor agonists also lowering body weight. Pharmacotherapy using DPP-4 inhibitors has few side effects and is weight neutral. Animal studies support their use in prediabetes; however, human data are scarce. GLP-1 receptor agonist effects are also apparent in non-diabetic obese individuals. Therefore, incretin-based therapies, if safe, may be effective in preventing progression of prediabetes; and GLP-1 receptor agonists may have potential for use in the treatment of obesity.
Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2013, Vol 24, Issue 3, p. 145-152