Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a potent insulinotropic incretin hormone with pancreatic and extrapancreatic effects. Studies reveal significant effects in regions of brain tissue that regulate appetite and satiety. The effects cause that mimetics of GLP-1 serves as treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. GLP-1 interacts with peripheral functions in which the autonomic nervous system plays an important role, and emerging preclinical findings indicate a potential neuroprotective role of the peptide, e.g., in models of stroke and in neurodegenerative disorders. A century ago, Leonor Michaelis and Maud Menten described the steady-state enzyme kinetics that still apply to the multiple receptors, transporters and enzymes that define the biochemical reactions of the brain, including the glucose-dependent impact of GLP-1 on blood-brain glucose transfer and metabolism. This MiniReview examines the potential of GLP-1 as a molecule of interest to the understanding of brain energy metabolism and notes the impact on brain metabolism related to appetite and satiety regulation, stroke and neurodegenerative disorders, among others. These effects can be understood only by reference to the original formulation of the Michaelis-Menten equation as applied to a chain of kinetically controlled steps. Indeed, the effects of GLP-1 receptor activation on blood-brain glucose transfer and brain metabolism of glucose depend on the glucose concentration and relative affinities of the steps both in vitro and in vivo, as in pancreas. The apparent neuroprotective potential of GLP-1, indirectly acting through changes of cerebral blood flow, glucose metabolism or brain glucose concentration, or all of these, is worthy of close attention.
Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2014, Vol 115, Issue 2, p. 162-171