The incretin enhancer, sitagliptin, exacerbates expression of hepatic inflammatory markers in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet.


Environmental Toxicology, Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA, 70813, USA. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Hypercholesterolemia is associated with the development of a pro-inflammatory state and is a documented risk factor for progression to insulin resistance, nonalcoholic fatty liver and cardiovascular diseases. Sitagliptin is an incretin enhancer that improves glucose tolerance by inhibiting dipeptidyl peptidase-4, but it also has reported anti-inflammatory effects. The current study was thus undertaken to examine the interactions of dietary Cholesterol (Cho) and sitagliptin on markers of inflammation.
METHODS : Male Sprague-Dawley rats were provided diets high in Cho and gavaged with vehicle or an aqueous suspension of sitagliptin (100 mg/kg/day) from day 10 through day 35. Molecular methods were used to analyze the lipid profile and inflammatory markers in liver and serum samples. H&E-stained liver sections were used for histopathological evaluation. Hepatic influx of mononuclear cells and necrosis were assessed by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS : Sitagliptin reduced triglyceride and Cho levels in serum of rats on the control diet but these effects were abrogated in rats on the high-Cho diet. Sitagliptin produced a significant increase in the expression of hepatic inflammatory markers (Tnfa, Il1b, and Mcp1) and a corresponding increase in serum TNFα and IL-1β in rats on the high-Cho diet, but it had no effect on rats on the control diet. Additionally, sitagliptin had no effect on liver morphology in rats on the control diet, but it produced hepatic histopathological changes indicative of necrosis and mononuclear cell infiltration in rats on the high-Cho diet. These mononuclear cells were identified as macrophages and T cells.
CONCLUSIONS : When provided in the context of a high-Cho diet, these findings reveal previously unrecognized hepato-inflammatory effects of sitagliptin that are accompanied by evidence of hepatic necrosis and mononuclear cell infiltration.


DPP-4 inhibitor,Hepatic necrosis,Hypercholesterolemia,Inflammation,