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Effects of the DPP-4 inhibitor, linagliptin, in diet-induced obese rats: a comparison in naive and exenatide-treated animals


To assess the chronic effect of the DPP-4 inhibitor, linagliptin, alone, in combination with exenatide, and during exenatide withdrawal, in diet-induced obese (DIO) rats.


Female Wistar rats were exposed to a cafeteria diet to induce obesity. Animals were then dosed with vehicle or linagliptin (3 mg/kg PO) orally once-daily for a 28 day period. In a subsequent study, rats received exenatide (either 3 or 30 microg/kg/day) or vehicle by osmotic mini-pump for 28 days. In addition, groups of animals were dosed orally with linagliptin either alone or in combination with a 3 microg/kg/day exenatide dose for the study duration. In a final study, rats were administered exenatide (30 microg/kg/day) or vehicle by osmotic mini-pump for eleven days. Subsequently, exenatide-treated animals were transferred to vehicle or continued exenatide infusion for a further ten days. Animals transferred from exenatide to vehicle were also dosed orally with either vehicle or linagliptin. In all studies, body weight, food and water intake were recorded daily and relevant plasma parameters and carcass composition were determined.


In contrast to exenatide, linagliptin did not significantly reduce body weight or carcass fat in DIO rats versus controls. Linagliptin augmented the effect of exenatide to reduce body fat when given in combination but did not affect the body weight response. In rats withdrawn from exenatide, weight regain was observed such that body weight was not significantly different to controls. Linagliptin reduced weight regain after withdrawal of exenatide such that a significant difference from controls was evident.


These data demonstrate that linagliptin does not significantly alter body weight in either untreated or exenatide-treated DIO rats, although it delays weight gain after exenatide withdrawal. This finding may suggest the utility of DPP-4 inhibitors in reducing body weight during periods of weight gain.

Ref: Clin Lab 58: 787-799, 2012.

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Vickers SP, Cheetham SC, Birmingham GD, Rowley HL, Headland KR, Dickinson K, Grempler R, Hocher B, Mark M, Klein T

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