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Background The long-term effects of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors on blood pressure and cardiovascular and renal health remain controversial. Herein, we investigated the extended (>182 days) effects of DPP4 inhibition in a model of spontaneous hypertension, heart failure, diabetes mellitus, obesity and hyperlipidemia. Methods and Results Adult obese spontaneously hypertensive heart failure rats (SHHF) were implanted with radio transmitters for measurement of arterial blood pressures. Two weeks later, SHHF were randomized to receive either a DPP4 inhibitor (sitagliptin, 80 mg/kg per day in drinking water) or placebo. At the end of the radiotelemetry measurements, renal and cardiac function and histology, as well as other relevant biochemical parameters, were assessed. For the first 25 days, mean arterial blood pressures were similar in sitagliptin-treated versus control SHHF; afterwards, mean arterial blood pressures increased more in sitagliptin-treated SHHF (P<0.000001). The time-averaged mean arterial blood pressures from day 26 through 182 were 7.2 mm Hg higher in sitagliptin-treated SHHF. Similar changes were observed for systolic (8.6 mm Hg) and diastolic (6.1 mm Hg) blood pressures, and sitagliptin augmented hypertension throughout the light-dark cycle. Long-term sitagliptin treatment also increased kidney weights, renal vascular resistances, the excretion of kidney injury molecule-1 (indicates injury to proximal tubules), renal interstitial fibrosis, glomerulosclerosis, renal vascular hypertrophy, left ventricular dysfunction, right ventricular degeneration, and the ratios of collagen IV/collagen III and collagen IV/laminin in the right ventricle. Conclusions These findings indicate that, in some genetic backgrounds, long-term DPP4 inhibitor treatment is harmful and identify an animal model to study mechanisms of, and test ways to prevent, DPP4 inhibitor-induced pathological conditions.


Edwin K Jackson, Zaichuan Mi, Delbert G Gillespie, Dongmei Cheng, Stevan P Tofovic. Long-Term Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 Inhibition Worsens Hypertension and Renal and Cardiac Abnormalities in Obese Spontaneously Hypertensive Heart Failure Rats. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2021 Mar 16;10(6):e020088

PMID: 33682436

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