Four weeks treatment with the GLP-1 receptor analogue liraglutide lowers liver fat and concomitantly circulating glucagon in individuals with overweight

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We investigated the effect of pharmacologically induced weight loss on markers of glucagon resistance in individuals with overweight during treatment with the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist liraglutide. We performed an open-label study in 14 men with overweight (age 38 ± 11 years, BMI 32 ± 4 kg/m2) without simultaneously diabetes. Subjects were treated with liraglutide, initiated and titrated with 0.6 mg/day/week to reach the final dose of 3.0 mg/day. Subjects were examined at baseline, during titration (Week 4), after 2 weeks of steady state (Week 6) of final dosing of liraglutide and 3 weeks after discontinuation of liraglutide (follow-up). Study participants lost 3.3 ± 1.9 kg (3%) total body weight during the first 4 weeks of treatment with liraglutide. Simultaneously, liver fat content decreased from 12.4 ± 11.6% to 10.2 ± 11.1%, p = 0.025, whereas fat content in the spleen and subcutaneous tissue was unaltered. Markers of glucagon resistance, including plasma glucagon and the glucagon-alanine-index, also decreased significantly during treatment, but total and individual plasma amino acid concentrations did not. Insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was unchanged during treatment, whereas insulin clearance increased. Treatment with the GLP-1 receptor analogue liraglutide decreased liver fat content, and simultaneously attenuated glucagon concentrations and the glucagon-alanine index in individuals with overweight without diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Number of pages8
ISSN0307-0565
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

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