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26.08.2020 | Ausgabe 4/2020

Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders 4/2020

Therapeutic potential of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists to combat obesity, diabetes, and inflammation

Zeitschrift:
Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders > Ausgabe 4/2020
Autoren:
Han Xie, Natesh Yepuri, Qinghe Meng, Ravi Dhawan, Colin A. Leech, Oleg G. Chepurny, George G. Holz, Robert N. Cooney
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Abstract

The cholinergic anti-inflammatory reflex (CAIR) represents an important homeostatic regulatory mechanism for sensing and controlling the body’s response to inflammatory stimuli. Vagovagal reflexes are an integral component of CAIR whose anti-inflammatory effects are mediated by acetylcholine (ACh) acting at α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChR) located on cells of the immune system. Recently, it is appreciated that CAIR and α7nAChR also participate in the control of metabolic homeostasis. This has led to the understanding that defective vagovagal reflex circuitry underlying CAIR might explain the coexistence of obesity, diabetes, and inflammation in the metabolic syndrome. Thus, there is renewed interest in the α7nAChR that mediates CAIR, particularly from the standpoint of therapeutics. Of special note is the recent finding that α7nAChR agonist GTS-21 acts at L-cells of the distal intestine to stimulate the release of two glucoregulatory and anorexigenic hormones: glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY). Furthermore, α7nAChR agonist PNU 282987 exerts trophic factor-like actions to support pancreatic β-cell survival under conditions of stress resembling diabetes. This review provides an overview of α7nAChR function as it pertains to CAIR, vagovagal reflexes, and metabolic homeostasis. We also consider the possible usefulness of α7nAChR agonists for treatment of obesity, diabetes, and inflammation.

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