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Huub van Eyk, MD

Pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in South Asians: A role for incretins?

The rapid increase in prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) worldwide has been associated with a Western, obesogenic lifestyle. People of South Asian origin, both native and migrant, however, seem to have an exceptionally high susceptibility to develop T2D and CVD.

GLP-1 is an incretin hormone secreted by enteroendocrine L-cells in the gut. After binding the receptor, GLP-1 exerts its effects among which are: stimulation of insulin secretion, inhibition of glucagon secretion, slowing of gastric emptying and induction of satiety. These mechanisms collectively result in lower plasma glucose and lipid levels. In a previous study from our group it has been shown that young healthy lean South Asian males have higher levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) than matched Western European males at equal plasma glucose levels following a prolonged oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The goal of my studies is to gain better insight in physiological GLP-1 metabolism and to elucidate the effect of administration of Liraglutide, a GLP-1 analogue, on glycemic control and cardiovascular function in South Asians.