Renal tubular effects of prolonged therapy with the GLP-1 receptor agonist lixisenatide in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
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Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (RAs) are well-established glucose-lowering drugs for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) management. Acute GLP-1RA administration increases urinary excretion of sodium and other electrolytes. However, the renal tubular effects of prolonged GLP-1RA treatment are largely unknown. In this secondary analysis of a randomized trial, we determined the renal tubular effects of 8-wk treatment with 20 μg lixisenatide, a short-acting (prandial) GLP-1RA, versus titrated once-daily insulin glulisine in 35 overweight T2DM-patients on stable insulin glargine background therapy (age: 62 ± 7 yr, glycated hemoglobin: 8.0 ± 0.9%, estimated glomerular filtration rate: >60 ml·min-1·1.73 m-2). After a standardized breakfast, lixisenatide increased absolute and fractional excretions of sodium, chloride, and potassium and increased urinary pH. In contrast, lixisenatide reduced absolute and fractional excretions of magnesium, calcium, and phosphate. At week 8, patients treated with lixisenatide had significantly more phosphorylated sodium-hydrogen exchanger isoform 3 (NHE3) in urinary extracellular vesicles than those on insulin glulisine treatment, which suggested decreased NHE3 activity in the proximal tubule. A rise in postprandial blood pressure with lixisenatide partly explained the changes in the urinary excretion of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphate and the changes in urinary pH. In conclusion, lixisenatide affects postprandial urinary excretion of several electrolytes and increases urinary pH compared with insulin glulisine in T2DM patients after 8 wk of treatment. This is most likely explained by a drug-induced rise in blood pressure or direct inhibitory effects on NHE3 in the proximal tubule.