Objective Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is an unmet need associated with metabolic syndrome. There are no approved therapies for NASH; however, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) and farnesoid-X receptor (FXR) agonists are promising drug targets. We investigated the therapeutic effects of co-administration of a GLP-1R agonist, IP118, with FXR agonist obeticholic acid (OCA) in mice. Methods OCA and IP118 alone and in combination were sub-chronically administered to Lepob/Lepob mice with diet-induced NASH or diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. Metabolic (body weight and glucose) and liver (biochemical and histological) endpoints were assessed. NASH severity in Lepob/Lepob mice was graded using a customized integrated scoring system. Results OCA reduced liver weight and lipid in NASH mice (both by −17%) but had no effect on plasma ALT or AST levels. In contrast, IP118 significantly reduced liver weight (−21%), liver lipid (−15%), ALT (−29%), and AST (−27%). The combination of OCA + IP118 further reduced liver weight (−29%), liver lipid (−22%), ALT (−39%), and AST (−36%). Combination therapy was superior to monotherapies in reducing hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis. Hepatic improvements with IP118 and OCA + IP118 were associated with reduced body weight (−4.3% and −3.5% respectively) and improved glycemic control in OCA + IP118-treated mice. In DIO mice, OCA + IP118 co-administration reduced body weight (−25.3%) to a greater degree than IP118 alone (−12.5%) and further improved glucose tolerance and reduced hepatic lipid. Conclusion Our data suggest a complementary or synergistic therapeutic effect of GLP-1R and FXR agonism in mouse models of metabolic disease and NASH.
Jouihan, H., Will, S., Guionaud, S., Boland, M. L., Oldham, S., Ravn, P., … Trevaskis, J. L. (2017). Superior reductions in hepatic steatosis and fibrosis with co-administration of a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist and obeticholic acid in mice. Molecular Metabolism, 6(11), 1360–1370. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2017.09.001