Myocardial infarction (MI) was associated with insulin resistance, in which resistin acts as a critical mediator. We aimed to determine whether sitagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, can attenuate arrhythmias by regulating resistin-dependent nerve growth factor (NGF) expression in postinfarcted rats. Normoglycaemic male Wistar rats after ligating coronary artery were randomized to either vehicle or sitagliptin for 4 weeks starting 24 h after operation. Post-infarction was associated with increased myocardial noradrenaline [norepinephrine (NE)] levels and sympathetic hyperinnervation. Compared with vehicle, sympathetic innervation was blunted after administering sitagliptin, as assessed by immunofluorescent analysis of tyrosine hydroxylase, growth-associated factor 43 and neurofilament and western blotting and real-time quantitative RT-PCR of NGF. Arrhythmic scores in the sitagliptintreated infarcted rats were significantly lower than those in vehicle. Furthermore, sitagliptin was associated with reduced resistin expression and increased Akt activity. Ex vivo studies showed that glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) infusion, but not glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), produced similar reduction in resistin levels to sitagliptin in postinfarcted rats. Furthermore, the attenuated effects of sitagliptin on NGF levels can be reversed by wortmannin (a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase antagonist) and exogenous resistin infusion. Sitagliptin protects ventricular arrhythmias by attenuating sympathetic innervation in the non-diabetic infarcted rats. Sitagliptin attenuated resistin expression via the GIP-dependent pathway, which inhibited sympathetic innervation through a signalling pathway involving phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt protein.
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