Repositioning of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and glucagon like peptide-1 agonists as potential neuroprotective agents

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© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publication. Repositioning of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists is a breakthrough in the field of neural regeneration research increasing glucagon like peptide-1 bioavailability, hence its neuroprotective activities. In this article, the authors suggest not only crossing blood-brain barrier and neurodegenerative disease as off target for dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists, but also for ophthalmic preparations for diabetic retinopathy, which may be the latest breakthrough in the field if prepared and used in an appropriate nano-formulation to target the retinal nerves. The relation of neurodegenerative diseases' different mechanisms to the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists should be further examined in preclinical and clinical settings. The repositioning of already marketed antidiabetic drugs for neurodegenerative diseases should save the high cost of the time-consuming normal drug development process. Drug repositioning is a hot topic as an alternative to molecular target based drug discovery or therapeutic switching. It is a relatively inexpensive pathway due to availability of previous pharmacological and safety data. The glucagon like peptide-1 produced in brain has been linked to enhanced learning and memory functions as a physiologic regulator in central nervous system by restoring insulin signaling. Intranasal administration of all marketed gliptins (or glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists) may show enhanced blood-brain barrier crossing and increased glucagon like peptide-1 levels in the brain after direct crossing of the drug for the olfactory region, targeting the cerebrospinal fluid. Further blood-brain barrier crossing tests may extend dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors' effects beyond the anti-hyperglycemic control to intranasal spray, intranasal powder, or drops targeting the blood-brain barrier and neurodegenerative diseases with the most suitable formula. Moreover, novel nano-formulation is encouraged either to obtain favorable pharmacokinetic parameters or to achieve promising blood-brain barrier penetration directly through the olfactory region. Many surfactants should be investigated either as a solubilizing agent for hydrophobic drugs or as penetration enhancers. Different formulae based on in vitro and in vivo characterizations, working on sister gliptins (or glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists), different routes of administration, pharmacokinetic studies, dose response relationship studies, monitoring of plasma/brain concentration ratio after single and multiple dose, and neurodegenerative disease animal models are required to prove the new method of use (utility) for dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors as potential neuroprotective agents. Furthermore, investigations of glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists' neu-roprotective effects on animal models will be considered carefully because they crossed the blood-brain barrier in previous studies, enabling their direct action on the central nervous system. Combination therapy of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors or glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists with already marketed drugs for neurodegenerative disease should be considered, especially regarding the novel intranasal route of administration.

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