Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) signalling in the brain: From neural circuits and metabolism to therapeutics

Anita Kabahizi, Briana Wallace, Linh Lieu, Dominic Chau, Yanbin Dong, Eun Sang Hwang, Kevin W. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) derived from gut enteroendocrine cells and a discrete population of neurons in the caudal medulla acts through humoral and neural pathways to regulate satiety, gastric motility and pancreatic endocrine function. These physiological attributes contribute to GLP-1 having a potent therapeutic action in glycaemic regulation and chronic weight management. In this review, we provide an overview of the neural circuits targeted by endogenous versus exogenous GLP-1 and related drugs. We also highlight candidate subpopulations of neurons and cellular mechanisms responsible for the acute and chronic effects of GLP-1 and GLP-1 receptor agonists on energy balance and glucose metabolism. Finally, we present potential future directions to translate these findings towards the development of effective therapies for treatment of metabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • arcuate
  • body weight
  • brain
  • diabetes
  • dorsal vagal complex
  • energy balance
  • food intake
  • GLP-1
  • glucose
  • glucose metabolism
  • hypothalamus
  • NTS
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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