Incretin hormones are peptides released in the intestine in response to the presence of nutrients in its lumen. The main incretins are glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). GLP-1 stimulates insulin secretion, inhibits glucagon secretion at pancreatic α cells and has also extrapancreatic influences as slowing of gastric emptying which increases the feeling of satiety. GIP is the main incretin hormone in healthy people, causative of most the incretin effects, but the insulin response after GIP secretion in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is strongly reduced. Therefore, in the past GIP has been considered an unappealing therapeutic target for T2DM. This conception has been changing during recent years, since it has been reported that resistance to GIP can be reversed and its effectiveness restored by improving glycemic control. This fact paved the way for the development of a GIP receptor agonist-based therapy for T2DM, looking also for the possibility of finding a combined GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist. In this framework, the novel dual GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist tirzepatide seems to be not just a new antidiabetic medication. Administered as a subcutaneous weekly injection, it is a manifold single pharmacological agent that has the ability to significantly lower glucose levels, as well as improve insulin sensitivity, reduce weight and amend dyslipidemia favorably modifying the lipid profile. Tirzepatide and additional dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonists that could eventually be developed in the future seem to be a promising furthest advance for the management of several cardiometabolic settings. Obviously, it is too early to be overly hopeful since it is still necessary to determine the long-term effects of these compounds and properly verify the potential cardiovascular benefits. Anyway, we are currently facing a novel and very appealing therapeutic option.
- Dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist
- Glucagon-like peptide-1
- Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus