Optimal glycemic control in diabetic patients remains a difficult goal to achieve. Hypoglycemia, nausea and weight gain can compromise the patients’ adherence to antidiabetic therapy over time. GLP-1 receptor agonists have been shown to improve glycemic control and reduce the incidence of side effects both when used in monotherapy and in combination with other hypoglycemic drugs. The growing interest of nephrologists in GLP-1 receptor agonists derives from numerous studies showing that not only they positively affect traditional cardiovascular risk factors, but also exert a protective effect on renal function regardless of their hypoglycemic effects, thus delaying the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. The aim of this paper is to review the latest evidence on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and the direct and indirect mechanisms through which GLP-1 receptor agonists confer nephroprotection, improving the renal outcomes of diabetic patients.
Keywords: diabetes mellitus type 2, incretins, GLP-1, kidney protection