The interest in glucagon-like petide-1 (GLP-1) and other pre-proglucagon derived peptides has risen almost exponentially since seminal papers in the early 1990s proposed to use GLP-1 agonists as therapeutic agents for treatment of type 2 diabetes. A wealth of interesting studies covering both normal and pathophysiological role of GLP-1 have been published over the last two decades and our understanding of GLP-1 action has widened considerably. In the present review, we have tried to cover our current understanding of GLP-1 actions both as a peripheral hormone and as a central neurotransmitter. From an initial focus on glycaemic control, GLP-1 research has been diverted to study its role in energy homeostasis, neurodegeneration, cognitive functions, anxiety and many more functions. With the upcoming introduction of GLP-1 agonists on the pharmaceutical venue, we have witnessed an outstanding example of how initial ideas from basic science laboratories have paved their way to become a novel therapeutic strategy to fight diabetes.
Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Gastrointestinal Hormones; Glucagon; Glucagon-Like Peptide 1; Humans; Hypoglycemic Agents; Neurotransmitter Agents; Peptide Fragments; Proglucagon; Protein Precursors