Experimental and Emerging Free Fatty Acid Receptor Agonists for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Angelo Maria Patti, Rosaria Vincenza Giglio, Nikolaos Papanas, Dragos Serban, Anca Pantea Stoian, Kalliopi Pafili, Khalid Al Rasadi, Kanya Rajagopalan, Ali A Rizvi, Marcello Ciaccio, Manfredi Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The current management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) includes incretin-based treatments able to enhance insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity as well as improve body mass, inflammation, plasma lipids, blood pressure, and cardiovascular outcomes. Dietary Free Fatty Acids (FFA) regulate metabolic and anti-inflammatory processes through their action on incretins. Selective synthetic ligands for FFA1-4 receptors have been developed as potential treatments for T2DM. To comprehensively review the available evidence for the potential role of FFA receptor agonists in the treatment of T2DM, we performed an electronic database search assessing the association between FFAs, T2DM, inflammation, and incretins. Evidence indicates that FFA1-4 agonism increases insulin sensitivity, induces body mass loss, reduces inflammation, and has beneficial metabolic effects. There is a strong inter-relationship between FFAs and incretins. FFA receptor agonism represents a potential target for the treatment of T2DM and may provide an avenue for the management of cardiometabolic risk in susceptible individuals. Further research promises to shed more light on this emerging topic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 11 2022


  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/drug therapy
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Incretins
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • GLP-1
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Metabolism
  • Free fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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