Selective Small-Molecule Agonists of G Protein-Coupled Receptor 40 Promote Glucose-Dependent Insulin Secretion and Reduce Blood Glucose in Mice

Tan, Carina P.; Yue Feng; Yun-Ping Zhou; Eiermann, George J.; Petrov, Aleksandr; Zhou, Changyou; Lin, Songnian; Salituro, Gino; Meinke, Peter; Mosley, Ralph; Akiyama, Taro E.; Einstein, Monica; Kumar, Sanjeev; Berger, Joel P.; Mills, Sander G.; Thornberry, Nancy A.; Lihu Yang; Howard, Andrew D.
August 2008
Diabetes;Aug2008, Vol. 57 Issue 8, p2211
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE--Acute activation of G protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40) by free fatty acids (FFAs) or synthetic GPR40 agonists enhances insulin secretion. However, it is still a matter of debate whether activation of GPR40 would be beneficial for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, since chronic exposure to FFAs impairs islet function. We sought to evaluate the specific role of GPR40 in islets and its potential as a therapeutic target using compounds that specifically activate GPR40. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS--We developed a series of GPR40-selective small-molecule agonists and studied their acute and chronic effects on glucose-dependent insulin secretion (GDIS) in isolated islets, as well as effects on blood glucose levels during intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests in wild-type and GPR40 knockout mice (GPR40[sup -/-]). RESULTS--Small-molecule GPR40 agonists significantly enhanced GDIS in isolated islets and improved glucose tolerance in wild-type mice but not in GPR40[sup -/-] mice. While a 72-h exposure to FFAs in tissue culture significantly impaired GDIS in islets from both wild-type and GPR40[sup -/-] mice, similar exposure to the GPR40 agonist did not impair GDIS in islets from wild-type mice. Furthermore, the GPR40 agonist enhanced insulin secretion in perfused pancreata from neonatal streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and improved glucose levels in mice with high-fat diet-induced obesity acutely and chronically. CONCLUSIONS--GPR40 does not mediate the chronic toxic effects of FFAs on islet function. Pharmacological activation of GPR40 may potentiate GDIS in humans and be beneficial for overall glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 57:2211-2219, 2008


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