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TAK-875, an Orally Available GPR40/FFA1 Agonist Enhances Glucose-Dependent Insulin Secretion and Improves Both Postprandial and Fasting Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetic Rats

Metabolic Disease Drug Discovery Unit,Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Osaka, Japan.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 3.86). 07/2011; 339(1):228-37. DOI: 10.1124/jpet.111.183772
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT G protein-coupled receptor 40/free fatty acid receptor 1 (GPR40/FFA(1)) is highly expressed in pancreatic β cells and mediates free fatty acid-induced insulin secretion. This study examined the pharmacological effects and potential for avoidance of lipotoxicity of [(3S)-6-({2',6'-dimethyl-4'-[3-(methylsulfonyl)propoxy]biphenyl-3-yl}meth-oxy)-2,3-dihydro-1-benzofuran-3-yl]acetic acid hemi-hydrate) (TAK-875), a novel, orally available, selective GPR40 agonist. Insulinoma cell lines and primary rat islets were used to assess the effects of TAK-875 in vitro. The in vivo effects of TAK-875 on postprandial hyperglycemia, fasting hyperglycemia, and normoglycemia were examined in type 2 diabetic and normal rats. In rat insulinoma INS-1 833/15 cells, TAK-875 increased intracellular inositol monophosphate and calcium concentration, consistent with activation of the Gqα signaling pathway. The insulinotropic action of TAK-875 (10 μM) in INS-1 833/15 and primary rat islets was glucose-dependent. Prolonged exposure of cytokine-sensitive INS-1 832/13 to TAK-875 for 72 h at pharmacologically active concentrations did not alter glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, insulin content, or caspase 3/7 activity, whereas prolonged exposure to palmitic or oleic acid impaired β cell function and survival. In an oral glucose tolerance test in type 2 diabetic N-STZ-1.5 rats, TAK-875 (1-10 mg/kg p.o.) showed a clear improvement in glucose tolerance and augmented insulin secretion. In addition, TAK-875 (10 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly augmented plasma insulin levels and reduced fasting hyperglycemia in male Zucker diabetic fatty rats, whereas in fasted normal Sprague-Dawley rats, TAK-875 neither enhanced insulin secretion nor caused hypoglycemia even at 30 mg/kg. TAK-875 enhances glucose-dependent insulin secretion and improves both postprandial and fasting hyperglycemia with a low risk of hypoglycemia and no evidence of β cell toxicity.

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    • "Such a hypothesis is in line with a recent finding (Tsujihata et al., 2011) showing that the newly developed GPR40 agonist TAK-875 augmented plasma insulin and reduced hyperglycaemia in overt diabetic fa/fa rats underlining our finding that chronic hyperglycaemia reduces GPR40 protein expression and thus requires an agonist to improve the GPR40 expression and insulin secretion. In accordance TAK-875 was also found to facilitate insulin release in isolated human islets at high glucose and there is now preliminary clinical evidence for a glucose-lowering potential of TAK-875 in type 2 diabetes (Tsujihata et al., 2011). These results are in line with our present finding showing that culture at high glucose together with rosiglitazone induced the reappearance of GPR40 protein expression and thus turned this palmitate-and lipotoxicity-antagonist into a partial agonist with regard to glucose-stimulated insulin release. "
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    ABSTRACT: The role of islet GPR40 protein in the pathogenesis of diabetes is unclear. We explored the influence of GPR40 protein levels on hormone secretion in islets from two rat models of spontaneous type 2 diabetes displaying either hyperlipidaemia or hyperglycaemia. GPR40 expression was analysed by confocal microscopy, Western blot and qPCR in islets from preobese Zucker (fa/fa) rats, diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, and controls. Confocal microscopy of control islets showed expression of GPR40 protein in insulin, glucagon and somatostatin cells. GPR40 expression was strongly increased in islets of hyperlipidaemic fa/fa rats and coincided with a concentration-related increase in palmitate-induced release of insulin and glucagon and its inhibition of somatostatin release. Conversely, hyperglycaemic GK islets displayed an extremely faint expression of GPR40 as did high-glucose-cultured control islets. This was reflected in abolished palmitate-induced hormone response in GK islets and high-glucose-cultured control islets. The palmitate antagonist rosiglitazone promoted reappearance of GPR40 in high-glucose-cultured islets and served as partial agonist in glucose-stimulated insulin release. GPR40 protein is abundantly expressed in pancreatic islets and modulates stimulated hormone secretion. Mild hyperlipidaemia in obesity-prone diabetes creates increased GPR40 expression and increased risk for an exaggerated palmitate-induced insulin response and lipotoxicity, a metabolic situation suitable for GPR40 antagonist treatment. Chronic hyperglycaemia creates abrogated GPR40 expression and downregulated insulin release, a metabolic situation suitable for GPR40 agonist treatment to avoid glucotoxicity. GPR40 protein is interactively modulated by both free fatty acids and glucose and is a promising target for pharmacotherapy in different variants of type 2 diabetes. Keywords: Obesity; Free fatty acid; Hormone secretion; Receptor; G-protein coupled Receptor.
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    ABSTRACT: Glucose homeostasis requires a tight regulation of insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. Insulin release is chiefly stimulated by glucose, but also modulated by other nutrients, including long-chain fatty acids which potentiate glucose-induced insulin secretion. The discovery of G-protein coupled receptors activated by fatty acids (and other lipid derivatives) and expressed at the surface of various cell types, including β-cells, has added a new dimension to our understanding of the control of glucose homeostasis by fatty acids. Amongst these receptors, GPR40 and GPR119 have generated great interest as potential therapeutic targets to augment insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes. In fact, the promising results of a phase 2 clinical trial with a GPR40 agonist have provided a proof of concept for this therapeutic strategy. However, our understanding of the biology and pharmacology of these receptors remains incomplete.
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    ABSTRACT: Discovery of G protein coupled receptors for long chain free fatty acids (FFAs), FFA1 (GPR40) and GPR120, has expanded our understanding of these nutrients as signaling molecules. These receptors have emerged as important sensors for FFA levels in the circulation or the gut lumen, based on evidence from in vitro and rodent models, and an increasing number of human studies. Here we consider their promise as therapeutic targets for metabolic disease, including type 2 diabetes and obesity. FFA1 directly mediates acute FFA-induced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic beta-cells, while GPR120 and FFA1 trigger release of incretins from intestinal endocrine cells, and so indirectly enhance insulin secretion and promote satiety. GPR120 signaling in adipocytes and macrophages also results in insulin sensitizing and beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. Drug discovery has focused on agonists to replicate acute benefits of FFA receptor signaling, with promising early results for FFA1 agonists in man. Controversy surrounding chronic effects of FFA1 on beta-cells illustrates that long term benefits of antagonists also need exploring. It has proved challenging to generate highly selective potent ligands for FFA1 or GPR120 subtypes, given that both receptors have hydrophobic orthosteric binding sites, which are not completely defined and have modest ligand affinity. Structure activity relationships are also reliant on functional read outs, in the absence of robust binding assays to provide direct affinity estimates. Nevertheless synthetic ligands have already helped dissect specific contributions of FFA1 and GPR120 signaling from the many possible cellular effects of FFAs. Approaches including use of fluorescent ligand binding assays, and targeting allosteric receptor sites, may improve further pre-clinical ligand development at these receptors, to exploit their unique potential to target multiple facets of diabetes.
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