[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously used Gene Expression Signature technology to identify methazolamide (MTZ) and related compounds with insulin sensitizing activity in vitro. The effects of these compounds were investigated in diabetic db/db mice, insulin-resistant diet-induced obese (DIO) mice, and rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. MTZ reduced fasting blood glucose and HbA(1c) levels in db/db mice, improved glucose tolerance in DIO mice, and enhanced the glucose-lowering effects of exogenous insulin administration in rats with STZ-induced diabetes. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps in DIO mice revealed that MTZ increased glucose infusion rate and suppressed endogenous glucose production. Whole-body or cellular oxygen consumption rate was not altered, suggesting MTZ may inhibit glucose production by different mechanism(s) to metformin. In support of this, MTZ enhanced the glucose-lowering effects of metformin in db/db mice. MTZ is known to be a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (CAI); however, CAIs acetazolamide, ethoxyzolamide, dichlorphenamide, chlorthalidone, and furosemide were not effective in vivo. Our results demonstrate that MTZ acts as an insulin sensitizer that suppresses hepatic glucose production in vivo. The antidiabetic effect of MTZ does not appear to be a function of its known activity as a CAI. The additive glucose-lowering effect of MTZ together with metformin highlights the potential utility for the management of type 2 diabetes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance is a heterogeneous disorder caused by a range of genetic and environmental factors, and we hypothesize that its etiology varies considerably between individuals. This heterogeneity provides significant challenges to the development of effective therapeutic regimes for long-term management of type 2 diabetes. We describe a novel strategy, using large-scale gene expression profiling, to develop a gene expression signature (GES) that reflects the overall state of insulin resistance in cells and patients. The GES was developed from 3T3-L1 adipocytes that were made "insulin resistant" by treatment with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and then reversed with aspirin and troglitazone ("resensitized"). The GES consisted of five genes whose expression levels best discriminated between the insulin-resistant and insulin-resensitized states. We then used this GES to screen a compound library for agents that affected the GES genes in 3T3-L1 adipocytes in a way that most closely resembled the changes seen when insulin resistance was successfully reversed with aspirin and troglitazone. This screen identified both known and new insulin-sensitizing compounds including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, β-adrenergic antagonists, β-lactams, and sodium channel blockers. We tested the biological relevance of this GES in participants in the San Antonio Family Heart Study (n = 1,240) and showed that patients with the lowest GES scores were more insulin resistant (according to HOMA_IR and fasting plasma insulin levels; P < 0.001). These findings show that GES technology can be used for both the discovery of insulin-sensitizing compounds and the characterization of patients into subtypes of insulin resistance according to GES scores, opening the possibility of developing a personalized medicine approach to type 2 diabetes.