Sulfonylureas (SUs) are widely used insulin secretagogues, but they have adverse effects including hypoglycemia and secondary failure. Fasiglifam/TAK-875, a selective GPR40 agonist, enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and improves hyperglycemia. In the present study, we compared the in vivo glucose-lowering effects of fasiglifam with SUs. The risk of secondary failure of fasiglifam and the efficacy in rats desensitized to SUs were also evaluated. Moreover, we assessed whether fasiglifam was effective when combined with SUs. In diabetic neonatally streptozotocin-induced rats 1.5 days after birth (N-STZ-1.5), oral administrations of fasiglifam (3–30 mg/kg) dose dependently improved glucose tolerance; the effect was greater than that of glibenclamide at maximal effective doses (glucose AUC: fasiglifam, −37.6%; glibenclamide, −12.3%). Although the glucose-lowering effects of glibenclamide (10 mg/kg/day) were completely diminished in N-STZ-1.5 rats after 4 weeks of treatment, effects were maintained in rats receiving fasiglifam (10 mg/kg/day), even after 15 weeks. Fasiglifam (3–10 mg/kg) was still effective in two models desensitized to SUs: 15-week glibenclamide-treated N-STZ-1.5 rats and aged Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. Acute administration of fasiglifam (3 mg/kg) and glimepiride (10 mg/kg) in combination additively decreased glucose AUC (fasiglifam, −25.3%; glimepiride, −20.0%; combination, −43.1%). Although glimepiride (10 mg/kg) decreased plasma glucose below normal in nonfasted control rats, fasiglifam (3 mg/kg) maintained normoglycemia, and no further exaggeration of hypoglycemia was observed with combination treatment. These results indicate that GPR40 agonists could be more effective and durable than SUs. Our results also provide new insights into GPR40 pharmacology and rationale for the use of GPR40 agonists in diabetic patients with SU failure.
- Received November 25, 2015.
- Accepted January 21, 2016.
Parts of these studies were presented at the following workshop: Ito R, Tsujihata Y, Suzuki M, Matsuda K, Miyawaki K, Negoro N, and Takeuchi K (2012) TAK-875, a GPR40 agonist, improves postprandial hyperglycemia additively with sulfonylurea and is effective in rats with sulfonylurea failure. 72nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association; 2012 Jun 8–12; Philadelphia, PA.
- Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics