GPR 40 is a free fatty acid receptor that has been shown to regulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion. This study aimed to discover novel GPR40 agonists and investigate the whole body effect on glucose metabolism of GPR40 activation using these novel GPR40 agonists. To identify novel GPR40-specific agonists, we conducted high-throughput chemical compound screening and evaluated glucose-dependent insulin secretion. To investigate the whole body effect on glucose metabolism of GPR40 activation, we conducted repeat administration of the novel GPR40 agonists to diabetic model ob/ob mice and evaluated metabolic parameters. To characterize the effect of the novel GPR40 agonists more deeply, we conducted an insulin tolerance test and a euglycemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp test. As a result, we discovered the novel GPR40-specific agonists including AS2034178 and found that its exhibited glucose-dependent insulin secretion enhancement both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the compounds also decreased plasma glucose and HbA1c levels after repeat administration to ob/ob mice, with favorable oral absorption and pharmacokinetics. Repeat administration of AS2034178 enhanced insulin sensitivity in an insulin tolerance test and a euglycemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp test. These results indicate that improvement of glucose-dependent insulin secretion leads the improvement of whole-body glucose metabolism chronically. In conclusion, AS2034178 and other GPR40 agonists may become useful therapeutics in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics