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1.  Pioglitazone slows progression of atherosclerosis in prediabetes independent of changes in cardiovascular risk factors 
To determine whether changes in standard and novel risk factors during the ACT NOW trial explained the slower rate of CIMT progression with pioglitazone treatment in persons with prediabetes.
Methods and Results
CIMT was measured in 382 participants at the beginning and up to three additional times during follow-up of the ACT NOW trial. During an average follow-up of 2.3 years, the mean unadjusted annual rate of CIMT progression was significantly (P=0.01) lower with pioglitazone treatment (4.76 × 10−3 mm/year, 95% CI, 2.39 × 10−3 – 7.14 × 10−3 mm/year) compared with placebo (9.69 × 10−3 mm/year, 95% CI, 7.24 × 10−3 – 12.15 × 10−3 mm/year). High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting and 2-hour glucose, HbA1c, fasting insulin, Matsuda insulin sensitivity index, adiponectin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels improved significantly with pioglitazone treatment compared with placebo (P < 0.001). However, the effect of pioglitazone on CIMT progression was not attenuated by multiple methods of adjustment for traditional, metabolic and inflammatory risk factors and concomitant medications, and was independent of changes in risk factors during pioglitazone treatment.
Pioglitazone slowed progression of CIMT, independent of improvement in hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and systemic inflammation in prediabetes. These results suggest a possible direct vascular benefit of pioglitazone.
PMCID: PMC3908828  PMID: 23175674
Carotid atherosclerosis progression; Impaired glucose tolerance; Insulin resistance; Inflammation; Pioglitazone
2.  Remogliflozin Etabonate, a Selective Inhibitor of the Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2, Improves Serum Glucose Profiles in Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(11):2198-2200.
Remogliflozin etabonate (RE), an inhibitor of the sodium-glucose transporter 2, improves glucose profiles in type 2 diabetes. This study assessed safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of RE in subjects with type 1 diabetes.
Ten subjects managed with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion were enrolled. In addition to basal insulin, subjects received five randomized treatments: placebo, prandial insulin, 50 mg RE, 150 mg RE, and mg RE 500.
Adverse events and incidence of hypoglycemia with RE did not differ from placebo and prandial insulin groups. RE significantly increased urine glucose excretion and reduced the rise in plasma glucose concentration after oral glucose. RE reduced incremental adjusted weighted mean glucose (0–4 h) values by 42–49 mg/dL and mean glucose (0–10 h) by 52–69 mg/dL.
RE can be safely administered with insulin in type 1 diabetes and reduces plasma glucose concentrations compared with placebo.
PMCID: PMC3476920  PMID: 23011728
3.  Adipose tissue depot and cell size dependency of adiponectin synthesis and secretion in human obesity 
Adipocyte  2013;2(4):217-226.
Adiponectin is an insulin sensitizing fat cell (FC) hormone whose levels are related to adipose tissue (AT) mass and depot distribution. We hypothesized that the nature of AT expansion (hypertrophy vs. hyperplasia) contributes to obesity-related reductions in serum adiponectin and that this effect is influenced by the regional distribution of AT to subcutaneous (S) and visceral (V) depots. Thirteen obese subjects provided paired AT biopsies. Serum total and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin levels were determined by ELISA. Secretion was quantified following 24-h explant culture. FC size, number, % large, and % small FC were determined by microscopic analysis. Secretion of total adiponectin was highest by SAT (P = 0.008) and correlated more strongly with serum adiponectin (total: P = 0.015, r = 0.77; HMW: P = 0.005, r = 0.83) than did secretion by VAT (P = 0.05, r = 0.66 for both). FC size was greatest in SAT and correlated negatively with both serum (total: P = 0.01, r = −0.74; HMW: P = 0.03, r = −0.69) and secreted (total: P = 0.05, r = −0.72; HMW: P = 0.02, r = −0.87) adiponectin. The % small FC in SAT correlated positively with both serum (total: P = 0.006, r = 0.87; HMW: P = 0.009, r = 0.79) and secreted (total: P = 0.03, r = 0.75; HMW: P = 0.01, r = 0.92) adiponectin. VAT FC size correlated negatively with serum HMW adiponectin (P = 0.01, r = −0.76) but not with any measure of secretion. VAT had the greatest % small FC, which related positively to serum HMW (P = 0.004, r = 0.81) and to secreted total adiponectin (P = 0.02, r = 0.78). These studies indicate that differences in fat cell size and depot distribution of AT expansion are important influences on adiponectin in obesity.
PMCID: PMC3774697  PMID: 24052897
adipocyte; fat cell size; adiponectin; high molecular weight; insulin resistance; adipose tissue depots; subcutaneous adipose tissue; visceral adipose tissue
4.  A PPARγ-FGF1 axis is required for adaptive adipose remodelling and metabolic homeostasis 
Nature  2012;485(7398):391-394.
PMCID: PMC3358516  PMID: 22522926
FGF1; PPARγ; Thiazolidinedione; adipose remodelling; insulin resistance
5.  Increased SRF transcriptional activity in human and mouse skeletal muscle is a signature of insulin resistance 
Insulin resistance in skeletal muscle is a key phenotype associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) for which the molecular mediators remain unclear. We therefore conducted an expression analysis of human muscle biopsies from patients with T2D; normoglycemic but insulin-resistant subjects with a parental family history (FH+) of T2D; and family history-negative control individuals (FH–). Actin cytoskeleton genes regulated by serum response factor (SRF) and its coactivator megakaryoblastic leukemia 1 (MKL1) had increased expression in T2D and FH+ groups. Furthermore, striated muscle activator of Rho signaling (STARS), an activator of SRF, was upregulated in T2D and FH+ and was inversely correlated with insulin sensitivity. Skeletal muscle from insulin-resistant mice recapitulated this gene expression pattern and showed reduced G-actin and increased nuclear localization of MKL1, each of which regulates SRF activity. Overexpression of MKL1 or reduction in G-actin decreased insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation, whereas reduction of STARS expression increased insulin signaling and glucose uptake. Pharmacological SRF inhibition by CCG-1423 reduced nuclear MKL1 and improved glucose uptake and tolerance in insulin-resistant mice in vivo. Thus, SRF pathway alterations are linked to insulin resistance, may contribute to T2D pathogenesis, and could represent therapeutic targets.
PMCID: PMC3049368  PMID: 21393865
6.  Actos Now for the prevention of diabetes (ACT NOW) study 
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is a prediabetic state. If IGT can be prevented from progressing to overt diabetes, hyperglycemia-related complications can be avoided. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether pioglitazone (ACTOS®) can prevent progression of IGT to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in a prospective randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial.
602 IGT subjects were identified with OGTT (2-hour plasma glucose = 140–199 mg/dl). In addition, IGT subjects were required to have FPG = 95–125 mg/dl and at least one other high risk characteristic. Prior to randomization all subjects had measurement of ankle-arm blood pressure, systolic/diastolic blood pressure, HbA1C, lipid profile and a subset had frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIVGTT), DEXA, and ultrasound determination of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). Following this, subjects were randomized to receive pioglitazone (45 mg/day) or placebo, and returned every 2–3 months for FPG determination and annually for OGTT. Repeat carotid IMT measurement was performed at 18 months and study end. Recruitment took place over 24 months, and subjects were followed for an additional 24 months. At study end (48 months) or at time of diagnosis of diabetes the OGTT, FSIVGTT, DEXA, carotid IMT, and all other measurements were repeated.
Primary endpoint is conversion of IGT to T2DM based upon FPG ≥ 126 or 2-hour PG ≥ 200 mg/dl. Secondary endpoints include whether pioglitazone can: (i) improve glycemic control (ii) enhance insulin sensitivity, (iii) augment beta cell function, (iv) improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease, (v) cause regression/slow progression of carotid IMT, (vi) revert newly diagnosed diabetes to normal glucose tolerance.
ACT NOW is designed to determine if pioglitazone can prevent/delay progression to diabetes in high risk IGT subjects, and to define the mechanisms (improved insulin sensitivity and/or enhanced beta cell function) via which pioglitazone exerts its beneficial effect on glucose metabolism to prevent/delay onset of T2DM.
Trial Registration
clinical identifier: NCT00220961
PMCID: PMC2725044  PMID: 19640291
7.  Normal insulin-dependent activation of Akt/protein kinase B, with diminished activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, in muscle in type 2 diabetes 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;104(6):733-741.
To determine whether the serine/threonine kinase Akt (also known as protein kinase B) is activated in vivo by insulin administration in humans, and whether impaired activation of Akt could play a role in insulin resistance, we measured the activity and phosphorylation of Akt isoforms in skeletal muscle from 3 groups of subjects: lean, obese nondiabetic, and obese type 2 diabetic. Vastus lateralis biopsies were taken in the basal (overnight fast) and insulin-stimulated (euglycemic clamp) states. Insulin-stimulated glucose disposal was reduced 31% in obese subjects and 63% in diabetic subjects, compared with lean subjects. Glycogen synthase (GS) activity in the basal state was reduced 28% in obese subjects and 49% in diabetic subjects, compared with lean subjects. Insulin-stimulated GS activity was reduced 30% in diabetic subjects. Insulin treatment activated the insulin receptor substrate-1–associated (IRS-1–associated) phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) 6.1-fold in lean, 3.7-fold in obese, and 2.4-fold in diabetic subjects. Insulin also stimulated IRS-2–associated PI 3-kinase activity 2.2-fold in lean subjects, but only 1.4-fold in diabetic subjects. Basal activity of Akt1/Akt2 (Akt1/2) and Akt3 was similar in all groups. Insulin increased Akt1/2 activity 1.7- to 2.0-fold, and tended to activate Akt3, in all groups. Insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of Akt1/2 was normal in obese and diabetic subjects. In lean subjects only, insulin-stimulated Akt1/2 activity correlated with glucose disposal rate. Thus, insulin activation of Akt isoforms is normal in muscle of obese nondiabetic and obese diabetic subjects, despite decreases of approximately 50% and 39% in IRS-1– and IRS-2–associated PI 3-kinase activity, respectively, in obese diabetic subjects. It is therefore unlikely that Akt plays a major role in the resistance to insulin action on glucose disposal or GS activation that is observed in muscle of obese type 2 diabetic subjects.
PMCID: PMC408433  PMID: 10491408

Results 1-7 (7)