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1.  Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance Is the Primary Defect in Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(Suppl 2):S157-S163.
doi:10.2337/dc09-S302
PMCID: PMC2811436  PMID: 19875544
2.  Circulating Fibroblast Growth Factor-21 Is Elevated in Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Type 2 Diabetes and Correlates With Muscle and Hepatic Insulin Resistance 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(8):1542-1546.
OBJECTIVE
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-21 is highly expressed in the liver and regulates hepatic glucose production and lipid metabolism in rodents. However, its role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes in humans remains to be defined. The aim of this study was to quantitate circulating plasma FGF-21 levels and examine their relationship with insulin sensitivity in subjects with varying degrees of obesity and glucose tolerance.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Forty-one subjects (8 lean with normal glucose tolerance [NGT], 9 obese with NGT, 12 with impaired fasting glucose [IFG]/impaired glucose tolerance [IGT], and 12 type 2 diabetic subjects) received an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp (80 mU/m2 per min) combined with 3-[3H] glucose infusion.
RESULTS
Subjects with type 2 diabetes, subjects with IGT, and obese subjects with NGT were insulin resistant compared with lean subjects with NGT. Plasma FGF-21 levels progressively increased from 3.9 ± 0.3 ng/ml in lean subjects with NGT to 4.9 ± 0.2 in obese subjects with NGT to 5.2 ± 0.2 in subjects with IGT and to 5.3 ± 0.2 in type 2 diabetic subjects. FGF-21 levels correlated inversely with whole-body (primarily reflects muscle) insulin sensitivity (r = −0.421, P = 0.007) and directly with the hepatic insulin resistance index (r = 0.344, P = 0.034). FGF-21 levels also correlated with measures of glycemia (fasting plasma glucose [r = 0.312, P = 0.05], 2-h plasma glucose [r = 0.414, P = 0.01], and A1C [r = 0.325, P = 0.04]).
CONCLUSIONS
Plasma FGF-21 levels are increased in insulin-resistant states and correlate with hepatic and whole-body (muscle) insulin resistance. FGF-21 may play a role in pathogenesis of hepatic and whole-body insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/dc09-0684
PMCID: PMC2713625  PMID: 19487637
3.  Actos Now for the prevention of diabetes (ACT NOW) study 
Background
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.
Methods/Design
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.
Conclusion
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 trials.gov identifier: NCT00220961
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-9-17
PMCID: PMC2725044  PMID: 19640291

Results 1-3 (3)