2018 Volume 41 Issue 5 Pages 761-769
Ipragliflozin is a selective sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor that increases urinary glucose excretion and subsequently improves hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). To assess the beneficial effect of ipragliflozin on the mass and function of pancreatic β-cells under diabetic conditions, obese T2DM db/db mice were treated with ipragliflozin for 5 weeks. Glucose and lipid metabolism parameters, pathological changes in pancreatic islet cells and insulin content were evaluated. Pathological examination of pancreatic islet cells comprised measuring the ratios of insulin- and glucagon-positive cells and levels of oxidative stress markers. Hemoglobin A1c, plasma glucose, non-esterified fatty acid and triglyceride levels in ipragliflozin-treated groups were reduced compared to the diabetic control (DM-control) group. Histopathological examination of pancreatic islet cells revealed strong insulin staining and reduced glucagon staining in the ipragliflozin 10 mg/kg-treated group compared with the DM-control group. The ratio of α- to β-cell mass was lower in the ipragliflozin 10 mg/kg-treated group than the DM-control group and was similar to that of the non-diabetic control group. The density of immunostaining for 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, an oxidative stress marker, in pancreatic islets was significantly lower in the ipragliflozin 10 mg/kg-treated group than the DM-control group. Pancreatic insulin content tended to be higher in the ipragliflozin-treated groups than the DM-control group. Our findings demonstrate the benefit of ipragliflozin treatment in improving glucolipotoxicity and reducing oxidative stress in pancreatic islet cells. Treatment with ipragliflozin may protect against the progressive loss of islet β-cells in patients with T2DM.