A potent and selective 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 inhibitor, SKI2852, ameliorates metabolic syndrome in diabetic mice models

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11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11βHSD1) has been targeted for new drugs to treat type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In this study, we determined whether the inhibition of 11βHSD1 with a new selective inhibitor, SKI2852, could improve lipid profiles, glucose levels, and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic and obese conditions. SKI2852 showed a potent inhibition of cortisone to cortisol conversion for over 80% in both liver and adipose tissue ex vivo from orally administered C57BL/6 mice, and in vivo analysis results were consistent with this. Repeated oral administrations of SKI2852 in diet-induced obesity (DIO) and ob/ob mice revealed a partially beneficial effect of SKI2852 in improving levels of cholesterols, triglycerides, free fatty acids, postprandial glucose, and/or blood hemoglobinA1c. SKI2852 significantly reduced body weight increase in ob/ob mice, and efficiently suppressed hepatic mRNA levels of gluconeogenic enzymes in DIO mice. Moreover, SKI2852 enhanced hepatic and whole body insulin sensitivities in hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp experiment in DIO mice. In conclusion, these results indicate that selective and potent inhibition of 11βHSD1 by SKI2852, thus blockade of active glucocorticoid conversion, may improve many aspects of metabolic parameters in type 2 diabetes and metabolic diseases, mainly by inhibitions of hepatic gluconeogenesis and partial improvements of lipid profiles. Our study strongly support that SKI2852 may have a great potential as a novel candidate drug for the treatment of diabetes and metabolic diseases.

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