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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2005 Mar;230(3):207-16.

A nonspecific phosphotyrosine phosphatase inhibitor, bis(maltolato)oxovanadium(IV), improves glucose tolerance and prevents diabetes in Zucker diabetic fatty rats.

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  • 1Department of Metabolism Biology, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, 8700 Mason-Montgomery Road, Box 1070, Mason, Ohio, 45040. kasibhatla.b@pg.com.


The molecular basis of insulin resistance, a major risk factor for development of Type II diabetes, involves defective insulin signaling. Insulin-mediated signal transduction is negatively regulated by the phosphotyrosine phosphatase, PTP1B, and numerous studies have demonstrated that organo-vanadium compounds, which are nonselective phosphotyrosine phosphatase inhibitors, have insulin-mimetic properties. However, whether or not vanadium compounds can prevent the transition from insulin resistance to overt diabetes is unknown. We compared the ability of bis(maltolato)oxovanadium(IV) (BMOV), an orally bioavailable organo-vanadium compound, and rosiglitazone maleate (RSG), a known insulin sensitizer, to prevent development of diabetes in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. Treatment began at 6 weeks of age when animals are insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemic, but not yet hyperglycemic, and ended at 12 weeks of age, which is 4 weeks after ZDF rats typically develop overt diabetes. BMOV-treated ZDF rats did not develop hyperglycemia, showed significant improvement in insulin sensitivity, and retained normal pancreatic islet morphology and endocrine cell distribution, similar to RSG-treated animals. BMOV and RSG treatment also prevented the hyper-phagia and polydipsia present in untreated ZDF rats; however, BMOV-treated ZDF rats gained much less weight than did RSG-treated animals. Circulating levels of adiponectin decreased in untreated ZDF rats compared to lean controls, but these levels remained normal in BMOV-treated ZDF rats. In contrast, in RSG-treated ZDF rats, plasma adiponectin levels were nearly 4-fold higher than in lean control rats, primarily as a result of a large increase in the amount of low-molecular weight forms of adiponectin in circulation. These data demonstrate that phosphatase inhibition offers a new approach to diabetes prevention, one that may have advantages over current approaches.

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