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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Jul;314(1):191-200. Epub 2005 Mar 22.

Hepatic glucocorticoid receptor antagonism is sufficient to reduce elevated hepatic glucose output and improve glucose control in animal models of type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Metabolic Disease Research, Abbott Laboratories, R47M, AP10-111, 100 Abbott Park Rd., Abbott Park, IL 60064, USA.


Glucocorticoids amplify endogenous glucose production in type 2 diabetes by increasing hepatic glucose output. Systemic glucocorticoid blockade lowers glucose levels in type 2 diabetes, but with several adverse consequences. It has been proposed, but never demonstrated, that a liver-selective glucocorticoid receptor antagonist (LSGRA) would be sufficient to reduce hepatic glucose output (HGO) and restore glucose control to type 2 diabetic patients with minimal systemic side effects. A-348441 [(3b,5b,7a,12a)-7,12-dihydroxy-3-{2-[{4-[(11b,17b)-17-hydroxy-3-oxo-17-prop-1-ynylestra-4,9-dien-11-yl] phenyl}(methyl)amino]ethoxy}cholan-24-oic acid] represents the first LSGRA with significant antidiabetic activity. A-348441 antagonizes glucocorticoid-up-regulated hepatic genes, normalizes postprandial glucose in diabetic mice, and demonstrates synergistic effects on blood glucose in these animals when coadministered with an insulin sensitizer. In insulin-resistant Zucker fa/fa rats and fasted conscious normal dogs, A-348441 reduces HGO with no acute effect on peripheral glucose uptake. A-348441 has no effect on the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis or on other measured glucocorticoid-induced extrahepatic responses. Overall, A-348441 demonstrates that an LSGRA is sufficient to reduce elevated HGO and normalize blood glucose and may provide a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

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