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Diabetologia. 2002 Nov;45(11):1528-32. Epub 2002 Sep 18.

Selective inhibition of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 decreases blood glucose concentrations in hyperglycaemic mice.

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Pharmacology 2, Department of Biology, Research, Biovitrum, Stockholm, Sweden.



Current pharmacological treatments for Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus have various limitations. New treatments are needed to reduce long-term risks for diabetic complications and mortality. We tested a new principle for lowering blood glucose. It is well known that glucocorticoids in excess cause glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. The enzymes 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and type 2 inter-convert inactive and active glucocorticoids, thereby playing a major role in local modulation of agonist concentration and activation of corticosteroid receptors in target tissues. It has been hypothesized that selective inhibition of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 decreases excessive hepatic glucose production in hyperglycemia and diabetes. BVT.2733 is a new, small molecule, non-steroidal, isoform-selective inhibitor of mouse 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1. The aim of the present study is to test if selective inhibition of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 lowers blood glucose concentrations in a hyperglycaemic and hyperinsulinaemic mouse model.


BVT.2733 was given to spontaneously hyperglycaemic KKA(y) mice for 7 days using subcutaneous osmotic mini-pumps.


BVT.2733 lowered hepatic PEPCK and glucose-6-phosphatase mRNA, blood glucose and serum insulin concentrations compared with vehicle treated mice. In contrast, hepatic 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 mRNA, liver function marker enzyme expression (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatases), daily food intake and body weight were not altered by the treatment.


These results suggest that a selective inhibitor of human 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 can become a new approach for lowering blood glucose concentrations in Type II diabetes.

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