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J Lipid Res. 2008 Dec;49(12):2657-63. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M800165-JLR200. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

A pilot study of the effects of pioglitazone and rosiglitazone on de novo lipogenesis in type 2 diabetes.

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KineMed, Inc. Emeryville, CA, USA.


Treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with pioglitazone results in a more favorable lipid profile, and perhaps more favorable cardiac outcomes, than treatment with rosiglitazone. Pioglitazone treatment increases VLDL-triacylglycerol clearance, but the role of de novo lipogenesis (DNL) has not been explored, and no direct comparison has been made between the thiazolidinediones (TZDs). Twelve subjects with T2DM and hypertriacylglyceridemia were randomized to either rosiglitazone or pioglitazone treatment. Stable isotope infusion studies were performed at baseline and after 20 weeks of treatment. Both treatments reduced glucose and HbA(1c) concentrations equally. Pioglitazone treatment resulted in a 40% reduction in hepatic DNL (P < 0.01) and in a 25% reduction in hepatic glucose production (P < 0.05), while rosiglitazone did not significantly change either parameter, although comparisons of changes between treatments were not significantly different. These pilot results indicate that pioglitazone reduces hepatic DNL while rosiglitazone does not. Larger follow-up studies are required to confirm differential effects of these agents definitively. The reduction in DNL may underlie altered assembly or atherogenicity of lipoprotein particles and may reflect PPARalpha or other non-PPARgamma actions on the liver by pioglitazone. These differences might help explain previously reported differences in lipid profiles and cardiovascular disease outcomes for rosiglitazone and pioglitazone.

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