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Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jul;17(4):588-93. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.113725.

Renal glucose handling in diabetes and sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibition.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal.


The kidneys play a major role in glucose homeostasis through its utilization, gluconeogenesis, and reabsorption via sodium glucose cotransporters (SGLTs). The defective renal glucose handling from upregulation of SGLTs, mainly the SGLT2, plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Genetic mutations in a SGLT2 isoform that results in benign renal glycosuria, as well as clinical studies with SGLT2 inhibitors in type 2 diabetes support the potential of this approach. These studies indicate that inducing glycosuria by suppressing SGLT2 can reduce plasma glucose and A1c levels, as well as decrease weight, resulting in improved β-cell function and enhanced insulin sensitivity in liver and muscle. Because the mechanism of SGLT2 inhibition is independent of insulin secretion and sensitivity, these agents can be combined with other antidiabetic agents, including exogenous insulin. This class represents a novel therapeutic approach with potential for the treatment of both type 2 and type 1 diabetes.


Glucose homeostasis; Sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors; glycosuria; renal glucose handling; sodium glucose cotransporters

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