Dose-response effect of pioglitazone on insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes

Yoshinori Miyazaki, Masafumi Matsuda, Ralph A DeFronzo
Diabetes Care 2002, 25 (3): 517-23

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the dose-response effects of pioglitazone on glycemic control, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion in patients with type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 58 diet-treated patients with type 2 diabetes (aged 54 +/- 1 years; 34 men and 24 women; BMI 31.5 +/- 0.6 kg/m(2)) were randomly assigned to receive placebo (n=11) or 7.5 mg (n=13), 15 mg (n=12), 30 mg (n=11), or 45 mg (n=11) of pioglitazone per day for 26 weeks. Before and after 26 weeks, subjects underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

RESULTS: Patients treated with 7.5 or 15 mg/day of pioglitazone had no change in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and fasting plasma insulin (FPI) concentrations or in plasma glucose (PG) and insulin concentrations during the OGTT. Patients treated with 30 and 45 mg/day of pioglitazone, respectively, had significant decreases from placebo in HbA1c (delta=-2.0 and -2.9%), FPG (delta=-66 and -97 mg/dl), and mean PG during OGTT (delta=-84 and -107 mg/dl). Fasting plasma insulin decreased significantly in the 45-mg/day pioglitazone group, but the mean plasma insulin during the OGTT did not change. The insulinogenic index (delta area under the curve [AUC] insulin/deltaAUC glucose) during the OGTT increased significantly in the 30- and 45-mg/day pioglitazone groups (0.13 +/- 0.03 to 0.27 +/- 0.05, P < 0.05). From the OGTT, we previously have derived a composite whole-body insulin sensitivity index (ISI) that correlates well with that measured directly with the insulin clamp technique. Whole-body ISI [ISI=10,000/(square-root (FPG x FPI) x (PG x PI)) where PG and PI equal mean plasma glucose and insulin concentrations during OGTT] increased significantly in patients treated with 30 mg (1.8 +/- 0.3 to 2.5 +/- 0.3, P < 0.05) or 45 mg (1.6 +/- 0.2 to 2.7 +/- 0.6, P < 0.05) per day of pioglitazone. In the basal state, the hepatic ISI [k/(FPG x FPI)[k/(FPG x FPI)], which agrees closely with that measured directly with tritiated glucose, increased in patients treated with 30 mg (0.13 +/- 0.02 to 0.21 +/- 0.03, P < 0.05) and 45 mg (0.11 +/- 0.02 to 0.24 +/- 0.06, P < 0.05) per day of pioglitazone. Significant correlations between the dose of pioglitazone and the changes in HbA1c (r=-0.58), FPG (r=-0.47), mean PG during the OGTT (r=-0.46), insulinogenic index (r=0.34), hepatic ISI (r=0.44), and whole-body ISI (r=0.36) were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Pioglitazone improves glycemic control through the dose-dependent enhancement of beta-cell function and improved whole-body and hepatic insulin sensitivity.

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