Telmisartan is a promising cardiometabolic sartan due to its unique PPAR-gamma-inducing property

S Yamagishi, M Takeuchi
Medical Hypotheses 2005, 64 (3): 476-8
The metabolic syndrome is strongly associated with insulin resistance and consists of a constellation of factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia that raise the risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus. Indeed, hypertension occurs approximately twice as frequently in patients with diabetes compared with in non-diabetic controls. Conversely, hypertensive patients are more likely than normotensive persons to develop diabetes. In addition, up to 75% of CVD in diabetic patients can be attributed to hypertension. Therefore, the primary goals of treating hypertensive patients with insulin resistance are prevention of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events. Then, what is the optimal anti-hypertensive approach to target organ protection in these patients? Several clinical trials suggest that the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a pivotal role in the pathogensis of insulin resistance and CVD in diabetes. Interruption of the RAS with angiotensin-coverting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (ARBs) has been shown to prevent the onset of diabetes in hypertensive patients and to reduce cardiovascular and renal disease progression in diabetic patients with hypertension. However, whether we should recommend ARBs for insulin resistant-hypertensive patients or type 2 diabetic patients without nephropathy due to its insulin-sensitizing property remains to be clarified. Recently, telmisartan, an ARB, was found to act as a patrtial agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma). PPAR-gamma influences the gene expression involved in carbohydrate metabolism, and pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, ligands for PPAR-gamma, improve insulin resistance in diabetic patients. Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence that activators of PPAR-gamma exert anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and anti-proliferative effects on vascular wall cells, thus decreasing the risks for atherosclerosis. We hypothesize here that due to its unique PPAR-gamma-modulating activity, telmisartan will become a promising 'cardiometabolic sartan', that targets both diabetes and CVD in hypertensive patients. In this paper, we would like to propose the possible ways of testing our hypothesis. Does telmisartan reduce the development of diabetes and CVD in insulin resistant patients pretreated with maximal doses of other ARBs? Does co-treatment with an activator of PPAR-gamma attenuate the effects of telmisartan in these patients? These clinical studies will provide further information whether the beneficial cardiometabolic actions of telmisartan could be ascribed to its PPAR-gamma-inducing property.

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