Highly purified peroxovanadium (pV) compounds, each containing an oxo ligand, one or two peroxo anions, and an ancillary ligand in the inner coordination sphere of vanadium, were shown to decrease plasma glucose markedly in both normal Sprague-Dawley and insulin-deprived diabetic BB rats. Maximal decreases in plasma glucose were at 60–100 min after intravenous, intraperitoneal, or subcutaneous administration. Synergism between these compounds and insulin was observed. Whereas parenterally administered orthovanadate or vanadyl sulfate did not induce hypoglycemia before inducing acute mortality, pV compounds effected hypoglycemia at doses much lower than those inducing acute mortality. When administered subcutaneously over a period of 3 days to insulin-deprived diabetic BB rats, pV compounds, but not vanadate, caused a significant decrease in plasma glucose concentrations and prevented the appearance of ketosis in these animals. Thus, pV compounds are the first agents other than insulin that acutely and markedly reduce plasma glucose in hypoinsulinemic diabetic BB rats.

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