SGLT2 inhibitors reduce insulin resistance and may improve beta-cell function in humans with T2D. We studied the effects of Canagliflozin (Cana) on glucose homeostasis, islet architecture and endocrine cell fate in male TallyHO/JngJ (TH) mice, a new model of T2D, which mimics many aspects of polygenic T2D in humans. By 8 weeks of age, all TH mice developed moderate obesity and hyperglycemia compared to control SWR/J mice; ∼60% of TH mice converted quickly to overt diabetes, characterized by elevated BG values (>400mg/dL) (HG mice), while the remaining cohort maintained lower BG values (250-400mg/dL) until the end of the study (LG mice). Mice from both groups (HG, LG) were then randomized to receive Chow or Chow-containing Cana (100ppm) diet for 10 weeks, prior to sacrifice. Cana treatment significantly decreased the fasting BG levels only in the HG mice (HG/Cana) compared with untreated HG/Chow mice (207.7±34.6 vs. 452.2±163.4mg/dL, p<0.0001), improved glucose and insulin excursion curves during an ipGTT (p<0.0001 for AUC values) and decreased HbA1c values (4.3±0.7 vs. 6.2±0.93%, p<0.0001). Non-fasting plasma insulin and C-peptide levels, pancreatic insulin content and HOMA-B index were all significantly higher in HG/Cana than in HG/Chow mice, suggesting improved beta-cell function by Cana. Immunofluorescence staining for islet hormones showed that, compared to untreated animals, Cana reestablished the islet area and the beta-cell number/islet in HG mice (possibly due to reduced apoptosis of beta-cells), in addition to decreased number of alpha- and delta-cells/islet. In HG/Cana mice, the majority of Ins+ cells expressed the glucose transporter Glut2, while its expression was undetectable in Ins+ cells of the HG/Chow mice, further suggesting an improvement in glucose sensing capability of beta-cells with Cana treatment. Our study shows that Cana has beneficial effects on preserving beta-cell mass, identity and function in a model of early onset T2D.
I. Popescu: None. G.M. Mussman: None. C.B. Hughes: None. T.J. Janes: None. P. Ray: None. R. Bunn: None. J. Fowlkes: None. K.M. Thrailkill: None.