Background: The glucosuria induced by sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) stimulates endogenous (hepatic) glucose production (EGP) blunting the decline in HbA1c. We hypothesized that, in response to glucosuria, a renal signal is generated and stimulated EGP.

Aim: To examine the effect of acute administration of dapagliflozin (DAPA) in nondiabetic, renal transplant subjects on SGLT2i-induced stimulation of EGP.

Methods: 20 subjects [10 with intact native kidneys (IK) and 10 with bilateral nephrectomy (NK)] underwent measurement of EGP ([6,6-2H2]-glucose) before and for 6 hours after administration of DAPA or placebo (PLC) on 2 separate days.

Results: DAPA induced greater glucosuria in subjects with IK versus NK (8.6±1.1 vs. 5.5±0.5 grams/6-hrs; p=0.02). During 6-hour, plasma glucose decreased slightly and similarly in both groups, with no difference compared to PLC. Following PLC, there was a progressive time-related decline in EGP that was similar in both groups. Following DAPA, EGP declined in both groups but the decrement in EGP was 56% greater in the NK. During DAPA, urinary glucose excretion was correlated with EGP (r = 0.34, p<0.05). Plasma insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, pre-hepatic insulin/glucagon ratio, lactate, alanine and pyruvate concentrations were similar in PLC and DAPA. β-hydroxybutyrate increased with DAPA in the IK, while a small increase was observed only at 360 min in the NK. Plasma epinephrine did not change after DAPA and PLC in both groups. Following DAPA, plasma norepinephrine increased slightly in the IK and decreased in the NK.

Conclusions: In NK subjects the hepatic compensatory response to acute SGLT2i-induced glucosuria was attenuated compared to diabetic subjects with IK, suggesting a SGLT2i-mediated stimulation of hepatic glucose production via efferent renal nerves in an attempt to compensate for the urinary glucose loss, i.e., a renal-hepatic axis.


G. Daniele: None. C. Solis-Herrera: Consultant; Self; Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. A. Dardano: None. A. Mari: Consultant; Self; Lilly Diabetes. Research Support; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH. A. Tura: None. L. Giusti: None. J.J. Kurumthodathu: None. A.A.G. Brocchi: None. B. Campi: None. A. Saba: None. A. Bianchi: None. C. Tregnaghi: None. M. Egidi: None. M. Abdul-Ghani: None. R.A. DeFronzo: None. S. DelPrato: None.

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