Excess body fat is a risk factor for metabolic diseases and is a leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. There is a strong need to find new treatments that decrease the burden of obesity and lower the risk of obesity-related comorbidities including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Pharmacologic mitochondrial uncouplers represent a potential treatment for obesity through their ability to increase nutrient oxidation. Herein, we report the in vitro and in vivo characterization of compound SHD865, the first compound to be studied in vivo in a newly discovered class of imidazolopyrazine mitochondrial uncouplers. SHD865 is a derivative of the furazanopyrazine uncoupler BAM15. SHD865 is a milder mitochondrial uncoupler than BAM15 that results in a lower maximal respiration rate. In a mouse model of diet-induced adiposity, six-week treatment with SHD865 completely restored normal body composition and glucose tolerance to levels like those of chow-fed controls without altering food intake. SHD865 treatment also corrected liver steatosis and plasma hyperlipidemia to normal levels comparable with chow-fed controls. SHD865 has maximal oral bioavailability in rats and slow clearance in human microsomes and hepatocytes. Collectively, these data identify the potential of imidazolopyrazine mitochondrial uncouplers as drug candidates for the treatment of obesity-related disorders.
This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.24347104.