Author(s): Bischoff H
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Abstract The development of the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor acarbose provides a new approach in the management of diabetes. By competitive and reversible inhibition of intestinal alpha-glucosidases, acarbose delays carbohydrate digestion, prolongs the overall carbohydrate digestion time, and thus reduces the rate of glucose absorption. After oral administration of acarbose, the postprandial rise in blood glucose is dose-dependently decreased, and glucose-induced insulin secretion is attenuated. Because of diminished postprandial hyperglycemia and hyper-insulinemia by acarbose, the triglyceride uptake into adipose tissue, hepatic lipogenesis, and triglyceride content are reduced. Therefore, acarbose treatment not only flattens postprandial glycemia, due to the primary and secondary pharmacodynamic effects, but also ameliorates the metabolic state in general. In diabetic animals, acarbose reduced urinary glucose loss, the blood glucose area under the curve, and prevented the decrease in skeletal muscle GLUT4 glucose transporters. As a consequence of the reduced mean blood glucose area under the curve, the amount of protein nonenzymatically glycated was diminished, as was the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). The prevention of basement membrane glycation and thickening in various tissues indicated that acarbose treatment of diabetic animals produced beneficial effects against the development of nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Thus, the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor acarbose may have the potential to delay or possibly prevent the development of diabetic complications.
This article was published in Clin Invest Med
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry