Effect of pioglitazone on circulating adipocytokine levels and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients

Yoshinori Miyazaki, Archana Mahankali, Estela Wajcberg, Mandeep Bajaj, Lawrence J. Mandarino, Ralph A. DeFronzo

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206 Scopus citations


We examined the effect of pioglitazone (PIO) on circulating adipocytokine levels to elucidate the mechanisms by which thiazolidinediones improve insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Twenty-three subjects with T2DM (age 54 ± 2 yr, body mass index 29 ± 1 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to receive placebo (n = 11) or PIO, 45 mg/d (n = 12), for 4 months. Before and after treatment, subjects received a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT); euglycemic insulin clamp (40 mU/m2·min) with 3-3H-glucose; determination of fat mass (3H 2O); and measurement of fasting glucose, free fatty acids (FFAs), leptin, adiponectin, and TNFα concentrations. After 4 months of PIO, fasting plasma glucose concentration (Δ = -2.7 mol/liter), mean plasma glucose during OGTT (Δ = -3.8 mol/ liter), and hemoglobin A1c (Δ = 1.7%) decreased (P < 0.05 vs. placebo) without change in fasting or post-OGTT plasma insulin levels. Fasting FFAs (Δ = 168 μmol/liter) and TNFα (Δ = 0.7 pg/ml) concentrations decreased (P < 0.05 vs. placebo), whereas adiponectin (Δ = 8.7 μg/ml) increased (P < 0.01 vs. placebo). Despite the increase in body fat mass (Δ = 3.4 kg) after PIO, plasma leptin concentration did not change significantly. No changes in plasma glucose, FFAs, or adipocytokine levels were observed in placebo-treated subjects. During the insulin clamp, endogenous (hepatic) glucose production decreased (Δ = -2.67 μmol/fat-free mass·min, P < 0.05 vs. placebo), whereas metabolic clearance rate of glucose (MCR) increased (Δ = 0.58 ml/fat-free mass·min, P < 0.05 vs. placebo) after PIO. In all subjects, before and after PIO, the decrease in plasma FFA concentration was correlated with the changes in both endogenous (hepatic) glucose production (r = 0.47, P < 0.05) and MCR (r = -0.41, P < 0.05), whereas the increase in plasma adiponectin concentration was correlated with the change in endogenous (hepatic) glucose production (r = -0.70, P < 0.01) and MCR (r = 0.49, P < 0.05). These results suggest that the direct effects of PIO on adipose tissue to decrease plasma FFA levels and increase plasma adiponectin contribute to the improvements in hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in patients with T2DM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4312-4319
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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