Effects of the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor dapagliflozin on substrate metabolism in prediabetic insulin resistant individuals: A randomized, double-blind crossover trial

Anna Veelen, Charlotte Andriessen, Yvo Op den Kamp, Edmundo Erazo-Tapia, Marlies de Ligt, Julian Mevenkamp, Johanna A Jörgensen, Esther Moonen-Kornips, Gert Schaart, Russell Esterline, Bas Havekes, Jan Oscarsson, Vera B Schrauwen-Hinderling, Esther Phielix, Patrick Schrauwen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) treatment in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients results in glucosuria, causing an energy loss, and triggers beneficial metabolic adaptations. It is so far unknown if SGLT2i exerts beneficial metabolic effects in prediabetic insulin resistant individuals, yet this is of interest since SGLT2is also reduce the risk for progression of heart failure and chronic kidney disease in patients without diabetes.

METHODS: Fourteen prediabetic insulin resistant individuals (BMI: 30.3 ± 2.1 kg/m2; age: 66.3 ± 6.2 years) underwent 2-weeks of treatment with dapagliflozin (10 mg/day) or placebo in a randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Outcome parameters include 24-hour and nocturnal substrate oxidation, and twenty-four-hour blood substrate and insulin levels. Hepatic glycogen and lipid content/composition were measured by MRS. Muscle biopsies were taken to measure mitochondrial oxidative capacity and glycogen and lipid content.

RESULTS: Dapagliflozin treatment resulted in a urinary glucose excretion of 36 g/24-h, leading to a negative energy and fat balance. Dapagliflozin treatment resulted in a higher 24-hour and nocturnal fat oxidation (p = 0.043 and p = 0.039, respectively), and a lower 24-hour carbohydrate oxidation (p = 0.048). Twenty-four-hour plasma glucose levels were lower (AUC; p = 0.016), while 24-hour free fatty acids and nocturnal β-hydroxybutyrate levels were higher (AUC; p = 0.002 and p = 0.012, respectively) after dapagliflozin compared to placebo. Maximal mitochondrial oxidative capacity was higher after dapagliflozin treatment (dapagliflozin: 87.6 ± 5.4, placebo: 78.1 ± 5.5 pmol/mg/s, p = 0.007). Hepatic glycogen and lipid content were not significantly changed by dapagliflozin compared to placebo. However, muscle glycogen levels were numerically higher in the afternoon in individuals on placebo (morning: 332.9 ± 27.9, afternoon: 368.8 ± 13.1 nmol/mg), while numerically lower in the afternoon on dapagliflozin treatment (morning: 371.7 ± 22.8, afternoon: 340.5 ± 24.3 nmol/mg).

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Dapagliflozin treatment of prediabetic insulin resistant individuals for 14 days resulted in significant metabolic adaptations in whole-body and skeletal muscle substrate metabolism despite being weight neutral. Dapagliflozin improved fat oxidation and ex vivo skeletal muscle mitochondrial oxidative capacity, mimicking the effects of calorie restriction.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03721874.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155396
JournalMetabolism-Clinical and Experimental
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Dec 2022

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