Background Hyperglycemia is an important pathogenic component in the development of microvascular and macrovascular complications in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Inhibition of renal tubular glucose reabsorption that leads to glycosuria has been proposed as a new mechanism to attain normoglycemia and thus prevent and diminish these complications. Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) has a key role in reabsorption of glucose in kidney. Competitive inhibitors of SGLT2 have been discovered and a few of them have also been advanced in clinical trials for the treatment of diabetes.
Objective To discuss the therapeutic potential of SGLT2 inhibitors currently in clinical development.
Key findings A number of preclinical and clinical studies of SGLT2 inhibitors have demonstrated a good safety profile and beneficial effects in lowering plasma glucose levels, diminishing glucotoxicity, improving glycemic control and reducing weight in diabetes. Of all the SGLT2 inhibitors, dapagliflozin is a relatively advanced compound with regards to clinical development.
Summary SGLT2 inhibitors are emerging as a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of diabetes. Their unique mechanism of action offers them the potential to be used in combination with other oral anti-diabetic drugs as well as with insulin.