We examined the effects of the oral dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor saxagliptin on glycaemic control and pancreatic β-cell mass and morphology in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Male C57BL/6 mice (n = 12/group) aged 4 to 6 weeks and weighing >15 g received a high-fat diet throughout this 45-day study. After a 7-day handling period, baseline levels of plasma glucose, plasma insulin and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) were assessed. Animals were allocated to one of six groups: compound vehicle control, intraperitoneal streptozotocin (STZ, 50 mg/kg)-treated control and saxagliptin (10 mg/kg) or sitagliptin (10 mg/kg, positive control) initiated 7 days before or 1 day after STZ administration. Endpoints included changes in body weight, food and water consumption, glucose tolerance (approximately 3 weeks post-STZ), fasting glucose and HbA1c and immunohistochemical analyses of the pancreas.
Body weight, weight gain and food intake were reduced in STZ versus control mice. DPP-4 inhibitor treatment did not affect these changes, but the increase in water intake observed post-STZ administration was significantly attenuated with DPP-4 inhibitors whether initiated before or after STZ injury. Small but significant improvements in glycaemic control were observed with DPP-4 inhibitors versus the STZ control. Improved β-cell mass and morphology were observed with saxagliptin given pre- or post-STZ and sitagliptin given post-STZ.
Saxagliptin mitigated damage to β-cells and improved glycaemic control in this mouse model of T2DM.