New strategy to preserve insulin-producing cells in diabetes
High blood glucose is responsible for several complications in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. During progression of type 2 diabetes, pancreatic cells are subjected to sustained metabolic overload, this state mediates a hypoxic phenotype driven by hypoxia-inducible factor–1 (HIF-1) and that treatment with the HIF-1 inhibitor PX-478 would improve cell function.

The study showed that the HIF-1 protein was present in pancreatic cells of diabetic mouse models. In mouse islets with high glucose metabolism, the emergence of intracellular Ca2+ oscillations at low glucose concentration and the abnormally high basal release of insulin were suppressed by treatment with the HIF-1 inhibitor PX-478, indicating improvement of cell function. The results suggest that the HIF-1 inhibitor PX-478 has the potential to act as an antidiabetic therapeutic agent that preserves cell function under metabolic overload.

Researchers have identified a new antidiabetic substance that preserves the activity of insulin-producing beta cells and prevents high blood glucose in mice. Human trials are yet to be undertaken.