Activation of the G protein-coupled free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFA1; formerly known as GPR40) leads to an enhancement of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. TUG-469 has previously been reported as a potent FFA1 agonist. This study was performed to confirm the higher in vitro potency of TUG-469 compared to the reference FFA1 agonist GW9508 and to prove in vivo activity in a pre-diabetic mouse model. The in vitro pharmacology of TUG-469 was studied using Ca(2+)-, cAMP-, and impedance-based assays at recombinant FFA1 and free fatty acid receptor 4, formerly known as GPR120 (FFA4) expressing 1321N1 cells and the rat insulinoma cell line INS-1. Furthermore, we investigated the systemic effect of TUG-469 on glucose tolerance in pre-diabetic New Zealand obese (NZO) mice performing a glucose tolerance test after intraperitoneal administration of 5 mg/kg TUG-469. In comparison to GW9508, TUG-469 showed a 1.7- to 3.0-times higher potency in vitro at 1321N1 cells recombinantly expressing FFA1. Both compounds increased insulin secretion from rat insulinoma INS-1 cells. TUG-469 is > 200-fold selective for FFA1 over FFA4. Finally, a single dose of 5 mg/kg TUG-469 significantly improved glucose tolerance in pre-diabetic NZO mice. TUG-469 turned out as a promising candidate for further drug development of FFA1 agonists for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Naunyn-schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology, 2013, Vol 386, Issue 12, p. 1021-2030