Nihon yakurigaku zasshi. Folia pharmacologica Japonica

[Pharmacological properties of nateglinide, rapid-onset/short-duration insulinotropic agent, in the treatment of type 2 diabetes].

PMID 11031747


An early defect in Type 2 diabetes is the loss of acute insulin release after food intake, which causes prolonged elevation of postprandial glucose levels. Suppressing postprandial hyperglycemia is considered to be very important for preventing diabetic complications. Sulfonylureas are well-known insulin secretagogues and have been widely used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. These agents, however, do not appear to be able to ameliorate impairment of the first phase of insulin secretion and postprandial hyperglycemia. Nateglinide, which is a derivative of D-phenylalanine, is a non-sulfonylurea insulin secretagogue. Although the in vitro insulin-releasing effect of nateglinide is similar to that of sulfonylureas, its hypoglycemic effect is more rapid and short lasting. The in vivo unique pharmacodynamic profile of nateglinide is likely to result from its rapid absorption and elimination. This novel antidiabetic agent has made it possible to compensate for the impaired first phase insulin response and thus suppresses postprandial hyperglycemia. In clinical trials, nateglinide reduced prandial glucose excursion and improved early phase of insulin release dose-dependently after 12 weeks treatment. Nateglinide is a highly physiologic mealtime glucose regulator, which rapidly increases insulin secretion when taken before meals, mimicking early-phase insulin release lost in patients with Type 2 diabetes.