: Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors (i) reduce cardiovascular and renal events in patients with and without type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, the underlying mechanisms are debated. Low-grade inflammation (LGI) is a key driver of vascular complications, suggested to be attenuated by SGLT-2i in animal models. Based on a specific working hypothesis, here we investigated the net effect of SGLT-2i on LGI in patients with T2D and the possible underlying mechanism. We enrolled patients with T2D treated either with a stable therapy with SGLT-2i or with other glucose-lowering drugs (GLD) (n = 43 per group after matching for a range of pro-inflammatory variables), and tested hs-CRP and interleukin (IL)-6 as primary variables of interest. Patients treated with SGLT-2i had lower circulating levels of IL-6, a prototypical marker of LGI, but also of uric acid and fasting insulin, compared with patients treated with other GLD. Then, to explore whether uric acid and insulin might mediate the effect of SGLT-2i on IL-6, we tested physiologically pertinent doses of these two molecules (i.e. 0.5 mM uric acid and 1 nM insulin) in two in vitro models of LGI, i.e. monocytes (THP-1) treated with LPS and endothelial cells (HUVEC) exposed to hyperglycaemia. Results from in vitro models supported a pro-inflammatory role for uric acid and its combination with insulin in monocytes and for uric acid alone in hyperglycaemia-stimulated endothelial cells. On the contrary, we observed no drug-intrinsic, anti-inflammatory effect for dapagliflozin, empagliflozin, and canagliflozin in the same models. Overall, these results suggest that SGLT-2i possess a tangible activity against LGI, an effect possibly mediated by their ability to lower uric acid and insulin concentrations and that juxtaposes other proposed mechanisms in explaining the observed benefit of this class on cardiovascular and renal endpoints.
Anti-inflammatory effect of SGLT-2 inhibitors via uric acid and insulin / La Grotta, Rosalba; de Candia, Paola; Olivieri, Fabiola; Matacchione, Giulia; Giuliani, Angelica; Rippo, Maria Rita; Tagliabue, Elena; Mancino, Monica; Rispoli, Francesca; Ferroni, Sabina; Berra, Cesare Celeste; Ceriello, Antonio; Prattichizzo, Francesco. - In: CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR LIFE SCIENCES. - ISSN 1420-682X. - 79:5(2022), p. 273. [10.1007/s00018-022-04289-z]