Type 2 diabetes is characterized by impaired glucose homeostasis due to defects in insulin secretion, insulin resistance and the incretin response. GPR40 (FFAR1 or FFA1) is a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), primarily expressed in insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells and incretin-producing enteroendocrine cells of the small intestine. Several GPR40 agonists, including AMG 837 and TAK-875, have been disclosed, but no GPR40 synthetic agonists have been reported that engage both the insulinogenic and incretinogenic axes. In this report we provide a molecular explanation and describe the discovery of a unique and potent class of GPR40 full agonists that engages the enteroinsular axis to promote dramatic improvement in glucose control in rodents. GPR40 full agonists AM-1638 and AM-6226 stimulate GLP-1 and GIP secretion from intestinal enteroendocrine cells and increase GSIS from pancreatic islets, leading to enhanced glucose control in the high fat fed, streptozotocin treated and NONcNZO10/LtJ mouse models of type 2 diabetes. The improvement in hyperglycemia by AM-1638 was reduced in the presence of the GLP-1 receptor antagonist Ex(9-39)NH2.
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