SGLT2 inhibition--a novel strategy for diabetes treatment

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 Jul;9(7):551-9. doi: 10.1038/nrd3180. Epub 2010 May 28.


Inhibiting sodium-glucose co-transporters (SGLTs), which have a key role in the reabsorption of glucose in the kidney, has been proposed as a novel therapeutic strategy for diabetes. Genetic mutations in the kidney-specific SGLT2 isoform that result in benign renal glycosuria, as well as preclinical and clinical studies with SGLT2 inhibitors in type 2 diabetes, support the potential of this approach. These investigations indicate that elevating renal glucose excretion by suppressing SGLT2 can reduce plasma glucose levels, as well as decrease weight. Although data from ongoing Phase III trials of these agents are needed to more fully assess safety, results suggest that the beneficial effects of SGLT2 inhibition might be achieved without exerting significant side effects--an advantage over many current diabetes medications. This article discusses the role of SGLT2 in glucose homeostasis and the evidence available so far on the therapeutic potential of blocking these transporters in the treatment of diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Drug Design
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • SLC5A2 protein, human
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors
  • Glucose