The Selective SGLT2 Inhibitor Ipragliflozin Has a Therapeutic Effect on Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in Mice

PLoS One. 2016 Jan 5;11(1):e0146337. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146337. eCollection 2016.


Background & aims: In recent years, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has become a considerable healthcare burden worldwide. Pathogenesis of NASH is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and insulin resistance. However, a specific drug to treat NASH is lacking. We investigated the effect of the selective sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor (SGLT2I) ipragliflozin on NASH in mice.

Methods: We used the Amylin liver NASH model (AMLN), which is a diet-induced model of NASH that results in obesity and T2DM. AMLN mice were fed an AMLN diet for 20 weeks. SGLT2I mice were fed an AMLN diet for 12 weeks and an AMLN diet with 40 mg ipragliflozin/kg for 8 weeks.

Results: AMLN mice showed steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis in the liver as well as obesity and insulin resistance, features that are recognized in human NASH. Ipragliflozin improved insulin resistance and liver injury. Ipragliflozin decreased serum levels of free fatty acids, hepatic lipid content, the number of apoptotic cells, and areas of fibrosis; it also increased lipid outflow from the liver.

Conclusions: Ipragliflozin improved the pathogenesis of NASH by reducing insulin resistance and lipotoxicity in NASH-model mice. Our results suggest that ipragliflozin has a therapeutic effect on NASH with T2DM.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glucosides / therapeutic use*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Mice
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / complications
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors*
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucosides
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors
  • Thiophenes
  • ipragliflozin

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.