11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 inhibitors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Morgan SA., Tomlinson JW.
IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD: The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is rising and reaching pandemic proportions. For this reason, identification of novel therapeutic targets is urgently needed. AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW: The endoluminal enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1) catalyzes glucocorticoid activation in key metabolic tissues including skeletal muscle, liver and adipose tissue, and is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity, type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Selective 11beta-HSD1 inhibitors limit local glucocorticoid availability and improve insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, lipid profiles and atherosclerosis. To date, there is a paucity of clinical studies using selective 11beta-HSD1 inhibitors; however, early indications show that these compounds have great therapeutic potential. WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN: We present a comprehensive overview of the background to the development of selective 11beta-HSD1 inhibitors, the preclinical data supporting 11beta-HSD1 as a therapeutic target, and the current status of clinical trials of these agents. TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Selective 11beta-HSD1 inhibitors have the potential to improve insulin sensitivity and may ultimately add to the treatment options available for patients with type 2 diabetes. However, further clinical studies are urgently required.