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Effect of Empagliflozin Versus Placebo on Brain Insulin Sensitivity in Patients With Prediabetes

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03227484
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : July 24, 2017
Last Update Posted : July 6, 2018
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University Hospital Tuebingen

Brief Summary:

Recently, various sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Empagliflozin is a preparation of this class of substances. SGLT2 inhibitors also lead to a reduction in body weight in addition to their blood glucose lowering effect. The basis for this is probably the calorie loss by the increased glucose excretion over the urine. However, this weight-reducing effect is lost after a few weeks of treatment and the body weight subsequently stabilizes at a lower level than before. However, patients continue to lose energy via the urine. Hence, the weight stabilization could be due to an increased energy intake as a possible consequence of a changed brain setpoint for the body weight. As the main weight loss is achieved during the first 6-8 weeks of treatment, the investigators assume that the underlying central nervous mechanisms will be present after this time.

Furthermore, clinical-experimental observations show that treatment with empagliflozin promotes endogenous glucose production in the liver. This presumably compensatory mechanism also occurs after only a few weeks of treatment. The common mechanism, which could be based both on energy intake and on the endogenous glucose production effect, is still unclear. The investigators suspect that regulatory circuits in the brain contribute to these observed effects.

In fact, several studies in animals as well as initial clinical studies in humans show that the brain is involved in eating behavior and peripheral metabolism. In particular, effects of the hormone insulin modulate the dietary intake via the brain, thereby affecting human body weight.

Many of the experiments on the insulin sensitivity of the human brain used a specific approach to the selective delivery of insulin into the brain: the application of insulin as a nasal spray. Although this application route has no therapeutic value, this technique allows the administration of insulin to the central nervous system with little effect on the circulating insulin levels. By combining nasal insulin administration with functional MRI, regional insulin sensitivity of the brain can be quantified. The investigators recently found that the insulin action of the brain (stimulated by nasal insulin) regulates both endogenous glucose production and peripheral glucose uptake during hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamps. The signals from the brain seem to reach the periphery via the autonomic nervous system in order to modulate metabolic processes. A central brain area in this regard is the hypothalamus. This brain region receives afferents over various systems such as the autonomic nervous system and various endocrine systems (including insulin). The investigators recently characterized the hypothalamus as an insulin-sensitive brain area in humans. The hypothalamus is the key area for homeostatic control throughout the body.

Since the dietary intake and the endogenous glucose production are modulated by a hypothalamic insulin effect in humans, we suspect that the observed effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on both processes could be due to altered insulin activity in the brain. Since the SGLT2 inhibition by empagliflozin modulates the autonomic nervous system in the kidneys, signals from the kidney may be transmitted to the brain via the autonomic nervous system, thereby changing specific setpoints, including e.g. insulin sensitivity of the brain.

In order to test this hypothesis, a precise phenotyping of prediabetic volunteers with regard to regional brain insulin sensitivity as well as the brain effect on metabolism before and after 8 weeks of treatment with empagliflozin compared to placebo is planned.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
PreDiabetes Body Weight Drug: Empagliflozin 25mg Drug: Placebo Oral Tablet Phase 2

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 40 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: A Double-blind Randomized Study to Determine the Effect of Empagliflozin Versus Placebo on Brain Insulin Sensitivity in Patients With Prediabetes
Actual Study Start Date : June 9, 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date : April 2019
Estimated Study Completion Date : October 2019

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Allergy Prediabetes

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Empagliflozin
25mg Empagliflozin once daily over 8 weeks
Drug: Empagliflozin 25mg
Once daily over 8 weeks

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Matching placebo tablet once daily over 8 weeks
Drug: Placebo Oral Tablet
Once daily over 8 weeks




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. effect of treatment with 25 mg empagliflozin daily versus placebo on regional brain insulin sensitivity [ Time Frame: baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment ]
    assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) combined with nasal insulin administration as change from baseline to 8 weeks


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. effects of treatment with empagliflozin versus placebo on glucose tolerance in prediabetes [ Time Frame: baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment ]
    assessed by 75g oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT) as change from baseline to 8 weeks

  2. effects of treatment with empagliflozin versus placebo on body fat composition [ Time Frame: baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment ]
    assessed by whole body MRI and liver MR-spectroscopy and bioimpedance analysis as change from baseline to 8 weeks

  3. effect of treatment with empagliflozin versus placebo on brain-insulin derived modulation of peripheral metabolism [ Time Frame: baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment ]
    assessed by hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp combined with nasal insulin administration as change from baseline to 8 weeks

  4. effect of treatment with empagliflozin versus placebo on autonomous nervous system activity [ Time Frame: baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment ]
    assessed by analysis of heart rate variability as change from baseline to 8 weeks

  5. effect of treatment with empagliflozin versus placebo on the brain responsiveness to food cues and nutrient-specific food preference [ Time Frame: baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment ]
    assessed by fMRI combined with nasal insulin administration as change from baseline to 8 weeks

  6. effect of treatment with empagliflozin versus placebo on the correlation between insulin secretion capacity and regional brain insulin sensitivity [ Time Frame: baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment ]
    assessed by fMRI combined with nasal insulin administration and 75g oGTT as change from baseline to 8 weeks

  7. effect of treatment with empagliflozin versus placebo on energy expenditure [ Time Frame: baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment ]
    assessed by indirect calorimetry as change from baseline to 8 weeks



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Ages Eligible for Study:   30 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Fasting blood glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dl and/or 2-hour post load glucose between 140 and 199 mg/dl during a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test.
  • Body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 40 kg/m².
  • Understand and voluntarily sign an informed consent document prior to any study related assessments/procedures.
  • Ability to adhere to the study visit schedule and other protocol requirements.
  • Females of childbearing potential (FCBP1) must agree
  • to utilize two reliable forms of contraception simultaneously or practice complete abstinence from heterosexual contact for at least 28 days before starting study drug, while participating in the study (including dose interruptions), and for at least 28 days after study treatment discontinuation and must agree to pregnancy testing during this timeframe
  • to abstain from breastfeeding during study participation and 28 days after study drug discontinuation.
  • Males must agree
  • to use a latex condom during any sexual contact with FCBP while participating in the study and for 28 days following discontinuation from this study, even if he has undergone a successful vasectomy
  • to refrain from donating semen or sperm while participating in this study and for 28 days after discontinuation from this study treatment.
  • All subjects must agree to refrain from donating blood while on study drug and for 28 days after discontinuation from this study treatment.
  • All subjects must agree not to share medication.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Women during pregnancy and lactation.
  • History of hypersensitivity to the investigational medicinal product or to any drug with similar chemical structure or to any excipient present in the pharmaceutical form of the investigational medicinal products. This includes empagliflozin, placebo and human insulin.
  • Participation in other clinical trials or observation period of competing trials up to 30 days prior to this study.
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Known malformation of the central nervous system
  • Persons working nightshift
  • Treatment with glucose lowering drugs, drugs with central nervous actions or systemic steroid therapy
  • Any relevant (according to investigator's judgment) cardiovascular disease, e.g. myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome, unstable angina pectoris, Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), heart failure (NYHA II-IV), stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), within 12 months prior to screening.
  • Indication of liver disease, as per medical history or defined by serum levels of either Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT [SGPT]), Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST [SGOT]), or alkaline phosphatase above 3 x upper limit of normal (ULN) as determined during screening.
  • Alcohol abuse, defined as more than 20 gr/day
  • Impaired renal function, defined as estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) ≤ 60 ml/min (MDRD formula) as determined during screening.
  • Known structural and functional urogenital abnormalities, that predispose for urogenital infections.
  • Subjects with a haemoglobin (Hb) ≤ 11.5 g/dl (for males) and Hb ≤ 10.5 g/dl (for females) at screening.
  • Bariatric surgery within the past two years and other gastrointestinal surgeries that induce chronic malabsorption within the last 5 years.
  • Medical history of cancer (except for basal cell carcinoma) and/or treatment for cancer within the last 5 years.
  • Treatment with anti-obesity drugs 3 months prior to informed consent or any other treatment at the time of screening (i.e. surgery, aggressive diet regimen, etc.) leading to unstable body weight.
  • Known autoimmune disease (except autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland) or chronic inflammatory condition.
  • Claustrophobia
  • Any other clinically significant major organ system disease at screening such as relevant gastrointestinal, neurologic, psychiatric, endocrine (i.e. pancreatic), hematologic, malignant, infection or other major systemic diseases making implementation of the protocol or interpretation of the study results difficult.
  • Presence of any contraindication for the conduct of an MRI investigation, such as cardiac pacemakers, ferromagnetic haemostatic clips in the central nervous system, metallic splinters in the eye, ferromagnetic or electronically operated active devices like automatic cardioverter defibrillators, cochlear implants, insulin pumps and nerve stimulators, prosthetic heart valves etc.
  • Refusal to get informed of unexpected detected pathological MRI findings

Any other clinical condition that would jeopardize subjects' safety while participating in this clinical trial.


Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03227484


Contacts
Contact: Martin Heni, MD +4970712982711 martin.heni@med.uni-tuebingen.de
Contact: Vera Schmid, MSc +4970712980662 vera.schmid@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Locations
Germany
University of Tuebingen, Department of Internal Medicine IV Recruiting
Tübingen, Germany, 72076
Contact: Martin Heni, MD    +49 7071 29 82714    martin.heni@med.uni-tuebingen.de   
Contact: Andreas Fritsche, MD    +49 7071 29 82714    andreas.fritsche@med.uni-tuebingen.de   
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Hospital Tuebingen
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Martin Heni, MD University Hospital Tuebingen

Responsible Party: University Hospital Tuebingen
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03227484     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Empabrain01
First Posted: July 24, 2017    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 6, 2018
Last Verified: May 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Empagliflozin
Insulin Resistance
Body Weight
Prediabetic State
Glucose Intolerance
Hyperinsulinism
Glucose Metabolism Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Diabetes Mellitus
Endocrine System Diseases
Hyperglycemia
Insulin
Hypoglycemic Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs