Administration of heme arginate ameliorates murine type 2 diabetes independently of heme oxygenase activity

Abhijeet K Choudhary, Jillian Rennie, Carolynn Cairns, Gary Borthwick, Jeremy Hughes, Nicholas M Morton, David Kluth, Bryan R Conway

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Amelioration of rodent type 2 diabetes by hemin has been linked to increased heme oxygenase (HO) activity, however alternative mechanisms have recently been proposed for its anti-diabetic effect. We sought to determine the anti-diabetic efficacy of heme arginate (HA), a clinically licensed preparation of heme, and whether its predominant mode of action is via increased HO activity. Intravenous administration of HA reduced hyperglycemia in diabetic (db/db) mice. Co-administration of the HO inhibitor stannous (IV) mesoporphyrin IX dichloride (SM) resulted unexpectedly in a further improvement in glycaemic control despite restoring HO activity to baseline levels. The anti-diabetic effects of HA±SM were associated with increased adiposity, increased serum adiponectin levels, reduced adipose tissue and islet inflammation and preservation of islet β-cell function. HO activity independent effects of HA on adipogenesis and β-cell inflammation were further confirmed in cell culture models using the 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte and MIN6 β-cell lines, respectively. In conclusion, our work demonstrates that the heme component of HA ameliorates experimental type 2 diabetes by promoting metabolically favourable adipogenesis and preserving islet β-cell function, but this is not mediated via increased HO activity.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere78209
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2013


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