Potential use of aldose reductase inhibitors to prevent diabetic complications.

Reviewed are (1) the biochemical basis and pathophysiology of diabetic complications and (2) the structure-activity relationships, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical trials, and adverse effects of aldose reductase inhibitors (ARIs). ARIs are a new class of drugs potentially useful in preventing diabetic complications, the most widely studied of which have been cataracts and neuropathy. ARIs inhibit aldose reductase, the first, rate-limiting enzyme in the polyol metabolic pathway. In nonphysiological hyperglycemia the activity of hexokinase becomes saturated while that of aldose reductase is enhanced, resulting in intracellular accumulation of sorbitol. Because sorbitol does not readily penetrate the cell membrane it can persist within cells, which may lead to diabetic complications. ARIs are a class of structurally dissimilar compounds that include carboxylic acid derivatives, flavonoids, and spirohydantoins. The major pharmacologic action of an ARI involves competitive binding to aldose reductase and consequent blocking of sorbitol production. ARIs delay cataract formation in animals, but the role of aldose reductase in cataract formation in human diabetics has not been established. The adverse effects of ARIs include hypersensitivity reactions. Although the polyol pathway may not be solely responsible for diabetic complications, studies suggest that therapy with ARIs could be beneficial. Further research is needed to determine the long-term impact and adverse effects of ARIs in the treatment of diabetic complications.
AuthorsG J Zenon 3rd, C V Abobo, B L Carter, D W Ball
JournalClinical pharmacy (Clin Pharm) Vol. 9 Issue 6 Pg. 446-57 (Jun 1990) ISSN: 0278-2677 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID2114249 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Sugar Alcohol Dehydrogenases
  • Aldehyde Reductase
  • Aldehyde Reductase (antagonists & inhibitors)
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus (metabolism)
  • Humans
  • Sugar Alcohol Dehydrogenases (antagonists & inhibitors)

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