Table of Contents
image Acute and chronic response to vanadium following two methods of streptozotocin-diabetes induction.
image Effects of vanadyl sulfate on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
image Oral vanadyl sulfate improves insulin sensitivity in NIDDM but not in obese nondiabetic subjects.
image Oral vanadyl sulfate improves hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
image Toxicity studies on one-year treatment of non-diabetic and streptozotocin-diabetic rats with vanadyl sulphate.


Acute and chronic response to vanadium following two methods of streptozotocin-diabetes induction.

Can J Physiol Pharmacol (CANADA) Feb 1997, 75 (2) p83-90

Controversial reports on the efficacy and possible toxicity of vanadium obtained from various studies may be attributed to differences in the method of diabetes induction and (or) to differences in animal strains. The objective of this study was to evaluate the contribution of these two factors to the effects of vanadium in the treatment of experimental diabetes. Two methods of streptozotocin induction of diabetes in rats have been used for studying the antidiabetic effects of vanadium. One involves a single intravenous injection of 60 mg/kg streptozotocin, and the other uses two subcutaneous injections of 40 mg/kg streptozotocin, to either Wistar or Sprague-Dawley rats. In a 7-week chronic study, Sprague-Dawley rats appeared to develop a more severe diabetes (indicated by higher plasma cholesterol and higher fasting plasma glucose levels) following the single intravenous injection of streptozotocin than rats made diabetic by two subcutaneous injections of streptozotocin. Irrespective of the method of diabetes induction, the responses of all the diabetic animals to chronic vanadyl sulphate treatment were similar. In an acute study, Wistar diabetic rats were more responsive than Sprague-Dawley diabetic rats to vanadyl sulphate and to lower doses (0.6 and 0.8 mmol/kg) of a new organic vanadium compound, bis(maltolato)oxovanadium(i.v.).

Effects of vanadyl sulfate on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Metabolism (UNITED STATES) Sep 1996, 45 (9) p1130-5

The safety and efficacy of vanadyl sulfate (VS) was tested in a single-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eight patients (four men and four women) with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) received VS (50 mg twice daily orally) for 4 weeks. Six of these patients (four men and two women) continued in the study and were given a placebo for an additional 4 weeks. Euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps were performed before and after the VS and placebo phases. VS was associated with gastrointestinal side effects in six of eight patients during the first week, but was well tolerated after that. VS administration was associated with a 20% decrease in fasting glucose concentration (from 9.3 +/- 1.8 to 7.4 +/- 1.4 mmol/L, P < .05) and a decrease in hepatic glucose output (HGO) during hyperinsulinemia (from 5.0 +/- 1.0 pre-VS to 3.1 +/- 0.9 micromol/kg x min post-VS, P < .02). The improvement in fasting plasma glucose and HGO that occurred during VS treatment was maintained during the placebo phase. VS had no significant effects on rates of total-body glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis, glycolysis, carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation, or lipolysis during euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps. We conclude that VS at the dose used was well tolerated and resulted in modest reductions of fasting plasma glucose and hepatic insulin resistance. However, the safety of larger doses and use of vanadium salts for longer periods remains uncertain.

Oral vanadyl sulfate improves insulin sensitivity in NIDDM but not in obese nondiabetic subjects.

Diabetes (UNITED STATES) May 1996, 45 (5) p659-66

We compared the effects of oral vanadyl sulfate (100 mg/day) in moderately obese NIDDM and nondiabetic subjects. Three-hour euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic (insulin infusion 30 mU / m / min) clamps were performed after 2 weeks of placebo and 3 weeks of vanadyl sulfate treatment in six nondiabetic control subjects (age 37 +/- 3 years; BMI 29.5 +/- 2.4 kg/m2 ) and seven NIDDM subjects (age 53 +/- 2 years; BMI 28.7 +/-1.8 kg/m2). Glucose turnover ([3-3 H]glucose), glycolysis from plasma glucose, glycogen synthesis, and whole-body carbohydrate and lipid oxidation were evaluated. Decreases in fasting plasma glucose (by approximately 1.7 mmol/l) and HbAlc (both P < 0.05) were observed in NIDDM subjects during treatment; plasma glucose was unchanged in control subjects. In the latter, the glucose infusion rate (GIR) required to maintain euglycemia (40.1 +/- 5.7 and 38.1 +/- 4.8 micromol / kg fat-free mass FFM / min) and glucose disposal (Rd) (41.7 +/- 5.7 and 38.9 +/-4.7 micromol / kg FFM / min were similar during placebo and vanadyl sulfate administration, respectively. Hepatic glucose output (HGO) was completely suppressed in both studies. In contrast, in NIDDM subjects, vanadyl sulfate increased GIR approximately 82% (17.3 +/- 4.7 to 30.9 +/- 2.7 micromol / kg FFM / min, P < 0.05); this improvement in insulin sensitivity was due to both augmented stimulation of Rd (26.0 +/-4.0 vs. 33.6 +/- 2.22 micromol / kg FFM / min, P < 0.05) and enhanced suppression of HGO (7.7 +/- 3.1 vs. 1.3 +/- 0.9 micromol / kg FFM / min, P < 0.05). Increased insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis accounted for >80% of the increased Rd with vanadyl sulfate (P < 0.005), but plasma glucose flux via glycolysis was unchanged. In NIDDM subjects, vanadyl sulfate was also associated with greater suppression of plasma free fatty acids (FFAs) (P < 0.01) and lipid oxidation (P < 0.05) during clamps. The reduction in HGO and increase in Rd were both highly correlated with the decline in plasma FFA concentrations during the clamp period (P < 0.001). In conclusion, small oral doses of vanadyl sulfate do not alter insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic subjects, but it does improve both hepatic and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity in NIDDM subjects in part by enhancing insulin's inhibitory effect on lipolysis. These data suggest that vanadyl sulfate may improve a defect in insulin signaling specific to NIDDM.

Oral vanadyl sulfate improves hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

J Clin Invest (UNITED STATES) Jun 1995, 95 (6) p2501-9

We examined the in vivo metabolic effects of vanadyl sulfate (VS) in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Six NIDDM subjects treated with diet and/or sulfonylureas were examined at the end of three consecutive periods: placebo for 2 wk, VS (100 mg/d) for 3 wk, and placebo for 2 wk. Euglycemic hyperinsulinemic (30 mU/m2.min) clamps and oral glucose tolerance tests were performed at the end of each study period. Glycemic control at baseline was poor (fasting plasma glucose 210 +/- 19 mg/dl; HbA1c 9.6 +/- 0.6%) and improved after treatment (181 +/- 14 mg/dl [P < 0.05], 8.8 +/- 0.6%, [P < 0.002]); fasting and post-glucose tolerance test plasma insulin concentrations were unchanged. After VS, the glucose infusion rate during the clamp was increased (by approximately 88%, from 1.80 to 3.38 mg/kg.min, P < 0.0001). This improvement was due to both enhanced insulin-mediated stimulation of glucose uptake (rate of glucose disposal [Rd], +0.89 mg/kg.min) and increased inhibition of HGP (-0.74 mg/kg.min) (P < 0.0001 for both). Increased insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis (+0.74 mg/kg.min, P < 0.0003) accounted for > 80% of the increased Rd after VS, and the improvement in insulin sensitivity was maintained after the second placebo period. The Km of skeletal muscle glycogen synthase was lowered by approximately 30% after VS treatment (P < 0.05). These results indicate that 3 wk of treatment with VS improves hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant NIDDM humans. These effects were sustained for up to 2 wk after discontinuation of VS.

Toxicity studies on one-year treatment of non-diabetic and treptozotocin-diabetic rats with vanadyl sulphate.

Pharmacol Toxicol (DENMARK) Nov 1994, 75 (5) p265-73

Streptozotocin-diabetic and non-diabetic rats were given vanadyl sulphate in drinking water at concentrations of 0.5-1.5 mg/ml for one year. It was found that vanadyl treatment did not produce persistent changes in plasma aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and urea, specific morphological abnormalities in the brain, thymus, heart, lung, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidney, adrenal, or testis, or abnormal organ weight/body weight ratio for these organs in either non-diabetic or diabetic animals. Treatment significantly reduced the incidence of the occurrence of urinary stones in non-diabetic rats. In diabetic animals vanadyl treatment significantly reduced the mortality rate and prevented the elevation of plasma levels of alanine aminotransferase and urea, the increases in organ size, and the occurrence of megacolon but did not affect the development of renal and testicular tumours. Plasma and tissue concentrations of vanadium were determined and found to have the following order of distribution: bone > kidney > testis > liver > pancreas > plasma > brain. Vanadium was retained in these organs at 16 weeks following vanadyl withdrawal while the plasma levels were beneath detection limits. It is concluded that vanadyl sulphate at antidiabetic doses is not significantly toxic to rats following a one-year administration in drinking water, but vanadium may be retained in various organs for months after cessation of treatment.

Antidiabetic action of vanadyl in rats independent of in vivo insulin-receptor kinase activity.

Diabetes (UNITED STATES) Apr 1991, 40 (4) p492-8

The effects of oral vanadyl sulfate administration for 9-12 days on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in the basal state and on glucose dynamics during submaximal hyperinsulinemic clamps were investigated in nondiabetic and streptozocin-induced diabetic rats. Decreases in growth rate and water and food consumption were the only significant alterations noted in control animals receiving vanadyl. Administration of vanadyl to diabetic rats resulted in weight loss; a significant decrease in plasma glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels; and decreases in food and water intake, without a concomitant change in plasma insulin concentrations. Vanadyl treatment did not modify either peripheral glucose utilization or hepatic glucose production in control rats during submaximal insulin clamps. In contrast, vanadyl therapy increased insulin-induced glucose utilization significantly and had a small but nonsignificant effect on insulin-mediated suppression of glucose production in diabetic rats. The tyrosine kinase activity of liver- and muscle-derived insulin receptors from diabetic rats that underwent clamp study, which reflected the in vivo phosphorylation state of insulin receptor, was not altered by vanadyl treatment. In conclusion, these results show that augmentation of peripheral glucose utilization is the major determinant of the antidiabetic action of vanadyl and support the notion that the action of vanadyl is independent of insulin-receptor kinase activity.