Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, p. 1-9 (2011); doi:10.1007/s00216-011-5286-7
The use of V(IV) complexes as insulin-enhancing agents has been increasing during the last decade. Among them, 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4-pyrone and 2-ethyl-3-hydroxy- 4-pyrone (maltol and ethyl maltol, respectively) have proven to be especially suitable as ligands for vanadyl ions. In fact, they have passed phase I and phase II clinical trials, respectively. However, the mechanism through which those drugs exert their insulin-mimetic properties is still not fully understood. Thus, the aim of this study is to obtain an integrated picture of the absorption, biodistribution and insulin-mimetic properties of the bis(maltolato)oxovanadium (IV) (BMOV) in streptozotocin-induced hyperglycaemic rats. For this purpose, BMOV hypoglycaemic properties were evaluated by monitoring both the circulating glucose and the glycohemoglobin, biomarkers of diabetes mellitus. In both cases, the results were drug concentration dependent. Using doses of vanadium at 3 mg/day, it was possible to reduce the glycaemia of the diabetic rats to almost control levels. BMOV absorption experiments have been conducted by intestinal perfusion revealing that approximately 35% of Vis absorbed by the intestinal cells. Additionally, the transport of the absorbed vanadium (IV) by serum proteins was studied. For this purpose, a speciation strategy using highperformance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for separation and inductively coupled serum mass spectrometry, ICP-MS, for detection has been employed. The obtained HPLC-ICPMS results, confirmed by MALDI-MS data, showed evidence that V, administered orally, is uniquely bound to transferrin in rat serum.