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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Apr;96(4):945-54. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-2178. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

Inhibition of DPP-4 with vildagliptin improved insulin secretion in response to oral as well as "isoglycemic" intravenous glucose without numerically changing the incretin effect in patients with type 2 diabetes.

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Diabeteszentrum Bad Lauterberg, 37431 Bad Lauterberg, Germany.



Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors block the degradation of glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. The aim of the present study was to quantitatively assess the incretin effect after treatment with the DPP-4 inhibitor vildagliptin (V) or placebo (P) in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Twenty-one patients (three women, 18 men) with type 2 diabetes previously treated with metformin (mean age, 59 yr; body mass index, 28.6 kg/m(2); glycosylated hemoglobin, 7.3%) were studied in a two-period crossover design. They received 100 mg V once daily or P for 13 d in randomized order. The incretin effect was measured on d 12 (75-g oral glucose) and d 13 ("isoglycemic" iv glucose) based on insulin and C-peptide determinations and insulin secretion rates (ISR).


V relative to P treatment significantly increased intact incretin concentrations after oral glucose and insulin secretory responses to both oral glucose and isoglycemic iv glucose (e.g. AUC(ISR oral), by 32.7%, P = 0.0006; AUC(ISR iv), by 33.1%, P = 0.01). The numerical incretin effect was not changed (IE(ISR), V vs. P, 35.7 ± 4.9 and 34.6 ± 4.0%, P = 0.80).


DPP-4 inhibition augmented insulin secretory responses both after oral glucose and during isoglycemic iv glucose infusions, with no net change in the incretin effect. Thus, slight variations in basal incretin levels may be more important than previously thought. Or, DPP-4 inhibitor-induced change in the incretin-related environment of islets may persist overnight, augmenting insulin secretory responses to iv glucose as well. Alternatively, yet unidentified mediators of DPP-4 inhibition may have caused these effects.

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