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Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2014 May;122(5):316-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1371818. Epub 2014 Apr 7.

Effect of metformin on methylglyoxal metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes.

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2nd Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
Department of Internal Medicine I and Clinical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
Department of Family Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, -Hungary.
Joint Research Division, Molecular Metabolic Control, German Cancer Research Center DKFZ, Network Aging Research, ZMBH, Heidelberg, Germany.
Division of Clinical Chemistry/Central Laboratory, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tubingen, Tubingen, Germany.


The effect of metformin on methylglyoxal (MG) metabolism was studied in a prospective non-randomized 24 weeks trial in patients with type 2 diabetes.Metformin treatment, in addition to life style intervention, significantly reduced morning glucose and HbA1c whilst body weight and BMI were only marginally reduced during the 24 week trial. Treatment significantly reduced both plasma MG and carboxymethyl-lysine (CML), a marker of oxidative stress. The reduction in MG was paralleled by a significant increase in the activity of Glyoxalase 1 (Glo1), the major route of MG detoxification, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and red blood cells. Multivariate analysis showed that the changes in MG were dependent upon the metformin treatment.This study supports previous findings that metformin can reduce plasma MG in type 2 diabetic patients. However, given the observed increase in Glo1 activity, this reduction is due not only to the scavenging properties of metformin, but the restoration of Glo1 activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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