Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors attenuate endothelial function as evaluated by flow-mediated vasodilatation in type 2 diabetic patients

Makoto Ayaori, Naotsugu Iwakami, Harumi Uto-Kondo, Hiroki Sato, Makoto Sasaki, Tomohiro Komatsu, Maki Iizuka, Shunichi Takiguchi, Emi Yakushiji, Kazuhiro Nakaya, Makiko Yogo, Masatsune Ogura, Bonpei Takase, Takehiko Murakami, Katsunori Ikewaki
Journal of the American Heart Association 2013 January 28, 2 (1): e003277

BACKGROUND: Endothelial dysfunction is an independent predictor for cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) reportedly exerts vasodilatory actions, and inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), an enzyme-degrading GLP-1, are widely used to treat T2DM. We therefore hypothesized that DPP-4 inhibitors (DPP-4Is) improve endothelial function in T2DM patients and performed 2 prospective, randomized crossover trials to compare the DPP-4I sitagliptin and an α-glucosidase inhibitor, voglibose (in study 1) and the DPP-4Is sitagliptin and alogliptin (in study 2).

METHODS AND RESULTS: In study 1, 24 men with T2DM (46±5 years) were randomized to sitagliptin or voglibose for 6 weeks without washout periods. Surprisingly, sitagliptin significantly reduced flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD; -51% compared with baseline, P<0.05) of the brachial artery despite improved diabetic status. In contrast, voglibose did not affect FMD. To confirm this result and determine whether it is a class effect, we conducted another trial (study 2) to compare sitagliptin and alogliptin in 42 T2DM patients (66±8 years) for 6 weeks with 4-week washout periods. Both DPP-4Is improved glycemic control but significantly attenuated FMD (7.2/4.3%, P<0.001, before/after sitagliptin; 7.0/4.8%, P<0.001, before/after alogliptin, respectively). Interestingly, FMD reduction was less evident in subjects who were on statins or whose LDL cholesterol levels were reduced by them, but this was not correlated with parameters including DPP-4 activity and GLP-1 levels or diabetic parameters.

CONCLUSIONS: Our 2 independent trials demonstrated that DPP-4 inhibition attenuated endothelial function as evaluated by FMD in T2DM patients. This unexpected unfavorable effect may be a class effect of DPP-4Is.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL:, Unique Identifiers: UMIN000005682 (sitagliptin versus voglibose) and UMIN000005681 (sitagliptin versus alogliptin).

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