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      Dipeptidyl Peptidase‐4 Inhibitors Attenuate Endothelial Function as Evaluated by Flow‐Mediated Vasodilatation in Type 2 Diabetic Patients


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          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.


          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: http://center.umin.ac.jp, Unique Identifiers: UMIN000005682 (sitagliptin versus voglibose) and UMIN000005681 (sitagliptin versus alogliptin).

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          Most cited references29

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          Cardioprotective and vasodilatory actions of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor are mediated through both glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor-dependent and -independent pathways.

          The glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) is believed to mediate glucoregulatory and cardiovascular effects of the incretin hormone GLP-1(7-36) (GLP-1), which is rapidly degraded by dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) to GLP-1(9-36), a truncated metabolite generally thought to be inactive. Novel drugs for the treatment of diabetes include analogues of GLP-1 and inhibitors of DPP-4; however, the cardiovascular effects of distinct GLP-1 peptides have received limited attention. Here, we show that endothelium and cardiac and vascular myocytes express a functional GLP-1R as GLP-1 administration increased glucose uptake, cAMP and cGMP release, left ventricular developed pressure, and coronary flow in isolated mouse hearts. GLP-1 also increased functional recovery and cardiomyocyte viability after ischemia-reperfusion injury of isolated hearts and dilated preconstricted arteries from wild-type mice. Unexpectedly, many of these actions of GLP-1 were preserved in Glp1r(-/-) mice. Furthermore, GLP-1(9-36) administration during reperfusion reduced ischemic damage after ischemia-reperfusion and increased cGMP release, vasodilatation, and coronary flow in wild-type and Glp1r(-/-) mice, with modest effects on glucose uptake. Studies using a DPP-4-resistant GLP-1R agonist and inhibitors of DPP-4 and nitric oxide synthase showed that the effects of GLP-1(7-36) were partly mediated by GLP-1(9-36) through a nitric oxide synthase-requiring mechanism that is independent of the known GLP-1R. These data describe cardioprotective actions of GLP-1(7-36) mediated through the known GLP-1R and novel cardiac and vascular actions of GLP-1(7-36) and its metabolite GLP-1(9-36) independent of the known GLP-1R. Our data suggest that the extent to which GLP-1 is metabolized to GLP-1(9-36) may have functional implications in the cardiovascular system.
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            A dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, des-fluoro-sitagliptin, improves endothelial function and reduces atherosclerotic lesion formation in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.

            The aim of this study was to investigate the antiatherogenic effects of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, des-fluoro-sitagliptin (DFS). The new class of anti-type 2 diabetes drugs, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, improves glucose metabolism by increasing levels of active glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1. Endothelial function was examined by acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation using aortic rings and atherosclerotic lesion development in the entire aorta in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice fed a high-fat diet with or without DFS, and the antiatherogenic effects of DFS were investigated in cultured human macrophages and endothelial cells. Plasma levels of active GLP-1 were measured in patients with or without coronary artery disease. DFS significantly improved endothelial dysfunction (89.9 ± 3.9% vs. 79.2 ± 4.3% relaxation at 10(-4) mol/l acetylcholine, p < 0.05) associated with increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation and reduced atherosclerotic lesion area (17.7% [15.6% to 25.8%] vs. 24.6% [19.3% to 34.6%], p < 0.01) compared with vehicle treatment. In cultured human macrophages, DFS significantly increased GLP-1-induced cytosolic levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate compared with GLP-1 alone, resulted in inhibiting phosphorylation of c-jun N-terminal kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and nuclear factor-kappa B p65 nuclear translocation through the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A pathway, and suppressed proinflammatory cytokines (i.e., interleukin-1-beta, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 production in response to lipopolysaccharide. DFS-enhanced GLP-1 activity sustained endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation and decreased endothelial senescence and apoptosis compared with GLP-1 alone. In the human study, fasting levels of active GLP-1 were significantly lower in patients with coronary artery disease than those without (3.10 pmol/l [2.40 to 3.62 pmol/l] vs. 4.00 pmol/l [3.10 to 5.90 pmol/l], p < 0.001). A DPP-4 inhibitor, DFS, exhibited antiatherogenic effects through augmenting GLP-1 activity in macrophages and endothelium. Copyright © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Relationship between insulin resistance and an endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor.

              Increased levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) are associated with endothelial dysfunction and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Several cardiovascular risk factors are associated with reduced sensitivity to insulin, but elevated ADMA concentrations have not been fully linked to the metabolic syndrome. To evaluate the relationship between insulin sensitivity and plasma ADMA concentrations, and to determine whether a pharmacological treatment that increases insulin sensitivity would also modulate ADMA concentrations. Cross-sectional study, containing a nonrandomized controlled trial component, of 64 healthy volunteers without diabetes (42 women, 22 men; 48 with normal blood pressure and 16 with hypertension), which was conducted at a university medical center between October 2000 and July 2001. Rosiglitazone (4 mg/d for 4 weeks and then 4 mg twice daily for 8 weeks), an insulin-sensitizing agent, was given to 7 insulin-resistant subjects with hypertension. These subjects were studied before and after 12-week treatment. Insulin sensitivity measured by the insulin suppression test, and fasting plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, insulin, and ADMA concentrations. Plasma ADMA concentrations were positively correlated with impairment of insulin-mediated glucose disposal in nondiabetic, normotensive subjects (r = 0.73; P<.001). Consistent with the metabolic syndrome, ADMA levels were also positively correlated with fasting triglyceride levels (r = 0.52; P<.001) but not with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (r = 0.19; P =.20). Plasma ADMA concentrations increased in insulin-resistant subjects independent of hypertension. Pharmacological treatment improved insulin sensitivity and reduced mean (SD) plasma ADMA concentrations from 1.50 (0.30) to 1.05 (0.33) micromol/L (P =.001). A significant relationship exists between insulin resistance and plasma concentrations of ADMA. Pharmacological intervention with rosiglitazone enhanced insulin sensitivity and reduced ADMA levels. Increases in plasma ADMA concentrations may contribute to the endothelial dysfunction observed in insulin-resistant patients.

                Author and article information

                J Am Heart Assoc
                J Am Heart Assoc
                Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd
                February 2013
                22 February 2013
                : 2
                : 1
                : e003277
                [1 ]Division of Anti‐aging and Vascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Japan (M.A., H.U.K., M.S., T.K., M.I., S.T., E.Y., K.N., M.Y., M.O., K.I.)
                [2 ]Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Japan (H.S.)
                [3 ]Department of Intensive Care, National Defense Medical College Hospital, Tokorozawa, Japan (B.T.)
                [4 ]National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan (N.I.)
                [5 ]Japan Self Defense Force Maizuru Hospital, Maizuru, Japan (N.I., T.M.)
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Makoto Ayaori, MD, PhD, Division of Anti‐aging and Vascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, National Defense Medical College, 3‐2 Namiki, Tokorozawa, Japan 359‐8513. E‐mail: ayaori@ 123456ndmc.ac.jp
                © 2013 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley-Blackwell.

                This is an Open Access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

                : 22 May 2012
                : 07 December 2012
                Original Research
                Vascular Medicine

                Cardiovascular Medicine
                dpp‐4 inhibitors,endothelial function,flow‐mediated vasodilatation,type 2 diabetes


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