Sitagliptin and pioglitazone provide complementary effects on postprandial glucose and pancreatic islet cell function

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AimsThe effects of sitagliptin and pioglitazone, alone and in combination, on - and -cell function were assessed in patients with type 2 diabetes. MethodsFollowing a 6-week diet/exercise period, 211 patients with HbA1c of 6.5-9.0% and fasting plasma glucose of 7.2-14.4mmol/l were randomized (1:1:1:1) to sitagliptin, pioglitazone, sitagliptin+pioglitazone or placebo. At baseline and after 12weeks, patients were given a mixed meal followed by frequent blood sampling for measurements of glucose, insulin, C-peptide and glucagon. ResultsAfter 12weeks, 5-h glucose total area under the curve (AUC) decreased in all active treatments versus placebo; reduction with sitagliptin+pioglitazone was greater versus either monotherapy. The 5-h insulin total AUC increased with sitagliptin versus all other treatments and increased with sitagliptin+pioglitazone versus pioglitazone. The 3-h glucagon AUC decreased with sitagliptin versus placebo and decreased with sitagliptin+pioglitazone versus pioglitazone or placebo. (s), a measure of dynamic -cell responsiveness to above-basal glucose concentrations, increased with either monotherapy versus placebo and increased with sitagliptin+pioglitazone versus either monotherapy. The insulin sensitivity index (ISI), a composite index of insulin sensitivity, improved with pioglitazone and sitagliptin+pioglitazone versus placebo. The disposition index, a measure of the relationship between -cell function and insulin sensitivity, improved with all active treatments versus placebo. Conclusions<p id="dom12145-para-0004">Sitagliptin and pioglitazone enhanced -cell function (increasing postmeal phi(s)), and sitagliptin improved -cell function (decreasing postmeal glucagon) after 12weeks in patients with type 2 diabetes. Through these complementary mechanisms of action, the combination of sitagliptin and pioglitazone reduced postmeal glucose more than either treatment alone.


  • M. Alba
  • Bo Ahrén
  • S. E. Inzucchi
  • Y. Guan
  • M. Mallick
  • L. Xu
  • E. A. O'Neill
  • D. E. Williams-Herman
  • K. D. Kaufman
  • B. J. Goldstein
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, DPP-4, incretins, MK-0431, PPAR, agonist
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1110
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch