OBJECTIVE-We sought to establish the extent and mechanisms by which sitagliptin and metformin singly and in combination modify islet disease progression in human islet amyloid polypeptide transgenic (HIP) rats, a model for type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-HIP rats were treated with sitagliptin, metformin, sitagliptin plus metformin, or no drug as controls for 12 weeks. Fasting blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, and β-cell mass, function, and turnover were measured in each group. RESULTS-Sitagliptin plus metformin had synergistic effects to preserve β-cell mass in HIP rats. Metformin more than sitagliptin inhibited β-cell apoptosis. Metformin enhanced hepatic insulin sensitivity; sitagliptin enhanced extrahepatic insulin sensitivity with a synergistic effect in combination. β-Cell function was partially preserved by sitagliptin plus metformin. However, sitagliptin treatment was associated with increased pancreatic ductal turnover, ductal metaplasia, and, in one rat, pancreatitis. CONCLUSIONS-The combination of metformin and sitagliptin had synergistic actions to preserve β-cell mass and function and enhance insulin sensitivity in the HIP rat model of type 2 diabetes. However, adverse actions of sitagliptin treatment on exocrine pancreas raise concerns that require further evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism