Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP4) inhibitors have recently become widely used for treating type 2 diabetes, but in meta-analyses are associated with a mildly increased risk of all-cause infections. CD26 is a cell-surface form of DPP4 which can costimulate T-cell proliferation, raising the possibility that DPP4 inhibitors might adversely affect immune function. To address this issue in an observational study, two groups of 20 subjects each were recruited from a private endocrinology practice; one group consisted of type 2 diabetes patients treated for at least 6 months with the DPP4 inhibitor, sitagliptin, whereas patients in the other group had never been treated with this agent. The groups were similar with regard to sex and racial composition, body mass index, hemoglobin A1c, and use of other medications for diabetes, but the sitagliptin group was slightly older. A blood sample from each patient was analyzed for CD4+ T-cell activation in response to phytohemagglutinin using adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-stimulated bioluminescence. There was not a significant difference in T-cell activation between the treatment groups (median, 419 and 481 ng/ml ATP in the groups that were and were not treated with sitagliptin, respectively). Thus the observed increased rate of infection in diabetic patients treated with sitagliptin cannot be explained by a major effect on T-cell activation. Randomized studies, preferably using several assays of immune function, should be performed to confirm and extend these findings.
- Dipeptidyl peptidase IV
- Immune suppression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism