Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibition: insights from the bench and recent clinical studies

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Purpose of review

Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death globally. The pathophysiology of atherosclerosis is not fully understood. Recent studies suggest dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4), a regulator of inflammation and metabolism, may be involved in the development of atherosclerotic diseases. Recent advances in the understanding of DPP4 function in atherosclerosis will be discussed in this review.

Recent findings

Multiple preclinical and clinical studies suggest DPP4/glucagon-like peptide-1 axis is involved in the development of atherosclerotic disease. However, several recent trials assessing the cardiovascular effects of DPP4 inhibition indicate enzymatic inhibition of DPP4 lacks beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease.


Catalytic inhibition of DPP4 with DPP4 inhibitors alters pathways that could favor cardioprotection. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor-independent aspects of DPP4 function may contribute to the overall neutral effects on cardiovascular outcome seen in the outcome trials.

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