Dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitor sitagliptin reduces local inflammation in adipose tissue and in pancreatic islets of obese mice

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Feb;300(2):E410-21. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00463.2010. Epub 2010 Nov 16.


Adipose tissue inflammation and reduced pancreatic β-cell function are key issues in the development of cardiovascular disease and progressive metabolic dysfunction in type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the DPP IV inhibitor sitagliptin on adipose tissue and pancreatic islet inflammation in a diet-induced obesity model. C57Bl/6J mice were placed on a high-fat (60% kcal fat) diet for 12 wk, with or without sitagliptin (4 g/kg) as a food admix. Sitagliptin significantly reduced fasting blood glucose by 21% as well as insulin by ∼25%. Sitagliptin treatment reduced body weight without changes in overall body mass index or in the epididymal and retroperitoneal fat mass. However, sitagliptin treatment led to triple the number of small adipocytes despite reducing the number of the very large adipocytes. Sitagliptin significantly reduced inflammation in the adipose tissue and pancreatic islet. Macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue evaluated by immunostaining for Mac2 was reduced by sitagliptin (P < 0.01), as was the percentage of CD11b+/F4/80+ cells in the stromal vascular fraction (P < 0.02). Sitagliptin also reduced adipocyte mRNA expression of inflammatory genes, including IL-6, TNFα, IL-12(p35), and IL-12(p40), 2.5- to fivefold as well as 12-lipoxygenase protein expression. Pancreatic islets were isolated from animals after treatments. Sitagliptin significantly reduced mRNA expression of the following inflammatory cytokines: MCP-1 (3.3-fold), IL-6 (2-fold), IL-12(p40) (2.2-fold), IL-12(p35) (5-fold, P < 0.01), and IP-10 (2-fold). Collectively, the results indicate that sitagliptin has anti-inflammatory effects in adipose tissue and in pancreatic islets that accompany the insulinotropic effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adipocytes / ultrastructure
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adiposity / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • Neutrophil Infiltration / drug effects
  • Pyrazines / pharmacology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sitagliptin Phosphate
  • Triazoles / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors
  • Insulin
  • Pyrazines
  • Triazoles
  • Glucose
  • Sitagliptin Phosphate