Background & aims: Preliminary evidence suggests that inhibition of dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-IV preserves pancreatic beta cell function in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, its effects on liver histology in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), hepatic complication of diabetes, have not yet been adequately explored. The present open-label, single-arm observational pilot study investigated the effects of one year of treatment with a dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitor, sitagliptin, on liver histology, body mass index (BMI), and laboratory parameters in NASH patients with T2D.
Patients and methods: Paired liver biopsies from 15 diabetic patients with NASH (7 males, 8 females; mean age: 49.7 +/- 8.1 years (range: 36-62)) before and after one year of therapy with sitagliptin 100 mg once daily were studied. Clinical and laboratory parameters were recorded.
Results: Treatment with sitagliptin resulted in a significant decrease in ballooning (P = 0.014) and NASH scores (P = 0.04), while the reduction in the steatosis score was of borderline statistical significance (P = 0.054). These effects were accompanied by a significant reduction in body mass index, AST, and ALT levels.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that sitagliptin ameliorates liver enzymes and hepatocyte ballooning in NASH patients with T2D and may have therapeutic implications.