DPP-4 Inhibitors as Treatments for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Diabetes Res. 2018 Jan 8;2018:5308582. doi: 10.1155/2018/5308582. eCollection 2018.


Objective: Several clinical studies have reported the application of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors as treatments for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). This study aims to review the outcomes of these existing studies and to discuss the therapeutic effects of DPP-4 inhibitors on T1DM.

Methods: We thoroughly searched the Medline, Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane Library databases and ClinicalTrials.gov for studies concerning the use of DPP-4 inhibitors in patients with T1DM.

Results: In preclinical trials, DPP-4 inhibitors improved the pathogenesis of T1DM. However, only a portion of the studies showed potential efficacy regarding clinical glycemic control and other clinical parameters. From this meta-analysis, pooled data from 5 randomized controlled trials revealed that the additional use of DPP-4 inhibitors resulted in a greater decrease in glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels (0.07%, 95% CI (-0.37%-0.23%)) than insulin monotherapy, although the decrease was not significant. A small decrease in postprandial glucose or insulin consumption was confirmed.

Conclusion: Although DPP-4 inhibitors may be beneficial for T1DM, existing studies do not strongly support these positive effects in clinical practice. Further optimized clinical trials are needed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Postprandial Period


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin