DOI: 10.2337/db23-222-or ISSN: 0012-1797

222-OR: Metformin Reduces Fasting Glycemia in Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes by Promoting Aerobic Glycolysis Independent of Decreasing Endogenous Glucose Production

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine

It is well established that metformin improves glycemic control in individuals with poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes (T2D) by reducing rates of endogenous glucose production (EGP) mediated by inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis. However, the mechanism by which metformin reduces blood glucose levels in well-controlled individuals with T2D is still unknown. To address this question, we examined rates of EGP, lactate turnover and hepatic triglyceride (TAG), ATP and glycogen content in near-normoglycemic individuals with T2D (n=10, HbA1c 7±1%) with (M+; 1000 mg bid x 2 wks) and without (M-; 2 wks) metformin treatment using the PINTA method with [2H7]glucose and [3-13C]lactate tracer infusions in combination with 1H- /31P- /13C- magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Metformin treatment did not affect rates of EGP, but reduced fasting plasma glucose concentrations by 30% (p<0.01 vs. M-), which could be attributed to increased rates of glucose clearance (+18%, p<0.005 vs. M-) resulting in increased lactate production (+14%, p<0.01 vs. M-). These changes were associated with decreased hepatic ATP content (-20%, p<0.05 vs. M-), increased hepatic glycogen content (+40%, p<0.05 vs. M-) and no changes in hepatic TAG content. Conclusion: In contrast to the glucose-lowering effect of metformin in poorly-controlled T2D, which is due to reductions in gluconeogenesis, this study demonstrates that in well-controlled T2D metformin reduces fasting glycemia - independent of reductions in EGP - primarily by increasing rates of aerobic glycolysis as reflected by increased peripheral glucose clearance and lactate production as well as reduced hepatic ATP content, which is consistent with metformin-induced inhibition of mitochondrial electron transport chain activity.


T.Sarabhai: None. T.E.Lamoia: None. S.Friesl: None. M.Jonuscheit: None. K.Petersen: Advisory Panel; Novo Nordisk, Research Support; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Gilead Sciences, Inc. G.I.Shulman: Consultant; Novo Nordisk, DiCerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bayer Consumer Care AG, Kriya Therapeutics, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ESPERION Therapeutics, Inc., Other Relationship; AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., Inc., Janssen Research & Development, LLC, iMetabolic Biopharma Corporation, Maze Therapeutics, 89bio, Inc., Equator Therapeutics, Inc., Generian Pharmaceuticals, Fortress Biotech, Inc., OrsoBio, Aro Biotherapeutics Company, Stock/Shareholder; Levels Health, Inc. M.Roden: Advisory Panel; Eli Lilly and Company, Consultant; TARGET PharmaSolutions, Inc., Research Support; Boehringer-Ingelheim, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Sanofi.

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