To explore the complementary effects of a combination of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 and sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors added to metformin on hormonal and metabolic responses to meal ingestion.


Forty-five patients (age 58 ± 8 years; HbA1c 58 ± 6 mmol/mol; BMI 30.7 ± 3.2 kg/m2) with type 2 diabetes uncontrolled with metformin were evaluated at baseline and 3 and 28 days after 5 mg saxagliptin (SAXA), 10 mg dapagliflozin (DAPA), or 5 mg saxagliptin plus 10 mg dapagliflozin (SAXA+DAPA) using a mixed-meal tolerance test (MMTT) spiked with dual-tracer glucose to assess glucose metabolism, insulin secretion, and sensitivity.


At day 3, fasting and mean MMTT glucose levels were lower with SAXA+DAPA (−31.1 ± 1.6 and −91.5 ± 12.4 mg/dL) than with SAXA (−7.1 ± 2.1 and −53 ± 10.5 mg/dL) or DAPA (−17.0 ± 1.1 and −42.6 ± 10.0 mg/dL, respectively; P < 0.001). Insulin secretion rate (SAXA+DAPA +75%; SAXA +11%; DAPA +3%) and insulin sensitivity (+2.2 ± 1.7, +0.4 ± 0.7, and +0.4 ± 0.4 mg kg−1 min−1, respectively) improved with SAXA+DAPA (P < 0.007). Mean glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) was higher with SAXA+DAPA than with SAXA or DAPA. Fasting glucagon increased with DAPA and SAXA+DAPA but not with SAXA. Fasting endogenous glucose production (EGP) increased with SAXA+DAPA and DAPA. During MMTT, EGP suppression was greater (48%) with SAXA+DAPA (vs. SAXA 44%; P = 0.02 or DAPA 34%; P = 0.2). Metabolic clearance rate of glucose (MCRglu) increased more with SAXA+DAPA. At week 4, insulin secretion rate, β-cell glucose sensitivity, and insulin sensitivity had further increased in the SAXA+DAPA group (P = 0.02), with no additional changes in GLP-1, glucagon, fasting or MMTT EGP, or MCRglu.


SAXA+DAPA provided superior glycemic control compared with DAPA or SAXA, with improved β-cell function, insulin sensitivity, GLP-1 availability, and glucose clearance.

Clinical trial reg. nos. NCT03714594, clinicaltrials.gov, and EudraCT2016-005140-41, https://eudract.ema.europa.eu

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.25541839.

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