Whether genetics can help predict response to type 2 diabetes (T2D) drugs is unknown. We set out to examine whether genetic risk scores (GRSs) composed of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) known to be associated with glycemic traits and T2D are associated with glycemic traits and the acute response to metformin and glipizide in SUGAR-MGH. We measured plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon, proinsulin, c-peptide, GLP-1, and GIP levels in 1,000 participants naïve to antidiabetes medications at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 minutes following administration of 5 mg glipizide (Visit 1, day 1), and during a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test following a short metformin course (Visit 2, day 8). We constructed a T2D, fasting glucose (FG), and fasting insulin (FI) GRS (with 65, 43 and 13 SNPs respectively) by summing the number of risk alleles carried by each person based on known genome-wide significant associations. Linear regression tested for associations between GRSs and glycemic traits as well as pharmacodynamic endpoints, adjusting for age, sex, race, and BMI. The FG GRS predicted FG in our cohort (β=0.46 increase in FG in mg/dL*allele, P<0.001). The FI GRS predicted fasting insulin (β=0.02 increase in ln FI in µU/mL*allele, P=0.04). A higher T2D GRS was associated with a shorter time to insulin peak, greater glucose area over the curve, shorter time to glucose trough, and steeper slope to glucose trough (P<0.05) after glipizide administration, indicating a stronger response. When we set a more stringent P-value of 0.008 to correct for multiple comparisons, the FG GRS remained associated with FG and the T2D GRS remained associated with the insulin-based endpoint. We conclude that established genetic determinants of glycemic traits predict FG and FI in our cohort of individuals free of overt diabetes; moreover, T2D risk alleles may predispose individuals to a greater insulin response to glipizide treatment.


J.H. Li: None. L. Szczerbinski: None. V. Kaur: None. J. Todd: None. J.C. Florez: None.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R01DK-088214, R03DK-077675, P30-DK-036836); Joslin Clinical Research Center; Harvard Catalyst; National Center for Research Resources/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (M01-RR-01066, 1UL1-RR-025758-04, 88UL1-TR-000170-05; Harvard University

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