Objectives: Elevation of the plasma concentration of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), a rapid-acting inhibitor of fibrinolysis, is associated with development of cardiovascular diseases. We investigate the effects of empagliflozin, an SGLT2 inhibitor, on the plasma concentration of PAI-1 and fibrinolytic activity in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: In a randomized, active-controlled, open-label trial, 51 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly allocated at a 2:1 ratio to receive empagliflozin (10 mg/day, n=31) or standard therapy (n=18) for 12 weeks. We measured the plasma concentrations of PAI-1 and plasmin-α2-antiplasmin complex (PAP) as indicators of fibrinolytic activity. Serum leptin and HMW adiponectin were also measured.

Results: Body weight and visceral fat decreased in the empagliflozin group, but not in the control group. The serum level of γ-GTP showed a significant decrease at 12 weeks in the empagliflozin group, while it was unchanged in the control group. Serum HMW adiponectin increased significantly in the empagliflozin group. Plasma PAI-1 decreased significantly by 25% in the empagliflozin group, but not in the control group. In the empagliflozin group, the change of plasma PAI-1 was positively correlated with the changes of body weight and leptin, but was negatively correlated with the change of PAP.

Conclusions: Empagliflozin reduced the plasma PAI-1 concentration through its synergistic actions of a glucose-lowering effect, weight loss, and restoring the adipokine balance. The beneficial effects of empagliflozin on fibrinolysis by decreasing circulating PAI-1 may be associated with improvement of vascular thrombotic outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. (Clinical trial registry: UMIN000025418).


T. Niitani: None. S. Sakurai: None. T. Jojima: None. T. Iijima: None. T. Tomaru: Research Support; Self; Merck & Co., Inc., Teijin Pharma Limited. I. Usui: None. Y. Aso: None.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at http://www.diabetesjournals.org/content/license.