Vol 64, No 3 (2013)
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Published online: 2013-07-01

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Changes of plasma fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) in oral glucose tolerance test and effects of metformin on FGF-21 levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus

Mei Zhang, Ying Liu, Zhong-yun Xiong, Zhi-yong Deng, Hao-lan Song, Zhen-Mei An
Endokrynol Pol 2013;64(3):220-224.


Introduction: The objectives of our study were to investigate whether fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) is involved in short-term regulation of glucose and the change of FGF-21 after metformin use in diabetic subjects.
Material and methods: 43 subjects were recruited in the study, including 27 new-onset type 2 diabetes patients (nT2DM). A 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was administered to them. Blood samples were taken at 0, 60 ,120 and 180 minute of OGTT. nT2DM subjects were invited for further investigation, metformin was administered in a dose of 1.0 g every day for 1 week.
Results: Plasma FGF-21 changed significantly in the nT2DM group during the OGTT administration but not in the control group. No gender differences were observed at different time points in FGF-21 levels (p < 0.05). Administration of metformin for nT2DM resulted in a significant decrease in both glucose and FGF-21 at all OGTT times and in insulin at 60 min and 180 min, indicative of a decrease in HOMA-IR.
Conclusion: FGF-21 does not seem to be involved in short-term regulation of glycaemia in human subjects, and the change in OGTT delayed in T2DM. FGF-21 may participate in the processing of metformin, improving glucose and insulin sensitivity. (Pol J Endocrinol 2013; 64 (3): 220–224)