Brief Report| Volume 62, ISSUE 1, P39-43, January 2013

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The effect of metformin on monocyte secretory function in simvastatin-treated patients with impaired fasting glucose

  • Robert Krysiak
    Corresponding author. Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Medyków 18, PL 40–752 Katowice, Poland. Tel.: +48 322523902; fax: +48 322523902.
    Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
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  • Bogusław Okopien
    Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
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      This study was designed to investigate whether metformin affects monocyte secretory function in patients with impaired fasting glucose receiving chronic statin therapy.


      The study included 48 patients with impaired fasting glucose treated for at least three months with simvastatin (40 mg daily). These patients were randomized to either metformin (3 g daily) or placebo, which was administered together with simvastatin for 90 days. Plasma lipids, glucose homeostasis markers, monocyte cytokine release and plasma C-reactive protein levels were determined before randomization and at the end of the treatment.


      Compared to placebo, metformin reduced monocyte release of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and interleukin-8, as well as decreased plasma C-reactive protein levels, which were accompanied by an improvement in insulin sensitivity.


      The obtained results suggest that metformin may inhibit monocyte secretory function and reduce systemic inflammation in statin-treated patients with prediabetes. Impaired fasting glucose patients with high cardiovascular risk may receive the greatest benefits from concomitant treatment with a statin and metformin.



      CRP (C-reactive protein), FFA (free fatty acids), HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin), HDL (high-density lipoprotein), HOMA-IR (Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance), hsCRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein), IFG (impaired fasting glucose), LDL (low-density lipoprotein), MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1), TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α)
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