DPP-4 inhibitors may contribute to a lowered risk and progression of acute respiratory complications for people with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19.
According to commentary in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Endocrinologist Gianluca Iacobellis, MD, Ph.D. suggests that DPP-4 inhibitors could help decrease COVID-19-related immune overreaction in people with diabetes. This immune system calming is due to DPP-IVs anti-inflammatory effects.
All told, DPP-4 “may represent a potential target for preventing and reducing the risk and the progression of the acute respiratory complications that Type 2 diabetes may add to the COVID-19 infection,” Iacobellis wrote in his article.
Based on data from the Chinese city of Wuhan and Italy, people with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of serious disease in the current pandemic. The data indicates that people with diabetes have accounted for a large proportion of intensive care admission and deaths related to COVID-19.
“The body is overreacting with this inflammatory response to the virus,” Dr. Iacobellis said in a statement. “This could be partially mediated by DPP-4. The virus binds to the enzyme and the enzymatic activity of DPP4 overexpresses inflammatory cytokines, exaggerating the inflammatory response.”
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