Endocrine Reviews Journal Article

Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Metformin Action

December 07, 2020
 

Traci E LaMoia and Gerald I Shulman
Endocrine Reviews, First published online on September 8, 2020, bnaa023
https://doi.org/10.1210/endrev/bnaa023

Abstract

Metformin is a first-line therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, due to its robust glucose-lowering effects, well-established safety profile, and relatively low cost. While metformin has been shown to have pleotropic effects on glucose metabolism, there is a general consensus that the major glucose-lowering effect in patients with type 2 diabetes is mostly mediated through inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis. However, despite decades of research, the mechanism by which metformin inhibits this process is still highly debated. A key reason for these discrepant effects is likely due to the inconsistency in dosage of metformin across studies. Widely studied mechanisms of action, such as complex I inhibition leading to AMPK activation, have only been observed in the context of supra-pharmacological (>1 mM) metformin concentrations, which do not occur in the clinical setting. Thus, these mechanisms have been challenged in recent years and new mechanisms have been proposed. Based on the observation that metformin alters cellular redox balance, a redox-dependent mechanism of action has been described by several groups. Recent studies have shown that clinically relevant (50–100 µM) concentrations of metformin inhibit hepatic gluconeogenesis in a substrate-selective manner both in vitro and in vivo, supporting a redox-dependent mechanism of metformin action. Here, we review the current literature regarding metformin’s cellular and molecular mechanisms of action.

Read the article

 

You may also like...

Publishing Benefits

Author Resource Center

We provide our journal authors with a variety of resources for increasing the discoverability and citation of their published work. Use these tools and tips to broaden the impact of your article.
Publishing Benefits

Author Resource Center

We provide our journal authors with a variety of resources for increasing the discoverability and citation of their published work. Use these tools and tips to broaden the impact of your article.

Thematic Issue

Latest Thematic Issue

immuno-endocrinology
Read our special collections of Endocrine Society journal articles, curated by topic, Altmetric Attention Scores, and Featured Article designations.

Read our special collections of Endocrine Society journal articles, curated by topic, Altmetric Attention Scores, and Featured Article designations.

Back to top
Short on time?

We'll come to you...

Get updates on the latest breakthroughs, clinical practice guidelines, and career development opportunities, straight to your inbox

Then take the next step: Set up your free website account and get exclusive access to even more great tools & content!