An investigation into the pleiotropic activity of metformin. A glimpse of haemostasis.


Laboratory of Bioanalysis, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Drug Analysis and Radiopharmacy, Medical University of Lodz, ul. Muszyńskiego 1, 90-151, Lodz, Poland. Electronic address: [Email]


The most characteristic features of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance, however, patients with T2DM are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and atherosclerosis. Diabetes, frequently related to metabolic and vascular impairments, is also associated with thrombosis, increased blood coagulation and an imbalance between coagulation and fibrinolysis. Metformin is the most often used oral glucose-lowering agent; its beneficial properties include lowering insulin resistance, weight reduction and cardioprotection. Available data suggest that the advantageous properties of metformin stem from its favourable effects on endothelium, and anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. This paper reviews the favourable impact of metformin on endothelial function, with particular emphasis on the release of endogenous molecules modulating the state of the vascular endothelium and coagulation. It also summarizes the present knowledge on the influence of metformin on platelet activity and plasma haemostasis, including clot formation, stabilization and fibrinolysis. Its findings confirm that metformin should constitute first line therapy of T2DM subjects; however, more comprehensive methodical studies are required to discover the full potential of this drug.



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