OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of treatment with the dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitor vildagliptin on insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function in subjects with impaired fasting glucose (IFG). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 22 subjects with IFG (11 female and 11 male, mean +/- SD age 59.6 +/- 11.5 years) were treated orally with 100 mg vildagliptin once daily in a single-blind study. Subjects received placebo for 2 weeks (run-in) followed by vildagliptin for 6 weeks (treatment) and then placebo for 2 weeks (washout). A frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGT), followed by a 2-h meal tolerance test (MTT), was performed at 2, 8, and 10 weeks. From the FSIGT, the acute insulin response to glucose (AIR(g)) and insulin sensitivity index (S(I)) were determined and used to compute the disposition index (AIR(g) x S(I)) as a measure of beta-cell function. RESULTS: Fasting plasma glucose did not change after 6 weeks of vildagliptin treatment. With treatment, mean +/- SEM AIR(g) increased from 224 +/- 44 to 286 +/- 52 pmol/l (P < 0.05), and S(I) improved from 2.8 +/- 0.5 to 3.5 +/- 0.5 x 10(-5) x min(-1) x pmol(-1) x l (P < 0.01), resulting in an increase in the disposition index from 688 +/- 180 to 1,164 +/- 318 x 10(-5)/min (P < 0.05). These effects were not sustained after washout. During the MTT, the incremental area under the glucose curve was significantly decreased after treatment (240 +/- 15 vs. 191 +/- 14 mmol x l(-1) x min(-1); P = 0.002), but this effect was not sustained after washout. CONCLUSIONS: The DPP-4 inhibitor vildagliptin improves insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function, leading to improved postprandial glycemia in subjects with IFG, who are known to have beta-cell dysfunction. Thus, vildagliptin may prevent progression to diabetes in high-risk subjects.