[en] INTRODUCTION: Dipeptidylpeptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors offer new options for the management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). AREAS COVERED: This paper is an updated review, providing an analysis of both the similarities and the differences between the various compounds known as gliptins, currently used in the clinic (sitagliptin, vildagliptin, saxagliptin, alogliptin and linagliptin). This paper discusses the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics of gliptins; both the efficacy and safety profiles of gliptins in clinical trials (compared with classical glucose-lowering agents), given as monotherapy or in combination, including in special populations; the positioning of DPP-4 inhibitors in the management of T2DM in recent guidelines; and various unanswered questions and perspectives. EXPERT OPINION: The role of DPP-4 inhibitors in the therapeutic armamentarium of T2DM is evolving, as their potential strengths and weaknesses become better defined. Future critical issues may include the durability of glucose control, resulting from better beta-cell protection, positive effects on cardiovascular outcomes and long-term safety issues.