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Open access

Francesca Urbano, Antonino Di Pino, Roberto Scicali, Agnese Filippello, Stefania Di Mauro, Alessandra Scamporrino, Simona Marchisello, Agata Maria Rabuazzo, Francesco Purrello and Salvatore Piro

Objective

Statin therapy has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in high-risk populations; however, the pathophysiology of this association remains to be clarified. We investigated glucagon suppression and its relationship with insulin resistance in prediabetic subjects undergoing atorvastatin therapy; in addition, we studied molecular insulin signaling in pancreatic α-cells exposed to atorvastatin in vitro.

Design and methods

Fifty subjects with prediabetes were divided into two groups based on atorvastatin therapy. All subjects underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Early (0–30 min), late (30–120 min) and overall (0–120 min) glucagon suppression were evaluated. Insulin sensitivity was estimated by the insulin sensitivity index (ISI0–120). Insulin signaling pathway and insulin-mediated glucagon suppression were investigated in pancreatic αTC1-6 cells chronically exposed (24 or 48 h) to atorvastatin (100 ng/mL).

Results

Individuals on statin therapy (n = 26) showed a significantly reduced early (0–30 min) (P = 0.003) and overall (0–120 min) (P = 0.01) glucagon suppression compared with controls (n = 24). In multivariate regression analysis, early glucagon suppression (0–30 min) exhibited a significant correlation with statin therapy. Regression analysis showed a significant association between ISI 0-120 and early0-30 (r = 0.33, P < 0.05) and overall0-120 (r = 0.38, P < 0.05) glucagon suppression. Moreover, in αTC1-6 cells atorvastatin treatment affected insulin-mediated glucagon suppression, insulin receptor phosphorylation and IRS-1-AKT pathway signaling.

Conclusions

Prediabetic patients undergoing statin therapy exhibit impaired glucagon suppression associated with lower insulin sensitivity. Our data revealed a new molecular aspect behind the deregulation of insulin sensitivity secondary to statin exposure.

Open access

Omar S Al-Attas, Nasser M Al-Daghri, Majed S Alokail, Assim Alfadda, Ahmed Bamakhramah, Shaun Sabico, Dave Pritlove, Alison Harte, Gyanendra Tripathi, Philip G McTernan, Sudhesh Kumar and George Chrousos

Objective

Studies in obesity have implicated adipocytokines in the development of insulin resistance, which in turn may lead to accelerated aging. In this study, we determined associations of chromosomal telomere length (TL) to markers of obesity and insulin resistance in middle-aged adult male and female Arabs with and without diabetes mellitus type 2 (DMT2).

Design and methods

One hundred and ninety-three non-diabetic and DMT2 subjects without complications (97 males and 96 females) participated in this cross-sectional study. Clinical data, as well as fasting blood samples, were collected. Serum glucose and lipid profile were determined using routine laboratory methods. Serum insulin, leptin, adiponectin, resistin, tumor necrosis factor-α, and PAI-1 were quantified using customized multiplex assay kits. High sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and angiotensin II (ANG II) were measured using ELISAs. Circulating leukocyte TL was examined by quantitative real-time PCR.

Results

Circulating chromosomal leukocyte TL had significant inverse associations with body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)- and total cholesterol, ANG II and hsCRP levels. Adiponectin, BMI, systolic blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol predicted 47% of the variance in TL (P<0.0001). HOMA-IR was the most significant predictor for TL in males, explaining 35% of the variance (P=0.01). In females, adiponectin accounted for 28% of the variance in TL (P=0.01).

Conclusion

Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with chromosomal TL among adult Arabs. Evidence of causal relations needs further investigation. The positive association of adiponectin to TL has clinical implications as to the possible protective effects of this hormone from accelerated aging.

Open access

Anders H Olsson, Tina Rönn, Claes Ladenvall, Hemang Parikh, Bo Isomaa, Leif Groop and Charlotte Ling

Context

Mitochondrial ATP production is important in the regulation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Genetic factors may modulate the capacity of the β-cells to secrete insulin and thereby contribute to the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Objective

The aim of this study was to identify genetic loci in or adjacent to nuclear-encoded genes of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) pathway that are associated with insulin secretion in vivo.

Design and methods

To find polymorphisms associated with glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, data from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 1467 non-diabetic individuals, including the Diabetes Genetic Initiative (DGI), was examined. A total of 413 single nucleotide polymorphisms with a minor allele frequency ≥0.05 located in or adjacent to 76 OXPHOS genes were included in the DGI GWAS. A more extensive population-based study of 4323 non-diabetics, the PPP-Botnia, was used as a replication cohort. Insulinogenic index during an oral glucose tolerance test was used as a surrogate marker of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Multivariate linear regression analyses were used to test genotype–phenotype associations.

Results

Two common variants were identified in the DGI, where the major C-allele of rs606164, adjacent to NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) 1 subunit C2 (NDUFC2), and the minor G-allele of rs1323070, adjacent to cytochrome c oxidase subunit VIIa polypeptide 2 (COX7A2), showed nominal associations with decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (P=0.0009, respective P=0.003). These associations were replicated in PPP-Botnia (P=0.002 and P=0.05).

Conclusion

Our study shows that genetic variation near genes involved in OXPHOS may influence glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in vivo.

Open access

Zhaoyun Zhang, Qin Li, Wenqiang He, Huijia Qiu, Hongying Ye, Yongfei Wang, Ming Shen, Min He, Yifei Yu, Xuefei Shou, Chuanxin Huang, Huan Yu, Guoqian Huang, Weijun Tang, Daoying Geng, Chaowei Fu, Congjin Liu, Zengyi Ma, Zhao Ye, Qilin Zhang, Yichao Zhang, Yue Shen, Yeping Yang, Meng Wang, Xingdang Liu, Yun Lu, Renming Hu, Ying Mao, Liangfu Zhou, Yiming Li, Shiqi Li, Nicholas A Tritos and Yao Zhao

Context

Chronic excess of growth hormone (GH) often leads to systemic complications. The reversibility of these complications after GH resolution is not fully understood.

Objective

To investigate when and to what extent will the comorbidities be ameliorated.

Design

We conducted a prospective study comprising 24 patients with acromegaly, who achieved remission after transsphenoidal surgery. The dynamic changes of endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, sleep, bone and morphology parameters were evaluated at enrollment and 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after surgery.

Results

Random GH dropped by 98.4% at the first day postoperatively. IGF-I index dropped by 50% and 64% at 1 week and 1 month respectively and remained unchanged onwards. Glucose metabolism improved significantly at 1 week and stabilized at 1 month. Testosterone in male patients recovered to normal range since 1 month. Systolic blood pressures dropped markedly at 3 months while diastolic blood pressures fell mildly at later visits. Abnormal lung function showed no improvement. The decrease of bone formation and resorption markers occurred at 1 week and 3 months, respectively. At 1 month, the tongue area declined while the airway volume increased significantly, accompanied with improved obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Extremities, lips and nasal ala became smaller since 1 week. Liver, kidney and spleen volumes declined by 6.4, 15.9, 9.2%, respectively at 1 month. The volumes of pancreas and adrenal showed no change.

Conclusions

The rapid resolution of excessive GH led to the reversible changes of systemic comorbidities in a time-dependent and organ-specific manner.

Open access

Blerim Mujaj, Daniel Bos, Maryam Kavousi, Aad van der Lugt, Jan A Staessen, Oscar H Franco and Meike W Vernooij

Background

To investigate the association between fasting serum insulin and glucose levels with atherosclerotic plaque composition in the carotid artery. Impaired insulin and glucose levels are implicated in the etiology of cardiovascular disease; however, their influence on the formation and composition of atherosclerotic plaque remains unclear.

Methods

In 1740 participants (mean age 72.9 years, 46% women, 14.4% diabetes mellitus) from the population-based Rotterdam Study, we performed carotid MRI to evaluate the presence of calcification, lipid core, and intraplaque hemorrhage in carotid atherosclerosis. All participants also underwent blood sampling to obtain information on serum insulin and glucose levels. Using logistic regression models, we assessed the association of serum insulin and glucose levels (per s.d. and in tertiles) with the different plaque components, while adjusting for sex, age, intima-media thickness, and cardiovascular risk factors.

Results

Serum insulin levels were associated with the presence of intraplaque hemorrhage (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 1.42 (95% CI: 1.12–1.7)) We found no association with the presence of calcification or lipid core. Sensitivity analyses restricted to individuals without diabetes mellitus yielded similar results. No associations were found between serum glucose levels and any of the plaque components.

Conclusions

Serum insulin levels are associated with the presence of vulnerable components of carotid plaque, specifically with intraplaque hemorrhage. These findings suggest a complex role for serum insulin in the pathophysiology of carotid atherosclerosis and in plaque vulnerability.

Open access

George Tharakan, Preeshila Behary, Nicolai J Wewer Albrechtsen, Harvinder Chahal, Julia Kenkre, Alexander D Miras, Ahmed R Ahmed, Jens J Holst, Stephen R Bloom and Tricia Tan

Objective

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery is currently the most effective treatment for diabetes and obesity. An increasingly recognized and highly disabling complication of RYGB is postprandial hypoglycaemia (PPH). The pathophysiology of PPH remains unclear with multiple mechanisms suggested including nesidioblastosis, altered insulin clearance and increased glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion. Whilst many PPH patients respond to dietary modification, some have severely disabling symptoms. Multiple treatments are proposed, including dietary modification, GLP-1 antagonism, GLP-1 analogues and even surgical reversal, with none showing a more decided advantage over the others. A greater understanding of the pathophysiology of PPH could guide the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Methods

We studied a cohort of PPH patients at the Imperial Weight Center. We performed continuous glucose monitoring to characterize their altered glycaemic variability. We also performed a mixed meal test (MMT) and measured gut hormone concentrations.

Results

We found increased glycaemic variability in our cohort of PPH patients, specifically a higher mean amplitude glucose excursion (MAGE) score of 4.9. We observed significantly greater and earlier increases in insulin, GLP-1 and glucagon in patients who had hypoglycaemia in response to an MMT (MMT Hypo) relative to those that did not (MMT Non-Hypo). No significant differences in oxyntomodulin, GIP or peptide YY secretion were seen between these two groups.

Conclusion

An early peak in GLP-1 and glucagon may together trigger an exaggerated insulinotropic response to eating and consequent hypoglycaemia in patients with PPH.

Open access

Miikka-Juhani Honka, Aino Latva-Rasku, Marco Bucci, Kirsi A Virtanen, Jarna C Hannukainen, Kari K Kalliokoski and Pirjo Nuutila

Objective

Insulin resistance is reflected by the rates of reduced glucose uptake (GU) into the key insulin-sensitive tissues, skeletal muscle, liver and adipose tissue. It is unclear whether insulin resistance occurs simultaneously in all these tissues or whether insulin resistance is tissue specific.

Design and methods

We measured GU in skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and liver and endogenous glucose production (EGP), in a single session using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose with positron emission tomography (PET) and euglycemic–hyperinsulinemic clamp. The study population consisted of 326 subjects without diabetes from the CMgene study cohort.

Results

Skeletal muscle GU less than 33 µmol/kg tissue/min and subcutaneous adipose tissue GU less than 11.5 µmol/kg tissue/min characterized insulin-resistant individuals. Men had considerably worse insulin suppression of EGP compared to women. By using principal component analysis (PCA), BMI inversely and skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and liver GU positively loaded on same principal component explaining one-third of the variation in these measures. The results were largely similar when liver GU was replaced by EGP in PCA. Liver GU and EGP were positively associated with aging.

Conclusions

We have provided threshold values, which can be used to identify tissue-specific insulin resistance. In addition, we found that insulin resistance measured by GU was only partially similar across all insulin-sensitive tissues studied, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and liver and was affected by obesity, aging and gender.

Open access

Allan Vaag and Sørens Lund

This review addresses the apparent disconnect between international guideline recommendations, real-life clinical practice and the results of clinical trials, with regard to the initiation of insulin using basal (long-acting) or premixed insulin analogues in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). English language guidelines vary considerably with respect to recommended glycaemic targets, the selection of human vs analogue insulin, and choice of insulin regimen. Randomised trials directly comparing insulin initiation between basal and premixed analogues are scarce, and hard endpoint outcome data are inadequate. The evidence presented suggests that a major component of the HbA1c not being attained in every day clinical practice may be a result of factors that are not adequately addressed in forced titration trials of highly motivated patients, including failure to comply with complex treatment and monitoring regimens. Enforced intensification of unrealistic complex treatment regimens and glycaemic targets may theoretically worsen the psychological well-being in some patients. More simple and sustainable treatment regimens and guidelines are urgently needed. As for the use of insulin in T2D, there is limited evidence to convincingly support that initiation of insulin using basal insulin analogues is superior to initiation using premixed insulin analogues. While awaiting improved clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness data, practical guidance from national and international diabetes organisations should consider more carefully the importance of: i) being clear and consistent; and ii) the early implementation of sustainable and cost-effective insulin treatment regimens with an emphasis on optimising treatment ease of use and patient compliance.

Open access

Maarit K Koskinen, Olli Helminen, Jaakko Matomäki, Susanna Aspholm, Juha Mykkänen, Marjaana Mäkinen, Ville Simell, Mari Vähä-Mäkilä, Tuula Simell, Jorma Ilonen, Mikael Knip, Riitta Veijola, Jorma Toppari and Olli Simell

Objective

We aimed to characterize insulin responses to i.v. glucose during the preclinical period of type 1 diabetes starting from the emergence of islet autoimmunity.

Design and methods

A large population-based cohort of children with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes was observed from birth. During regular follow-up visits islet autoantibodies were analysed. We compared markers of glucose metabolism in sequential intravenous glucose tolerance tests between 210 children who were positive for multiple (≥2) islet autoantibodies and progressed to type 1 diabetes (progressors) and 192 children testing positive for classical islet-cell antibodies only and remained healthy (non-progressors).

Results

In the progressors, the first phase insulin response (FPIR) was decreased as early as 4–6 years before the diagnosis when compared to the non-progressors (P=0.001). The difference in FPIR between the progressors and non-progressors was significant (P<0.001) in all age groups, increasing with age (at 2 years: difference 50% (95% CI 28–75%) and at 10 years: difference 172% (95% CI 128–224%)). The area under the 10-min insulin curve showed a similar difference between the groups (P<0.001; at 2 years: difference 36% (95% CI 17–58%) and at 10 years: difference 186% (95% CI 143–237%)). Insulin sensitivity did not differ between the groups.

Conclusions

FPIR is decreased several years before the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, implying an intrinsic defect in β-cell mass and/or function.

Open access

Astrid Plamboeck, Simon Veedfald, Carolyn F Deacon, Bolette Hartmann, André Wettergren, Lars B Svendsen, Søren Meisner, Claus Hovendal, Filip K Knop, Tina Vilsbøll and Jens J Holst

Objective

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) is rapidly inactivated by dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), but may interact with vagal neurons at its site of secretion. We investigated the role of vagal innervation for handling of oral and i.v. glucose.

Design and methods

Truncally vagotomised subjects (n=16) and matched controls (n=10) underwent 50 g-oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)±vildagliptin, a DPP4 inhibitor (DPP4i) and isoglycaemic i.v. glucose infusion (IIGI), copying the OGTT without DPP4i.

Results

Isoglycaemia was obtained with 25±2 g glucose in vagotomised subjects and 18±2 g in controls (P<0.03); thus, gastrointestinal-mediated glucose disposal (GIGD) – a measure of glucose handling (100%×(glucoseOGTT−glucoseIIGI/glucoseOGTT)) – was reduced in the vagotomised compared with the control group. Peak intact GLP1 concentrations were higher in the vagotomised group. Gastric emptying was faster in vagotomised subjects after OGTT and was unaffected by DPP4i. The early glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide response was higher in vagotomised subjects. Despite this, the incretin effect was equal in both groups. DPP4i enhanced insulin secretion in controls, but had no effect in the vagotomised subjects. Controls suppressed glucagon concentrations similarly, irrespective of the route of glucose administration, whereas vagotomised subjects showed suppression only during IIGI and exhibited hyperglucagonaemia following OGTT. DPP4i further suppressed glucagon secretion in controls and tended to normalise glucagon responses in vagotomised subjects.

Conclusions

GIGD is diminished, but the incretin effect is unaffected in vagotomised subjects despite higher GLP1 levels. This, together with the small effect of DPP4i, is compatible with the notion that part of the physiological effects of GLP1 involves vagal transmission.