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Susan Kralisch, Matthias Bluher, Anke Tonjes, Ulrike Lossner, Ralf Paschke, Michael Stumvoll and Mathias Fasshauer

Objective: Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 is upregulated in fat of obese rodents and promotes adipose tissue development in these animals. However, it is unclear whether TIMP-1 independently predicts adiposity in humans and whether serum levels are increased in s.c. and visceral obesity.

Design: Twenty-four lean, 16 s.c. obese, and 20 visceral obese subjects were studied.

Methods: Plasma TIMP-1 concentrations were quantified using ELISAs and correlated to clinical parameters.

Results: Plasma TIMP-1 levels were significantly different between lean (156 ± 42 μg/l), s.c. obese (186 ± 52 μg/l), and visceral obese (198 ± 42 μg/l) subjects (P < 0.01). Furthermore, TIMP-1 correlated positively with body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), % body fat, fasting insulin, free fatty acids, cholesterol, leptin, interleukin-6, and negatively with adiponectin (P < 0.05). Moreover, TIMP-1 serum levels predicted % body fat but not WHR independent of age, sex, and plasma insulin.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that increased TIMP-1 serum levels are found with increased adiposity in humans.

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Thomas Ebert, Susan Kralisch, Ulrike Wurst, Ulrike Lössner, Jürgen Kratzsch, Matthias Blüher, Michael Stumvoll, Anke Tönjes and Mathias Fasshauer

Objective

Betatrophin has recently been introduced as a novel adipokine/hepatokine, which promotes pancreatic β cell proliferation and improves glucose tolerance in several mouse models of insulin resistance. However, regulation of betatrophin in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), as well as its association with markers of obesity, such as glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammation, and renal function, have not been elucidated.

Design and methods

Circulating betatrophin was quantified in 74 women with GDM and 74 healthy and gestational age-matched controls by ELISA. In a subset of the study population comprising of 85 patients (41 previous controls, 44 previous women with GDM), postpartum betatrophin levels were measured in a follow-up study.

Results

Median (interquartile range) serum betatrophin levels were higher in women with GDM (1.79 (0.53) μg/l) as compared to non-diabetic pregnant controls (1.58 (0.44) μg/l) (P=0.002). In multivariate analysis, GDM status was an independent and positive predictor of circulating betatrophin (P=0.001). Furthermore, betatrophin levels were significantly higher during gestation (1.70 (0.53) μg/l) as compared to postpartum levels (1.55 (0.66) μg/l) (P=0.028). Moreover, postpartum irisin remained a positive and independent predictor of postpartum betatrophin concentrations.

Conclusions

Women with GDM have significantly higher betatrophin levels as compared to healthy pregnant controls and GDM status positively predicts circulating betatrophin. Furthermore, postpartum levels are significantly lower as compared to betatrophin concentrations during pregnancy. Moreover, irisin is a significant predictor of postpartum betatrophin levels.

Free access

Susan Kralisch, Holger Stepan, Jürgen Kratzsch, Michael Verlohren, Hans-Joachim Verlohren, Kathrin Drynda, Ulrike Lössner, Matthias Blüher, Michael Stumvoll and Mathias Fasshauer

Objective

Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (AFABP) was recently introduced as a novel adipokine, serum levels of which independently correlate with the development of the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease in humans. In the current study, we investigated serum concentrations of AFABP in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) as compared with healthy pregnant controls matched for gestational age and fasting insulin.

Design and methods

AFABP was determined by ELISA in controls (n=80) and GDM patients (n=40) and correlated to clinical and biochemical measures of renal function, glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as inflammation, in both groups.

Results

Median serum AFABP concentrations were significantly elevated in subjects with GDM (22.9 μg/l) as compared with healthy pregnant controls (18.3 μg/l; P<0.05). Furthermore, GDM was independently associated with AFABP concentrations in multiple regression analysis (P<0.05). In addition, markers of adiposity (body mass index, serum leptin), triglycerides and serum creatinine were independently associated with circulating AFABP (P<0.05).

Conclusions

Maternal AFABP concentrations are significantly increased in GDM. The adipokine might contribute to the increased metabolic and cardiovascular risk of the disease.

Free access

Thomas Ebert, Denise Focke, David Petroff, Ulrike Wurst, Judit Richter, Anette Bachmann, Ulrike Lössner, Susan Kralisch, Jürgen Kratzsch, Joachim Beige, Ingolf Bast, Matthias Anders, Matthias Blüher, Michael Stumvoll and Mathias Fasshauer

Objective

Irisin has recently been introduced as a novel myokine which reverses visceral obesity and improves glucose metabolism in mice. However, regulation of irisin in humans in relation to renal and metabolic disease has not been comprehensively studied.

Design and methods

Serum irisin levels were quantified by ELISA and correlated with anthropometric and biochemical parameters of renal function, glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as inflammation, in 532 patients with stages 1–5 of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Results

Median serum irisin levels adjusted for age, gender, and BMI significantly decreased with increasing CKD stage and lowest concentrations were seen in patients with CKD stage 5. Furthermore, irisin concentrations were associated with facets of the metabolic syndrome including diastolic blood pressure, markers of impaired glucose tolerance, and dyslipidemia in univariate analysis. Moreover, markers of renal function, e.g. glomerular filtration rate, and insulin resistance, e.g. homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, remained independently associated with circulating irisin levels in robust multivariate analysis.

Conclusions

We show that irisin serum concentrations decrease with increasing CKD stage and are independently and positively predicted by renal function and insulin resistance. The physiological relevance of our findings, as well as the factors contributing to irisin regulation in humans, needs to be further defined in future experiments.

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Susan Kralisch, Annett Hoffmann, Nora Klöting, Armin Frille, Hartmut Kuhn, Marcin Nowicki, Sabine Paeschke, Anette Bachmann, Matthias Blüher, Ming-Zhi Zhang, Raymond C Harris, Michael Stumvoll, Mathias Fasshauer and Thomas Ebert

Objective

Neuregulin 4 (NRG4) has recently been introduced as a novel brown adipose tissue (BAT)-secreted adipokine with beneficial metabolic effects in mice. However, regulation of Nrg4 in end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has not been elucidated, so far.

Design/methods

Serum NRG4 levels were quantified by ELISA in 60 subjects with ESKD on chronic hemodialysis as compared to 60 subjects with an estimated glomerular filtration rate >50 mL/min/1.73 m2 in a cross-sectional cohort. Within both groups, about half of the patients had a T2DM. Furthermore, mRNA expression of Nrg4 was determined in two mouse models of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) as compared to two different groups of non-diabetic control mice. Moreover, mRNA expression of Nrg4 was investigated in cultured, differentiated mouse brown and white adipocytes, as well as hepatocytes, after treatment with the uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate.

Results

Median serum NRG4 was significantly lower in patients with ESKD compared to controls and the adipokine was independently associated with a beneficial renal, glucose and lipid profile. In mice with DKD, Nrg4 mRNA expression was decreased in all adipose tissue depots compared to control mice. The uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate did not significantly alter Nrg4 mRNA expression in adipocytes and hepatocytes, in vitro.

Conclusions

Circulating NRG4 is independently associated with a preserved renal function and mRNA expression of -Nrg4 is reduced in adipose tissue depots of mice with DKD. The BAT-secreted adipokine is further associated with a beneficial glucose and lipid profile supporting NRG4 as potential treatment target in metabolic and renal disease states.