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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.

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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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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.

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Mathias Fasshauer, Theresa Waldeyer, Jeannette Seeger, Susanne Schrey, Thomas Ebert, Jürgen Kratzsch, Ulrike Lössner, Matthias Blüher, Michael Stumvoll, Renaldo Faber and Holger Stepan

Objective

Preeclampsia (PE) is a serious cardiovascular complication in pregnancy which is associated with an increased future metabolic and cardiovascular risk for mother and newborn. Recently, a paradoxical upregulation of the insulin-sensitizing and anti-atherogenic adipokine adiponectin has been shown in PE. Furthermore, high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin has been suggested as the biologically active form of this adipokine.

Design and methods

HMW adiponectin and total adiponectin serum concentrations were quantified by ELISA in PE (n=16) patients and pregnant control women without PE (n=20). Furthermore, HMW adiponectin and total adiponectin were correlated to clinical and biochemical measures of renal function, glucose, and lipid metabolism, as well as inflammation.

Results

Median maternal HMW adiponectin and total adiponectin levels were significantly and independently upregulated almost twofold in PE when compared with controls. HMW adiponectin and total adiponectin correlated positively with creatinine and negatively with fasting insulin in univariate and multivariate analyses.

Conclusions

We show that maternal HMW adiponectin and total adiponectin serum concentrations are significantly increased in PE and are positively associated with markers of insulin sensitivity and renal dysfunction. Adiponectin might be part of a physiological feedback mechanism improving insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular health in PE.

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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.