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Concept: Insulin resistance


Experimental evidence suggests that higher levels of urea may increase insulin resistance and suppress insulin secretion. However, whether higher levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) are associated with increased risk of incident diabetes mellitus in humans is not known. To study this, we built a national cohort of 1,337,452 United States Veterans without diabetes to characterize the association of BUN and risk of incident diabetes. Over a median follow-up of 4.93 years, there were 172,913 cases of incident diabetes. In joint risk models of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and BUN. there was no association between eGFR and the risk of incident diabetes in those with a BUN of 25 mg/dl or less. However, the risk was significantly increased in those with a BUN over 25 mg/dl at all eGFR levels, even in those with an eGFR of 60 ml/min/1.73m2 or more (hazard ratio 1.27; confidence interval 1.24-1.31). The risk of incident diabetes was highest in those with BUN over 25 mg/dL and an eGFR under 15 ml/min/1.73m2 (1.68; 1.51-1.87). Spline analyses of the relationship between BUN and risk of incident diabetes showed that risk was progressively higher as BUN increased. In models where eGFR was included as a continuous covariate, compared to a BUN of 25 mg/dl or less, a BUN over 25 mg/dl was associated with increased risk of incident diabetes (1.23; 1.21-1.25). Every 10 ml/min/1.73m2 decrease in eGFR was not associated with risk of incident diabetes (1.00; 1.00-1.01). Two-stage residual inclusion analyses showed that, independent of the impact of eGFR, every 10 mg/dL increase in BUN concentration was associated with increased risk of incident diabetes (1.15; 1.14-1.16). Thus, higher levels of BUN are associated with increased risk of incident diabetes mellitus.

Concepts: Nephrology, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Renal function, Blood urea nitrogen, Insulin resistance, Urea


Despite a considerable amount of data available on the relationship between dietary glycemic index (GI) or load (GL) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, in aggregate, the area remains unsettled. The aim of the present review was to summarize the effect of diets differing in GI/GL on CVD risk factors, by examining randomized controlled-feeding trials that provided all food and beverages to adult participants. The studies included a low and high GI/GL diet phase for a minimum of four weeks duration, and reported at least one outcome related to CVD risk; glucose homeostasis, lipid profile or inflammatory status. Ten publications representing five trials were identified. The low GI/GL compared to the high GI/GL diet unexpectedly resulted in significantly higher fasting glucose concentrations in two of the trials, and a lower area under the curve for glucose and insulin in one of the two studies during an oral glucose tolerance test. Response of plasma total, low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations was conflicting in two of the studies for which data were available. There was either weak or no effect on inflammatory markers. The results of the five randomized controlled trials satisfying the inclusion criteria suggest inconsistent effects of the GI/GL value of the diet on CVD risk factors.

Concepts: Nutrition, Atherosclerosis, Diabetes mellitus, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Blood sugar, Insulin resistance, Glycemic index


We used a mixed-methods approach to explore the relationships between participants' perceptions of family members' diabetes self-care knowledge, family members' diabetes-specific supportive and nonsupportive behaviors, and participants' medication adherence and glycemic control (A1C).

Concepts: Biology, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Support, Technical support


Type 1 diabetes is associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD). Decreased endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) number plays a pivotal role in reduced endothelial repair and development of CVD. We aimed to determine if cardioprotective effect of metformin is mediated by increasing circulating endothelial progenitor cells (cEPCs), pro-angiogenic cells (PACs) and decreasing circulating endothelial cells (cECs) count whilst maintaining unchanged glycemic control.

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Blood vessel, Diabetes, Endothelial progenitor cell, Insulin resistance


OBJECTIVE The possible interaction of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and obesity in regard to type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance has not been well studied. To explore the effect modification of obesity on the association between 25(OH)D and insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes, data were examined from a nationally representative sample. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The analytic sample for the type 2 diabetes analysis (n = 12,900) was limited to participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2006 over 20 years of age. Participants >20 years of age assigned to the morning session and free of diabetes were limited to the insulin resistance analysis (n = 5,806). Multiplicative interaction was assessed through a cross-product interaction term in a multiple logistic regression model. The presence of additive interaction between insufficient 25(OH)D and obesity (indicated by BMI or waist circumference) was evaluated by calculation of the relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) and attributable proportion due to interaction (AP). RESULTS There was no multiplicative interaction of insufficient 25(OH)D and obesity on type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. Furthermore, none of the RERI or AP values were statistically significant in the diabetes analysis. However, there was strong additive interaction between abdominal obesity and insufficient 25(OH)D (RERI 6.45 [95% CI 1.03-11.52]) in regard to insulin resistance. In addition, 47% of the increased odds of insulin resistance can be explained by interaction between insufficient 25(OH)D and high BMI (AP 0.47 [95% CI 0.08-0.87]). CONCLUSIONS Within a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample, abdominal obesity and insufficient 25(OH)D interact to synergistically influence the risk of insulin resistance.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Vitamin D, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Insulin resistance, Metabolic syndrome


Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion, but the mechanisms underlying insulin secretion failure are not completely understood. Here, we show that a set of co-expressed genes, which is enriched for genes with islet-selective open chromatin, is associated with T2D. These genes are perturbed in T2D and have a similar expression pattern to that of dedifferentiated islets. We identify Sox5 as a regulator of the module. Sox5 knockdown induces gene expression changes similar to those observed in T2D and diabetic animals and has profound effects on insulin secretion, including reduced depolarization-evoked Ca(2+)-influx and β-cell exocytosis. SOX5 overexpression reverses the expression perturbations observed in a mouse model of T2D, increases the expression of key β-cell genes and improves glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in human islets from donors with T2D. We suggest that human islets in T2D display changes reminiscent of dedifferentiation and highlight SOX5 as a regulator of β-cell phenotype and function.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Insulin resistance


BACKGROUND: Expression profile of the toll like receptors (TLRs) on PBMCs is central to the regulation of proinflammatory markers. An imbalance in the TLRs expression may lead to several types of inflammatory disorders. Furthermore, the dynamic regulation of inflammatory activity and associated impaired production of cytokines by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in obese individulas remain poorly understood. Therefore, we determined the perturbation in TLRs (TLR2 and TLR4), their adaptor proteins (MyD88, IRAK1 and TRAF6) expression in PBMCs/subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) as well as inflammatory cytokines changes in obese individuals. METHODS: mRNA expression levels of TLR2, TLR4, IL-6, TNF-alpha and adaptor proteins were determined by RT-PCR. TLR2, TLR4 and adaptor proteins expression in AT was determined by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Obese and overweight individuals showed significantly increased expression of TLR2, TLR4 and MyD88 in both PBMCs and AT as compared with lean individuals (P < 0.05). Interestingly, we found a remarkably higher expression of TLRs in obese and overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes (P < 0.05). Increased expression of TLR2, TLR4, MyD88 and IRAK1 correlated with body mass index (BMI) (TLR2: r = 0.91; TLR4: r = 0.88, P <0.0001; MyD88: r = 0.95, P < 0.0001; IRAK1 r = 0.78, P < 0.002). TLRs' expression was also correlated with fasting blood glucose (FBG) (TLR2: r = 0.61, P < 0.002; TLR4: r = 0.52, P < 0.01) and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) ( TLR2: r = 0.44, P <0.03; TLR4: r = 0.48, P < 0.03). Transcript levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were highly elevated in obese subjects compared to lean subjects. There was a strong association of TLRs' expression in PBMCs with TNF-alpha (TLR2: r = 0.92; TLR4: r = 0.92; P < 0.0001) and IL-6 (TLR2: r = 0.91, P < 0.0001; TLR4: r = 0.81; P < 0.001). Similarly adaptor proteins were significantly correlated with TNF-alpha (MyD88: r = 0.9, P < 0.0001; IRAK1: r = 0.86; P < 0.0002) and IL-6 (MyD88: r = 0.91, P < 0.0001; IRAK1: 0.77; P < 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: TLRs and adapter proteins were overexpressed in PBMCs from obese subjects, which correlated with increased expression of TNF-alpha and IL-6. This association may explain a potential pathophysiological link between obesity and inflammation leading to insulin resistance.

Concepts: Inflammation, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Toll-like receptor, Insulin resistance, Adipose tissue, Body mass index, PBMC


The synthetic retinoid, Fenretinide (FEN), inhibits obesity and insulin resistance in mice and is in early clinical trials for treatment of insulin resistance in obese humans. We aimed to determine whether alterations in retinoic acid (RA)-responsive genes contribute to the beneficial effects of FEN. We examined the effect of FEN on 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation and alterations in gene expression in C57Bl/6 and retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH)1 knockout (KO) mice fed a high-fat (HF) diet. FEN completely inhibited adipocyte differentiation by blocking CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) α/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ-mediated induction of downstream genes and upregulating RA-responsive genes like cellular retinol-binding protein-1. In mice fed a HF diet, RA-responsive genes were markedly increased in adipose, liver, and hypothalamus, with short-term and long-term FEN treatment. In adipose, FEN inhibited the downregulation of PPARγ and improved insulin sensitivity and the levels of adiponectin, resistin, and serum RBP (RBP4). FEN inhibited hyperleptinemia in vivo and leptin expression in adipocytes. Surprisingly, hypothalamic neuropeptide Y expression was completely suppressed, suggesting a central effect of FEN to normalize hyperglycemia. Moreover, FEN induced RA-responsive genes in RALDH1 KO mice, demonstrating that FEN can augment RA signaling when RA synthesis is impaired. We show that FEN-mediated beneficial effects are through alterations in retinoid homeostasis genes, and these are strong candidates as therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity and insulin resistance.

Concepts: Gene, Gene expression, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Insulin resistance, Adipose tissue, Leptin



BACKGROUND: We hypothesized that clinical factors other than glycemic control may influence abnormal cardiac function in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We aimed to investigate the independent factors for abnormal cardiac function among clinical factors in T2DM. METHODS: We studied 148 asymptomatic patients with T2DM without overt heart disease. Echocardiographic findings were compared between diabetic patients and 68 age-matched healthy subjects. Early (E) and late (A) diastolic mitral flow velocity and early diastolic mitral annular velocity (e') were measured for assessing left ventricular (LV) diastolic function. We evaluated insulin resistance, non-esterified fatty acid, high-sensitive CRP, estimated glomerular filtration rate, waist/hip ratio, abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT), subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and other clinical characteristics in addition to glycemic control. VAT and SAT were quantified by computed tomography. RESULTS: In T2DM, E/A and e' were significantly lower, and E/e', left atrial volume and LV mass were significantly greater than in control subjects. In multivariate liner regression analysis, VAT was an independent determinant of left atrial volume (beta =0.203, p=0.011), E/A (beta =-0.208, p=0.002), e' (beta =-0.354, p<0.001) and E/e' (beta=0.220, p=0.003). Age was also an independent determinant, whereas fasting plasma glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels were not. In addition to systolic blood pressure, waist-hip ratio (beta=0.173, p=0.024) and VAT/SAT ratio (beta=0.162, p=0.049) were independent determinants of LV mass. CONCLUSION: Excessive visceral fat accompanied by adipocyte dysfunction may play a greater role than glycemic control in the development of diastolic dysfunction and LV hypertrophy in T2DM.

Concepts: Blood, Hypertension, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Adipose tissue