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1.  Associations of Fetuin-A levels with vascular disease in type 2 diabetes patients with early diabetic nephropathy 
Ambigous results exist on fetuin-A as marker for vascular disease in type 2 diabetes. This study aims to define the role of fetuin-A as marker for micro- and macrovascular disease in a high risk population of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and early diabetic nephropathy.
Fetuin-A serum levels were assessed by ELISA in a cross-sectional setting in 153 patients with type 2 diabetes. Associations of fetuin-A with metabolic, inflammatory and vascular markers were studied. Atherosclerotic burden was assessed by ankle-brachial-index (ABI) as well as detection of common carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT).
Levels of fetuin-A were lower in male than in female patients (0.49 ± 0.15 vs. 0.56 ± 0.20 g/L, p = 0.02). In addition, there was an inverse correlation with age (r = -0.20, P = 0.01). Bivariate correlations adjusted for age and gender revealed no significant correlations with metabolic parameters, except for a weak inverse correlation with serum adiponectin (r = -0.19, p = 0.02). Regarding parameters of micro- and macrovascular disease, fetuin-A was significantly associated with ABI (r = 0.18, p = 0.04), while there was no association with IMT (r = -0.07, p = n.s). Patients with an ABI < 0.9 had lower fetuin A levels than patients with an ABI 0.9-1.3 or > 1.3 (0.43 ± 0.10 vs. 0.52 ± 0.17 vs. 0.54 ± 0.18 g/L p = 0.05). Neither GFR nor albuminuria were associated with fetuin-A serum levels. Patients with prevalent neuropathy did not have altered fetuin-A levels compared to diabetic controls. In step-wise logistic regression analysis including age, gender, HbA1c, total cholesterol, glomerular filtration rate and fetuin-A, only total cholesterol (β = 0.01, p = 0.02) and fetuin-A (β = -5.99, p = 0.03) proved to be independent predictors of an ABI < 0.9.
The results of this cross-sectional study suggest that lower fetuin-A levels are associated with macrovascular late complications in high-risk type 2 diabetes patients while there are no associations of fetuin-A with metabolic status or microvascular complications.
PMCID: PMC2949712  PMID: 20822519
2.  Soluble RAGE but not endogenous secretory RAGE is associated with albuminuria in patients with type 2 diabetes 
Total circulating soluble receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (sRAGE) and a more defined endogenous secretory splice variant of the receptor (esRAGE) were shown to be associated with different markers of cardiovascular risk in patients with diabetes. Since previous data were partly divergent, the aim of this study was to compare sRAGE and esRAGE in a head-to-head analysis in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) with albuminuria.
sRAGE and esRAGE were studied in plasma of 110 T2DM patients using enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (ELISA) detecting either sRAGE or esRAGE only. Both sRAGE and esRAGE were compared with regard to applicability as markers for vascular disease and glucose control in T2DM.
In bivariate analysis, sRAGE correlated with age (R = 0.22, p = 0.02) and the 24 hour albumin excretion rate (R = 0.18, p = 0.05), while esRAGE correlated positively with age only (R = 0.23, p = 0.02). In contrast to previous reports, neither sRAGE nor esRAGE correlated with glucose control or intima-media-thickness (IMT) as a predictor of macrovascular disease. In multivariate regression models, the associations between sRAGE and albuminuria as well as esRAGE and age were shown to be independent of glucose control, diabetes duration, body-mass index, glomerular filtration rate, blood pressure and gender.
This is the first study comparing sRAGE and esRAGE as markers of vascular complications in patients with T2DM. sRAGE but not esRAGE is independently associated with albuminuria in these patients while neither sRAGE nor esRAGE are associated with markers of glucose control or macrovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC1821011  PMID: 17343760
3.  Increased proinflammatory endothelial response to S100A8/A9 after preactivation through advanced glycation end products 
Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which a perpetuated activation of NFkappaB via the RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products)-MAPK signalling pathway may play an important pathogenetic role. As recently S100 proteins have been identified as ligands of RAGE, we sought to determine the effects of the proinflammatory heterodimer of S100A8/S100A9 on the RAGE-NFkappaB mediated induction of proinflammatory gene expression.
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were preincubated for 72 h with AGE-albumin or unmodified albumin for control, whereas AGE-albumin induction resulted in an upregulation of RAGE. Following this preactivation, cells were stimulated for 48 h with heterodimeric human recombinant S100A8/S100A9.
Heterodimeric S100A8/S100A9 enhanced secretion of IL-6, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and MCP1 in AGE-albumin pretreated HUVEC in a dose dependent manner. These effects could not be detected after stimulation with the homodimeric proteins S100A8, S100A9, S100A1 and S100B. The effects of heterodimeric S100A8/S100A9 were reduced by inhibition of the MAP-kinase pathways ERK1/2 and p38 by PD 98059 and SB 203580, respectively.
The heterodimeric S100A8/S100A9 might therefore play a hitherto unknown role in triggering atherosclerosis in diabetes and renal failure, pathophysiological entities associated with a high AGE burden. Thus, blocking heterodimeric S100A8/S100A9 might represent a novel therapeutic modality in treating atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC1475836  PMID: 16573830

Results 1-3 (3)