Acute hyperglycaemia is an independent cardiovascular risk factor in Type 2 diabetes which may be mediated through increased oxidative damage to plasma low density lipoprotein, and in vitro, high glucose concentrations promote proatherogenic adhesion molecule expression and matrix metalloproteinase expression.
We examined these atherogenic risk markers in 21 subjects with Type 2 diabetes and 20 controls during an oral 75 g glucose tolerance test. Plasma soluble adhesion molecule concentrations [E-selectin, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1], plasma matrix metalloproteinases [MMP-3 and 9] and plasma LDL oxidisability were measured at 30 minute intervals.
In the diabetes group, the concentrations of all plasma soluble adhesion molecules fell promptly [all p < 0.0001] related principally to glycaemic excursions, but such changes also occurred in the control group. Plasma MMP-3 and -9 concentrations were lower [p < 0.05], and LDL oxidisability greater [p < 0.01] in the diabetes group but did not change in either group. There was a direct relationship between plasma MMP-9 and s ICAM-1 in the controls [r = 0.62; p = 0.006] perhaps suggesting a functional relationship between s ICAM-1 shedding and MMP-9.
A glucose load leads to a rapid fall in plasma soluble adhesion molecule concentrations in Type 2 diabetes and controls, perhaps reflecting reduced generation of soluble from membrane forms during enhanced leukocyte – endothelial adhesion or increased hepatic clearance, without changes in plasma matrix metalloproteinase concentrations or low density lipoprotein oxidisability. These in vivo findings are in contrast with in vitro data.