Aims: Elevated urinary albumin excretion is associated with macrovascular atherosclerotic complications in Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Adhesion molecules mediate leucocyte adhesion to the endothelium early in the atherosclerotic process. The present study tests the hypothesis that microalbuminuria and diabetic nephropathy are associated with elevated plasma concentrations of soluble vascular adhesion molecule (sVCAM)-1, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM)-1, and soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) aiming to illustrate factors of potential pathogenetic relevance for the excess cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients with renal complications.
Methods: Soluble adhesion molecule concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in healthy controls (n = 16) and in 59 Type 1 diabetic patients: group 1-patients with normoalbuminuria (n = 16); group 2-patients with microalbuminuria (n = 15); group 3-patients with macroalbuminuria and normal serum creatinine (n = 15), group 4-patients with macroalbuminuria and moderately elevated serum creatinine (n = 13).
Results: Plasma concentrations of sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 were similar in healthy controls and normoalbuminuric Type 1 diabetic patients, but the concentrations were increased by the presence of microalbuminuria and overt nephropathy (P < 0.001 and P < 0.0001, ANOVA). Concentrations of sE-selectin did not differ between diabetic patients and controls.
Conclusions: Plasma concentration of sICAM-1 is elevated in Type 1 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria and the concentrations of sICAM-1 as well as sVCAM-1 are elevated in patients with macroalbuminuria and normal s-creatinine. The elevated plasma concentrations of these soluble adhesion molecule concentrations in patients with renal complication can be of pathogenetic importance for the development of atherosclerosis and plasma soluble adhesion molecule concentrations may provide additional information on cardiovascular risk.