Aims: The aims of the study were to determine whether transforming growth factor beta1 TGF-beta1 levels are raised at diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes mellitus and are related to blood glucose.
Subjects and methods: Fourteen patients (mean age 24.3 +/- 4.9 years) admitted to hospital for onset of Type 1 diabetes were studied. On the first day of hospitalization, before insulin therapy, and at 1, 4 and 16 weeks, fasting blood glucose, HbA(1c), lipid profile and TGF-beta1 levels and TGF-beta1 levels in 24-h urine were determined. The control group included 14 non-diabetic subjects with similar characteristics to those of the diabetic group.
Results: Plasma and urinary TGF-beta1 levels were significantly lower in controls (4.7 (1.6-6.8) ng/ml P < 0.001; 5.7 (1.5-8.5) ng/mg urinary creatinine, P < 0.01) than in patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus [10.5 (1.8-24.9) ng/ml; 10.1 (4.2-29.8) ng/mg urinary creatinine]. On study completion, HbA(1c) fell from 11.6 +/- 2.0 to 5.4 +/- 0.6% (P < 0.001). Improved metabolic control was not associated with changes in plasma (9.4 (2.6-19.5)/5.9 (1.6-21.5)/7.0 (2.3-30.2)/10.5 (1.8-24.9) ng/ml at baseline, 1, 4 and 16 weeks, respectively) or urinary (12.0 (4.7-29.5)/10.9 (1.5-20.5)/8.7 (4.3-16.9)/10.1 (4.2-29.8) ng/mg urinary creatinine) TGF-beta1 levels. A statistically significant correlation was observed between plasma TGF-beta1 and insulin dosage (U/kg/day) (r = 0.52, P = 0.037).
Conclusions: The increased TGF-beta1 production observed herein was not modulated by glycaemic reduction and could be a response to immuno-inflammatory activation present at the onset of Type 1 diabetes.
Copyright 2004 Diabetes UK