Aims/hypothesis: Adipokines may be important in mediating signals from adipocytes to insulin-sensitive tissue and vasculature. We studied the effect of different glucose-lowering therapies on serum levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), TNF-alpha, leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Subjects and methods: Twenty-eight patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes who were receiving oral hypoglycaemic agents were allocated to one of the following groups, and treated for 1 year: (1) lifestyle intervention (L); (2) insulin treatment (I); and (3) combined treatment (L+I).
Results: Similar improvements in glycaemic control occurred in all three groups. There was a reduction in body weight of 3.0 kg (median) (95% CI -5.9 to -2.0) in group L, whereas in groups L+I and I body weight increased by 3.5 kg (95% CI 1.5-4.9) and 4.9 kg (95% CI -3.1 to 8.2), respectively. By trend analyses, group L had reduced levels of PAI-1 (p=0.002), hs-CRP (p<0.0001) and TNF-alpha (p=0.006), while no significant changes were observed in the levels of leptin or adiponectin. In group I, the median levels of PAI-1 (p=0.008), TNF-alpha (p=0.058) and leptin (p=0.004) increased. In the L+I group there was a reduction in PAI-1 levels (p=0.014) and an increase in levels of leptin (p<0.001). The differences in changes in the levels of PAI-1, hs-CRP, TNF-alpha and leptin between groups were also significant (all p<0.01).
Conclusions/interpretation: Improvement of glycaemic control through lifestyle intervention in type 2 diabetes had more beneficial effects on adipokine levels than when the same lowering of HbA(1c) was achieved with insulin treatment.