YKL-40, a biomarker of inflammation, is elevated in patients with type 2 diabetes and is related to insulin resistance

Inflamm Res. 2006 Feb;55(2):53-9. doi: 10.1007/s00011-005-0010-8.


Objective and design: YKL-40 participates in inflammatory states and vascular processes, which implies that comparison can be made with other inflammatory markers associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). In the present study levels of plasma YKL-40 and serum hsCRP were evaluated in patients with T2D.

Materials and methods: Patients with T2D and age-matched healthy controls participated in the study. Insulin resistance was estimated using HOMA-IR model. Biochemical parameters were measured in venous blood after a 10 h fast.

Results: Patients with T2D were insulin resistant (p<0.001) and had raised levels of plasma YKL-40 (p<0.001) and serum hsCRP (p<0.001). YKL-40 was correlated with HOMA-IR (r=0.23, p<0.01), NEFA (r=0.32, p<0.001) and triglycerides (r=0.24, p<0.05). YKL-40 and hsCRP were not correlated (r=0.17, p=NS). All participants with hsCRP<1 mg/l had higher insulin sensitivity (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively). HsCRP were predicted by HOMA-IR and BMI (r2=0.48, p<0.01). Plasma YKL-40 was predicted by HOMA-IR and triglycerides (r2=0.27, p<0.01).

Conclusions: YKL-40 and hsCRP are elevated in patients with T2D and are related to insulin resistance. No correlation was found between YKL-40 and hsCRP indicating that increased levels of YKL-40 occur independently from elevated plasma hsCRP.

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Chitinase-3-Like Protein 1
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lectins
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Random Allocation
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Adipokines
  • Biomarkers
  • CHI3L1 protein, human
  • Chitinase-3-Like Protein 1
  • Glycoproteins
  • Lectins
  • C-Reactive Protein