Context: Exercise training exerts beneficial effects on metabolic and vascular risk factors in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). It is unknown whether training also influences concentrations of visfatin, a novel insulin-mimetic adipocytokine.
Objectives: In this study, we have investigated whether plasma visfatin concentrations are altered by training in patients with T1DM.
Design and patients: Fasting plasma visfatin concentrations and metabolic parameters were measured in 18 patients with T1DM who participated in a supervised aerobic exercise program for 4 months. Three subjects discontinued training prematurely after 2 months. Samples were obtained before and during training and 8 months after the end of regular exercise. Fourteen healthy young subjects served as controls.
Results: At baseline, patients with T1DM had higher visfatin concentrations than controls (64.1 +/- 12.0 vs. 1.3 +/- 0.0 ng/ml, P < 0.01). Exercise reduced visfatin after 2 and 4 months to 27.8 +/- 2.6 (n = 18) and 17.5 +/- 3.4 ng/ml (n = 15), respectively (P < 0.001 for n = 15 subjects who participated in all visits, ANOVA). This effect was maintained 8 months after cessation of training, with visfatin concentrations of 19.7 +/- 5.0 ng/ml (n = 15). Metabolic parameters were not affected by the training program.
Conclusion: Elevated visfatin concentrations in patients with T1DM can be lowered by regular physical exercise. It is unknown whether glucose tolerance is affected by changes in visfatin concentrations.