The analysis of plasma samples from healthy, diabetic and nephropathic subjects was carried out by 2D gel electrophoresis. This approach shows clear differences among the three classes of subjects. In the case of diabetic and nephropathic patients intense spots appear. Their enzymatic digestion followed by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization/mass spectrometry (MALDI/MS) analysis shows that an overexpression of unglycated and glycated ApoA-I is present in both pathological states. Interestingly, this trend is also observed for the retinol-binding protein (RBP). The data obtained can be relevant to assess possible risks associated either with the glycation level of ApoA-I or with the overexpression of RBP. In fact, in the former case possibly a different functionality of the glycated protein is to be expected, reflecting a different efficiency in cholesterol transport. In the latter case, the increase of RBP level can be related to the overweight of the diabetic subjects under investigation: it is known that obesity leads to RBP overexpression. In the case of nephropathic patients, the RBP level increases in parallel with serum creatinin.
2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd