Gender-based dimorphic pattern for interleukin-1 receptor antagonist in type 2 diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Metab. 2008 Feb;34(1):75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2007.10.006. Epub 2008 Feb 1.


Adipose tissue secretes a variety of cytokines, some of which are increased in the serum of obese patients. The anti-inflammatory interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) is the most highly elevated known cytokine in human obesity, and its serum levels are strongly associated with the degree of insulin resistance in non-diabetic patients.

Aim: The present study examined serum levels of IL-1Ra in type 2 diabetic patients (T2DM) and their relationships with three other adipokines (leptin, interleukin-6 [IL-6], adiponectin). Their correlation with anthropometric and biochemical variables was examined, as well as their intraindividual fluctuations.

Methods: Fifty T2DM patients, aged 58+/-13 years, were consecutively recruited among those electively hospitalized for a one-week intensive training course with our Diabetes Education Service. Anthropometric measurements and blood samples were taken after an overnight fast on admission (baseline) and after four days.

Results: Mean serum levels of IL-1Ra and leptin, but not of IL-6 and adiponectin, were significantly higher in women than in men (P<0.0006), and this difference persisted after correction for body mass index (BMI) (P<0.0004). In addition, IL-1Ra and leptin were strongly correlated with the BMI (P<0.0004). By contrast, no significant correlations were observed between IL-1Ra and glucose-control parameters. Finally, all four adipokines exhibited wide interindividual variability, but with limited intraindividual fluctuations over the short time period.

Conclusion: IL-1Ra, leptin and adiponectin serum levels exhibit marked interindividual variation with high intraindividual consistency. A gender-based dimorphic pattern for IL-1Ra, independent of the degree of adiposity and glucose control, was also found.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Weight
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein / blood*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Adiponectin
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • IL1RN protein, human
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein
  • Leptin