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.