Aims: The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) has been implicated in diabetic microvascular complications, but several lines of evidence suggest that the soluble isoform of RAGE (sRAGE) may protect against AGE-mediated vessel damage. The characterized AGE Nepsilon-carboxymethyllysine (CML) is associated with diabetic microvascular complications. In the present study, we measured blood levels of sRAGE and CML-protein in diabetic patients with and without microvascular complications.
Methods: Thirty patients with type-2 diabetes were recruited into the study, comprising 20 who had no microvascular complications, and 10 who had both retinal and renal complications. sRAGE was measured in serum by ELISA, and CML by competitive ELISA.
Results: sRAGE blood levels were similar in both the controls and diabetic patients without microvascular complications. In patients with complications, the mean sRAGE blood level was significantly decreased (1068+/-231pg/mL) compared with diabetic patients without complications (P=0.028). CML-protein was increased in all diabetic patients, but to a higher extent in those who had microvascular complications.
Conclusion: The association of low sRAGE with high CML-protein levels in diabetic patients who developed severe diabetic complications supports the hypothesis that sRAGE protects vessels against AGE-mediated diabetic microvascular damage.