Aims: Irisin is a novel myokine secreted in response to PPAR-γ co-activator-1α (PGC-1α) activation. Earlier studies suggested that PGC-1α expression and activity were lower in myocytes in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Therefore, we hypothesize that circulating irisin levels are lower in T2DM patients.
Methods: In this observational study, we recruited 96 T2DM subjects and 60 non-diabetic control subjects. Among T2DM subjects, 38% were on insulin treatment, 78% were taking statins and 72% were taking renin-angiotensin system antagonists. Circulating irisin was quantified by ELISA and its association with markers of metabolic phenotype was analyzed by Pearson bivariate correlation and multiple linear regression.
Results: Circulating irisin was significantly lower in individuals with T2DM compared with non-diabetic controls (T2DM 204 ± 72 ng/ml vs. non-diabetic control 257 ± 24 ng/ml, p < 0.0001). In non-diabetic subjects, circulating irisin was correlated with age (r = 0.398, p < 0.01), BMI (r = 0.387, p < 0.01), total cholesterol (r = 0.341, p < 0.01), total triglycerides (r = 0.299, p < 0.05), fasting blood glucose (r = 0.430, p < 0.01) and diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.306, p < 0.05). Multiple linear regression model revealed that BMI (β = 0.407, p = 0.012) and FBG (β = 0.315, p = 0.034) were associated with irisin in non-diabetic subjects after adjusting for multiple co-variates. However, similar analysis in T2DM subjects didn't reveal significant association between circulating irisin and major markers of metabolic phenotype.
Conclusions: Circulating irisin is lower in T2DM compared with non-diabetic controls. Plasma irisin levels appear to be associated with important metabolic factors in non-diabetic subjects but not in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
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