Serum levels of acylcarnitines are altered in prediabetic conditions

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 16;8(12):e82459. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082459. eCollection 2013.

Abstract

Objective: The role of mitochondrial function in the complex pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes is not yet completely understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate serum concentrations of short-, medium- and long-chain acylcarnitines as markers of mitochondrial function in volunteers with normal, impaired or diabetic glucose control.

Methods: Based on a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test, 1019 studied subjects were divided into a group with normal glucose tolerance (NGT; n = 636), isolated impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG; n = 184), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; n = 87) or type 2 diabetes (T2D; n = 112). Serum concentrations of free carnitine and 24 acylcarnitines were measured by mass spectrometry.

Results: Serum levels of acetylcarnitine (C2), propionylcarnitine (C3), octanoylcarnitine (C8), malonylcarnitine/hydroxybutyrylcarnitine (C3DC+C4OH), hexanoylcarnitine (C6), octenoylcarnitine (C8:1), decanoylcarnitine (C10), decenoylcarnitine (C10:1), dodecanoylcarnitine (C12), tetradecenoylcarnitine (C14:1), tetradecadienylcarnitine (C14:2), hydroxytetradecanoylcarnitine (C14OH), hydroxyhexadecanoylcarnitine (C16OH) and octadecenoylcarnitine (C18:1) were significantly different among the groups (all p<0.05 adjusted for age, gender and BMI). Between the prediabetic states C14:1, C14:2 and C18:1 showed significantly higher serum concentrations in persons with IGT (p<0.05). Compared to T2D the IFG and the IGT subjects showed lower serum concentrations of malonylcarnitine/hydroxybutyrylcarnitine (C3DC+C4OH) (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Alterations in serum concentrations of several acylcarnitines, in particular tetradecenoylcarnitine (C14:1), tetradecadienylcarnitine (C14:2), octadecenoylcarnitine (C18:1) and malonylcarnitine/hydroxybutyrylcarnitine (C3DC+C4OH) are associated not only with T2D but also with prediabetic states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Composition
  • Carnitine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Carnitine / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / blood*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prediabetic State / blood*

Substances

  • Blood Glucose
  • acylcarnitine
  • Carnitine

Grant support

This work was supported by grants from the German Research Council (SFB- 1052 “Obesity mechanisms”), from the German Diabetes Association and from the DHFD (Diabetes Hilfs- und Forschungsfonds Deutschland). IFB Adiposity Diseases is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany, FKZ: 01EO1001. This work was supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.