Background and aims: The association of adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 with cardiovascular diseases has been well-studied. However, their roles in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) are incompletely understood. We aim to study the association of plasma ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 with DKD in Asians with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
Subjects and methods: A total of 1950 Asians with T2DM were included in this cross-sectional study. Plasma ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 were measured by immunoassays.
Results: Renal filtration function (eGFR) declined and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) levels increased progressively with the increase in plasma VCAM-1 levels. In contrast, no significant changes in eGFR and ACR were observed in subjects across different plasma ICAM-1 levels. Both ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 were correlated with ACR (rho = 0.153, p < 0.001 for VCAM-1 and ACR; rho = 0.053, p = 0.020 for ICAM-1 and ACR) in bivariate correlation analysis. However, only VCAM-1 was correlated with eGFR (rho = -0.228, p < 0.001). Multivariable linear regression models revealed that VCAM-1, but not ICAM-1, was independently associated with eGFR and albuminuria. Backward linear regression suggested that plasma VCAM-1 variability was mainly determined by eGFR whereas plasma ICAM-1 level was mainly determined by C-reactive protein in patients with T2DM.
Conclusions: Plasma VCAM-1 level, but not ICAM-1 level, was independently associated with prevalent DKD in Asians with T2DM. High level of ICAM-1 may be indicative of systemic inflammation and portends increase risk of incipient DKD.
Keywords: Diabetic kidney disease; Intercellular adhesion molecule-1; Microvascular complication; Type 2 diabetes; Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1.
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