Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, but not intercellular adhesion molecule-1, is associated with diabetic kidney disease in Asians with type 2 diabetes

J Diabetes Complications. 2015 Jul;29(5):707-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2015.02.011. Epub 2015 Feb 28.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Albuminuria / etiology
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / urine
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / blood*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / ethnology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood*
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / ethnology
  • Risk Factors
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Up-Regulation*
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood*


  • ICAM1 protein, human
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • C-Reactive Protein