An Assay of Selected Serum Amino Acids in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Adv Clin Exp Med. May-Jun 2015;24(3):447-51. doi: 10.17219/acem/29223.


Background: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. In case of insulin resistance, which is typical for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), proteolysis is increased and protein synthesis is decreased; therefore, we can observe changes in the levels of amino acids in diabetics vs. non-diabetics.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to find differences in the levels of selected amino acids between patients with diabetes (type 2) and a control group.

Material and methods: Amino acids were derivatized with naphthalene-2,3-dicarboxaldehyde in the presence of potassium cyanide to form fluorescent 1-cyanobenz(f)isoindole product. Amino acids derivatives were measured using a high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. The serum levels of glucose were determined using an automatic biochemistry analyzer, glycated hemoglobin HbA1c was measured by cation exchange chromatography.

Results: A total of 19 serum amino acids in T2DM patients and non-diabetics were measured. There were 9 amino acids, which were significantly different in these groups (p<0.05). Significantly decreased levels of arginine, asparagine, glycine, serine, threonine and significantly increased levels of alanine, isoleucine, leucine, valine in diabetics were found.

Conclusions: Significant difference in metabolism of amino acids between diabetics and non-diabetics were observed. The altered levels of amino acids in diabetic patients could be a suitable predictor of diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amino Acids / blood*
  • Automation, Laboratory
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence


  • Amino Acids
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human