Objectives: Elevated immunoglobulin levels have been strongly linked to the development and progression of inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. This study aimed to evaluate circulating immunoglobulin levels and to identify other metabolic factors that influence humoral immune response among Ghanaian subjects with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study conducted at the National Diabetes Management and Research Center, Accra. Eighty persons with type 2 diabetes were age-matched with 78 controls. Immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M; interleukin 6; fasting blood glucose; glycated hemoglobin; and lipid parameter concentrations were measured. Blood pressure, anthropometry and body composition indices were also assessed.
Results: Median immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G (g/L) levels were higher in the case group compared with controls (0.89 vs 0.74, p = 0.043; 7.58 vs 7.29, p < 0.001). Immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin A and interleukin 6 levels in the case cohort, respectively, associated weakly with fasting blood glucose (r = 0.252, p = 0.001; r = 0.170, p = 0.031; r = 0.296, p = 0.001). There were positive correlations within the control group for immunoglobulin A versus interleukin 6 (r = 0.366, p = 0.001) and within the case group for glycated hemoglobin versus interleukin 6 (r = 0.190, p = 0.020).
Conclusion: Our data suggest that humoral immune response is altered in subjects with type 2 diabetes and that serum immunoglobulin levels could serve as useful biomarkers in the investigation and management of diabetes mellitus.
Keywords: Immunoglobulin; interleukin; type 2 diabetes.