Galectin-1 is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes independently of obesity - A SCAPIS pilot study

Metabol Open. 2019 Sep 5;4:100017. doi: 10.1016/j.metop.2019.100017. eCollection 2019 Dec.


Objectives: Galectin-1 is a recently discovered adipokine that increases with obesity and increased energy intake in adipose tissue. Our aim was to assess whether serum galectin-1 is associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and other parameters of the metabolic syndrome independently of body mass index (BMI) in a cohort from the general population.

Methods: In this cross-sectional population-based cohort study from the western part of Sweden, we investigated associations between serum galectin-1, clinical characteristics and inflammatory markers in 989 women and men aged 50-65 years [part of the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS) pilot cohort].

Results: We showed in linear models that serum galectin-1 was independently and: (1) inversely associated with T2D (p < 0.05) and glucose (p < 0.05); and (2) positively associated with age (p < 0.01), sex (p < 0.01), BMI (p < 0.01), insulin (p < 0.01) and C-reactive protein (p < 0.01). Furthermore, galectin-1 demonstrated univariate correlations with triglycerides (r = 0.20, p < 0.01), homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (r = 0.24, p < 0.01), tumor necrosis factor-α (r = 0.24, p < 0.01), interleukin-6 (IL-6; r = 0.20, p < 0.01) and HbA1c (r = 0.14, p < 0.01).

Conclusion: In a cross-sectional study of a middle-aged population, we showed that serum galectin-1 is: (1) inversely associated with T2D independently of BMI; and (2) independently associated with other markers of the metabolic syndrome These results warrant prospective and functional studies on the role of galectin-1 in T2D.

Keywords: ALAT, alanine aminotransferase; BMI, body mass index; CRP, C-reactive protein; Cross-sectional; ELISA, electrochemiluminescence immunoassay; Galectin-1; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; HOMA, homeostasis model assessment; IFN-γ, interferon gamma; IL, interleukin; LDL, low-density lipoprotein; MSD, Meso Scale Diagnostics; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; SCAPIS, Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study; SEM, standard error of the mean; Sex; T2D, type 2 diabetes; TNF-α, tumor necrosis factor-α; Type 2 diabetes.