BACKGROUND: We investigated the adipokines adiponectin, leptin and resistin as serum biomarkers of beta-cell function in patients with type 1 diabetes.
METHODS: One hundred and eighteen patients with type 1 diabetes (20.3 ± 7.5 years) diagnosed <5 years underwent standardized mixed meal test (MMTT) for 2 h. Systemic concentrations of C-peptide, adiponectin, leptin and resistin obtained during MMTT were measured and compared between patient groups by multiple regression analysis.
RESULTS: Patients were divided by their adipokine levels in subgroups above or below the median level ('high versus low'). High adiponectin levels (>10.6 µg/mL) were associated with lower C-peptide compared to the low adiponectin subgroup (p < 0.03). Increased leptin or resistin concentrations associated positively with beta-cell function even after adjustment for metabolic confounders (p < 0.04). The described associations between adipokines and C-peptide concentrations persisted in Spearman correlation tests (p < 0.05). Serum adipokines fell during MMTT (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Serum adipokine levels differentially correlate with beta-cell function in type 1 diabetes independent of BMI or metabolic control. Serum adipokines should be investigated as biomarkers of beta-cell function in prospective studies and intervention trials in type 1 diabetes.