Objective: The hormone adiponectin exerts beneficial pleiotropic effects on biological and metabolic processes. Although a well-recognized insulin sensitizer, its characteristic has yet to be clearly defined. Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a rare genetic disorder that features muscle wasting and metabolic comorbidity, and patients have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. We analyzed circulating levels of adiponectin and its oligomers to determine whether their expression correlates with metabolic alterations in DM1 patients. Design and methods: We measured the anthropometric and biochemical features and three insulin resistance (IR) indices (homeostasis model assessment, quantitative insulin sensitivity check index, and McAuley) of 21 DM1 patients and of 82 age-, sex-, and weight-matched controls. In the blood samples of patients and controls, adiponectin levels were measured by ELISA, and its oligomers were characterized by using western blotting and gel filtration. The adiponectin gene was molecularly analyzed in patients. Results: DM1 patients had significantly higher body mass index, waist circumference, triglycerides (TGs), glucose, tumor necrosis factor a, and IR; conversely, they had significantly lower concentrations of total serum adiponectin with a selective, pronounced decrease of its high molecular weight (HMW) oligomers. There was a strong negative correlation between adiponectin and TGs in DM1 patients. Conclusions: Our results endorse the hypothesis that decreased expression of adiponectin together with a selective reduction of its HMW oligomers contributes to the worsening of IR and its metabolic complications in DM1 patients. These findings suggest that adiponectin and HMW oligomers may serve as biomarkers and are promising therapeutic agents for IR and its consequences in DM1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism