Aim of the study: Patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Data obtained from muscle biopsies have demonstrated altered insulin signaling (IS) in patients with MetS. The IS regulates critical cell functions including molecular-regulated cellular metabolite fluxes, protein and energetic metabolism, cell proliferation and apoptosis with consequent regulation of cell life including endothelial homeostasis and blood coagulation. However, little is known about blood cell IS in MetS patients. The aim of this study was to develop a method to evaluate IS in peripheral lymphocytes to identify altered intracellular molecules in patients with MetS to use as risk biomarkers of vascular thrombosis.Patients and Methods: We investigated 40 patients with MetS and 20 controls. MetS was defined according to guidelines from the US National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. Blood samples were taken from all participants. Total mononuclear cells were isolated from peripheral blood using density gradient centrifugation. IS molecules were evaluated using Western blot analysis followed by computer-assisted densitometer evaluation.Results: Lymphocytes of MetS patients showed a reduced mTOR expression (the mammalian target of rapamycin) which is a fundamental molecule of IS. Major impairment of IS was confirmed by reduced upstream and downstream mTOR molecules which regulate fundamental cells metabolic functions.Conclusions: In patients with MetS, we found a reduction of mTOR and other mTOR-related molecules involved in insulin resistance, cell repair, coagulation and vasculogenesis. A reduced expression of mTOR may reflect an increased risk of vascular thrombosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism