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Adipokines are reported to participate in many common pathologic processes of glucose dysregulation, such as insulin resistance, β-cell dysfunction, and chronic inflammation.

To detect the concentrations of plasma asprosin in subjects with impaired glucose regulation (IGR) and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (nT2DM) and its relationship to parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, and pancreatic β-cell function.

143 eligible participants were included and were divided into three groups including normal glucose regulation (NGR, n = 52), IGR (n = 40), and nT2DM group (n = 51). The intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) and clinical and biochemical parameters were measured in all participants.

Plasma asprosin levels were higher in IGR (82.40 ± 91.06 ng/mL, P < 0.001) and nT2DM (73.25 ± 91.69 ng/mL, P < 0.001) groups compared with those in the NGR (16.22 ± 9.27 ng/mL) group, especially in IGR subjects. Correlation analysis showed that plasma asprosin levels were positively correlated with waist circumference (Wc), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), postchallenge plasma glucose (2hPG), HbA1c, triglyceride (TG), and homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and negatively correlated with homeostasis model assessment for β-cell function (HOMA-β), area under the curve of the first-phase (0–10 min) insulin secretion (AUC), acute insulin response (AIR), and glucose disposition index (GDI) (all P < 0.05). Multiple logistical regression analyses revealed that plasma asprosin concentrations were significantly correlated with IGR and nT2DM after controlling for age, sex, BMI, and WHR.

Circulating asprosin might be a predictor of early diagnosis in DM and might be a potential therapeutic target for prediabetes and T2DM.

Brain Metabolic Alterations in Rats Showing Depression-Like and Obesity Phenotypes

Posted by K Glombik, J Detka, A Kurek, et al. on 2019-11-29 01:26:00


Current data suggest an important role of brain metabolic disturbances in the pathogenesis of depression and obesity, diseases that frequently co-occur. Our aim was to determine whether there are changes in markers characterizing glucose metabolism in prenatal stress (PS; animal model of depression), in rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD), and especially in the model of depression and obesity co-occurrence. The changes in glucose-6-phosphate, glycogen, glucose transporters (GLUT1, GLUT4), glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R), and mitochondrial complexes levels in the frontal cortex and/or hippocampus were observed. In the case of the coexistence of depression and obesity, the most important changes were (1) the decrease in the membrane form of GLUT4, which may suggest weaker insulin action in the frontal cortex, and (2) the diminished GLP-1R, which could cause neurodegenerative changes in the hippocampus. However, presented results suggested that HFD weakened the PS effect of uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation in the frontal cortex.

Methylmalonic Acid and Vitamin B12 in Patients with Heart Failure

Posted by K Polytarchou, Y Dimitroglou, D Varvarousis, et al. on 2019-11-29 01:12:00


Vitamin B12 deficiency among patients with heart failure (HF) may have been underestimated. High serum levels of methylmalonic acid (MMA) have been identified in several studies as an early indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency. Furthermore, MMA seems to constitute a biomarker of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Data regarding vitamin B12 and MMA in patients with HF are scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate vitamin B12 and MMA serum levels in HF patients.

105 consecutive patients admitted to our hospital with symptoms and signs of acute decompensated HF were included in the study. Demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as comorbidities and medical treatment before hospital admission were recorded. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed in all patients. Blood samples were collected during the first 24 hours of hospitalization and complete blood count, biochemical biomarkers, vitamin B12, N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide and MMA levels were measured. A total of 51 healthy individuals constituted the control group.

43.8% of HF patients had elevated MMA levels, but only 10.5% had overt vitamin B12 deficiency, defined as cobalamin serum levels below 189 pg/ml. Mean MMA level was higher in HF patients vs controls (33.0±9.6 vs 19.3±6.3 ng/ml; p<0.001). This difference remained significant when adjusted for age, sex, vitamin B12 and folate serum levels and kidney function (B =14.7 (9.6-19.7); p<0.001). MMA levels were higher in patients with acutely decompensated chronic HF compared with newly diagnosed acute HF (34.7±10.5 vs 30.7±7.8 ng/ml; p=0.036). Correlation analysis revealed significantly negative correlation between MMA and B12 levels only in patients without comorbidities.

HF patients have elevated MMA levels, independently of age, gender, HF category or comorbidities, possibly indicating subclinical vitamin-B12 deficiency. Further research is needed to investigate subclinical vitamin-B12 deficiency in HF patients or clarify whether MMA constitutes a biomarker of oxidative stress.

Levels of syndecan-1 and hyaluronan in early- and late-onset preeclampsia

Posted by J Kornacki, P Wirstlein, E Wender-Ozegowska. on 2019-10-28 20:01:00


The study aimed to assess serum levels of syndecan-1 (SDC-1) and hyaluronan (HA) in patients with early- and late-onset preeclampsia (PE).

Study design
Blood samples were collected in the third trimester of pregnancy from 20 women with early-onset PE, 20 with late-onset PE, and 20 with normal pregnancy for the assessment of serum levels of SDC-1 and HA as markers of endothelial injury. PE was categorized as early-onset when diagnosed at <34?weeks of gestation and as late-onset when diagnosed at ≥34?weeks of gestation.

Main outcome measures
The degree of endothelial injury in different forms of preeclampsia expressed by serum concentrations of SDC-1 and HA.

Concentration of HA was significantly higher and the level of SDC-1 was significantly lower in patients with PE than in the control group. However, the concentrations of both HA and SDC-1 did not differ significantly between the two groups of PE.

Degree of endothelium injury is comparable in patients with early- and late-onset PE.


Trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE) has been a mainstream treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), accordingly there are more requirements for embolic agents’ properties, mainly concentrated on biodegradability and imaging function. A new kind of biodegradable multifunctional porous microspheres (BMPMs) with internal coarse plications are ingeniously designed and manufactured, consisting of carrageenan, inhexol and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPIO). BMPMs’ sound roundness and excellent swelling behavior guarantee them to be smoothly transported into appointed arteries’ ends and achieve satisfactory embolization effect. Porous structure together with sulphate groups on BMPMs’ skeleton weaved by cross-linked carrageenan contributes to a marvelous doxorubicin hydrochloride (Dox) loading capacity over 45 mg Dox per mL of swollen microspheres, as well as a controllable degradation rate by allowing enzymes to infiltrate into BMPMs through holes, degrading 20∼35% after two months in vitro. Inner coarse plications enable BMPMs to effectively combine with iohexol via hydrophilic effect and SPIO by blocking, which can further exhibit a decent imaging performance under digital subtraction system (DSA) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for optimization of current TACE and development of a more advanced imageable TACE (iTACE). Safety evaluation and animal experiment manifest that BMPMs are reliable enough and hold great potential and competitiveness of being used in curing HCC.

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