Relationship of YKL-40 and adiponectin and subclinical atherosclerosis in asymptomatic patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus from a European Mediterranean population

Eva Aguilera, Enric Serra-Planas, M. Luisa Granada, Silvia Pellitero, Jordi L. Reverter, Núria Alonso, Berta Soldevila, Dídac Mauricio, Manel Puig-Domingo

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© 2015 Aguilera et al. Background: The glycoprotein YKL-40 is a new marker of early inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. Adiponectin is a collagen-like protein with anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory effects. Increased concentrations of both markers have been reported in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Aim: To assess the possible role of YKL-40 and adiponectin as a marker of subclinical cardiovascular disease in asymptomatic patients with type 1 diabetes with no history of ischemic or macrovascular heart disease and its relationship with other classic inflammatory biomarkers. Methods: Concentrations of YKL-40, adiponectin, IL-6, IL-1β, TNF- aα, hsCRP and homocysteine were determined in 150 T1D patients (58% men, age: 38.6±8.1years, 20.4±8.1years of evolution, BMI: 25.1±3.6kg/m<sup>2</sup>; HbA<inf>1c</inf> 8.1±2.3%, 48% smokers; 26% retinopathy, microalbuminuria 9%) and 50 controls age, sex and smoke condition matched. Subclinical atherosclerosis was assessed by a carotid ultrasonography and a computed tomography for evaluation of calcium artery calcification score (CACS). Results: 82% of T1D patients and 92% of controls had a calcium score of 0. T1D patients showed a significantly higher mean common carotid artery intima media thickness (CIMT) compared to controls (0.55±0.14 vs 0.48±0.14mm, p=0.01). Concentrations of YKL-40 and adiponectin were significantly higher in T1D [42.6 (10.4-195.0) vs ±28.7 (11.0-51.2)ng/ml, p=0.001 and 15.8±9.1 vs. 12.4±5.3mg/ml, p=0.008], with no differences when compared to other inflammatory parameters. In T1D patients no association was found between YKL-40 and adiponectin and screening test for subclinical arterial disease (neither CACS nor CIMT). A positive correlation was found between levels of YKL-40 and age and duration of disease (r=0.28, p=0.003; r=0.35, p=0.001). There were no differences in the YKL-40 in relation to the presence or absence of retinopathy or nephropathy. Levels of adiponectin were higher in patients with nephropathy (21.84±8.15 vs. 14.88±8.27mg/ml, p=0.008). Conclusions: Type 1 diabetes patients from a Mediterranean area with a longer disease evolution, although a lower degree of subclinical disease, showed significatively higher concentrations of YKL-40 and adiponectin compared with the controls. Therefore, we conclude that YKL-40 and adiponectin are early inflammatory markers in diabetic subjects even in the presence of a low atherosclerotic background.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2015


  • Adiponectin
  • Subclinical atherosclerosis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • YKL-40


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