Visfatin (nampt) and ghrelin as novel markers of carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes.Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2010; 118(2):75-80EC
Visfatin (nampt) and ghrelin are the most recently identified adipocytokines, but their role in atherosclerosis is poorly clarified. In our study we investigated their association with advanced carotid atherosclerosis and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
122 patients (50 males) with T2DM, aged 55-70 were enrolled. Sixty-four age- and sex-matched healthy individuals served as controls (group A). CIMT was assayed in all participants by ultrasound. Among diabetic patients, 47 appeared with carotid plaques (group B), while 75 without plaques (group C). Anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, glycemic and lipid profile, high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), fibrinogen, nampt and ghrelin were measured.
Diabetic patients had a higher mean-CIMT, increased body-mass index, worse lipid profile, elevated blood pressure and higher levels of white blood cells count, nampt and hsCRP with respect to controls (p<0.01). Among diabetic patients, groups B and C were comparable in anthropometric, glycemic and lipid parameters. Serum nampt was significantly higher in group B rather than in groups A and C (p<0.05). On the other hand, ghrelin levels were considerably lower only in diabetic patients with carotid atherosclerosis compared with healthy individuals. In univariate analysis, mean-CIMT correlated with age (r=0.312; p=0.003), nampt (r=0.341; p<0.001) and ghrelin (r=-0.421; p=0.002) and the latter associations remained significant in multiple regression analysis.
High nampt and low ghrelin serum levels are significantly associated with advanced carotid atherosclerosis in patients with T2DM. Moreover these adipocytokines are independently associated with CIMT, implicating their role as novel atherosclerotic biomarkers and providing another important link between adiposity and atherosclerosis.