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230Associations between insulin resistance and TNF-alpha in plasma, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue in humans with and without type 2 diabetes.
Plomgaard P; Nielsen AR; Fischer CP; Mortensen OH; Broholm C; Penkowa M; Krogh-Madsen R; Erikstrup C; Lindegaard B; Petersen AM; Taudorf S; Pedersen BK
Diabetologia 2007; 50(12): 2562-71
PubMed ID: 17928988

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Clear evidence exists that TNF-alpha inhibits insulin signalling and thereby glucose uptake in myocytes and adipocytes. However, conflicting results exist with regard to the role of TNF-alpha in type 2 diabetes. METHODS: We obtained blood and biopsy samples from skeletal muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue in patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 96) and healthy controls matched for age, sex and BMI (n = 103). RESULTS: Patients with type 2 diabetes had higher plasma levels of fasting insulin (p < 0.0001) and glucose (p < 0.0001) compared with controls, but there was no difference between groups with regard to fat mass. Plasma levels of TNF-alpha (p = 0.0009) and soluble TNF receptor 2 (sTNFR2; p = 0.002) were elevated in diabetic patients. Insulin sensitivity was correlated with quartiles of plasma TNF-alpha after adjustment for age, sex, obesity, WHR, neutrophils, IL-6 and maximum O(2) uptake [Formula: see text] in the diabetes group (p < 0.05). The TNF mRNA content of adipose or muscle tissue did not differ between the groups, whereas muscle TNF-alpha protein content, evaluated by western blotting, was higher in type 2 diabetic patients. Immunohistochemistry revealed more TNF-alpha protein in type 2 than in type 1 muscle fibres. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: After adjustment for multiple confounders, plasma TNF-alpha is associated with insulin resistance. This supports the idea that TNF-alpha plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of chronic insulin resistance in humans. However, findings on the TNF-alpha protein levels in plasma and skeletal muscle indicate that measurement of TNF mRNA content in adipose or muscle tissue provides no information with regard to the degree of insulin resistance.

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