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23-12-2010 | Diabetes | Article

A-FABP4 levels raised in early diabetic nephropathy


Free abstract

MedWire News: High blood levels of adipocyte fatty acid binding protein-4 (A-FABP4) are associated with early nephropathy in patients with Type 2 diabetes, study findings suggest.

Turkish researchers measured levels of A-FABP4 and retinol binding protein-4 (RBP4) in 87 patients with Type 2 diabetes. Their aim was to investigate suggestions from animal studies that these proteins - both members of the lipocalin family - are linked with metabolic parameters in diabetes.

Mean levels of A-FABP4 were 13.4 ng/ml in women and 9.9 ng/ml in men, report Fusun Toruner (Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara) and co-authors in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

A-FABP4 levels were significantly higher in patients with diabetic nephropathy than in those without this complication (17.4 vs 7.4 ng/ml).

Furthermore, circulating levels of A-FABP4 significantly and positively correlated with age (r=0.24), duration of diabetes (r=0.22), body mass index (r=0.42), creatinine (r=0.28), C-reactive protein (r=0.25), and albumin excretion rate (r=0.36); and negatively correlated with glomerular filtration rate (r=-0.43).

A-FABP4 levels showed no correlation with RBP4 levels, and RBP4 levels did not differ according to gender or the presence of diabetic nephropathy. However, RBP4 levels significantly and positively correlated with triglycerides (r=0.35) and creatinine (r=0.27), and negatively correlated with glomerular filtration rate (r=-0.21).

"In this study, we showed that A-FABP4 levels are increased in patients with early diabetic nephropathy," say Toruner and co-authors , adding that this increase has been found to be associated with renal function, glomerular filtration rate, and subclinical inflammation.

They conclude: "Large-scale and prospective studies are necessary to establish whether these adipokines might be directly involved in the impairment of kidney function in Type 2 diabetes mellitus."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Joanna Lyford