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23-09-2010 | Diabetes | Article

Physical inactivity reassurance for those with family history of Type 2 diabetes


Free abstract

MedWire News: Physical inactivity may not have a greater impact on adipose tissue metabolism in first-degree relatives of people with Type 2 diabetes than it has on those without such a family history, study findings suggest.

First-degree relatives of individuals with diabetes had abnormal subcutaneous adipose tissue metabolism compared with others prior to enforced bed rest, including increased glucose uptake in subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue and decreased messenger (m)RNA expression of lipases in this region.

But these differences decreased after physical inactivity, due to relatively more adverse changes among those without than with a family history of diabetes, report Lise Højbjerre (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and colleagues in the journal Diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the product of a complex interplay between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, with the best known modifiable risk factors being obesity and low habitual physical activity, say the researchers.

They used a positive family history of diabetes as a marker of genetic risk to investigate the impact of physical activity on adipose tissue metabolism in 13 first-degree relatives of people with Type 2 diabetes and 20 individuals without such a family history (controls).

Before 10 days of bed rest, individuals with a family history of Type 2 diabetes had a significantly higher glucose uptake in subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue compared with individuals without a family history of the disorder.

Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue mRNA expression of adipose triglyceride lipase, hormone-sensitive lipase, and lipoprotein lipase was also lower in first-degree relatives of diabetes individuals compared with that in controls.

However, bed rest decreased lipolysis and tended to increase glucose uptake in subcutaneous femoral adipose tissue in both groups, and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue glucose uptake increased in non-predisposed individuals to the same level as that of the first-degree relatives.

The researchers conclude: "Physical inactivity per se is not more deleterious in first-degree relatives as compared with control [individuals] with respect to derangements in adipose tissue metabolism."

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

By Anita Wilkinson

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