The visfatin gene is associated with glucose and lipid metabolism in a Chinese population

Author(s): Jian WX, Luo TH, Gu YY, Zhang HL, Zheng S et al.


Aims: Visfatin is a newly discovered adipokine found in abundance in visceral fat. It lowers plasma glucose in humans and mice. In this study, we explored the relationships between the plasma level of visfatin and genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and anthropometric and metabolic parameters in Chinese subjects.

Methods: Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and biochemical assays for plasma insulin, lipid profiles and serum visfatin were performed in 241 newly diagnosed T2DM patients, subjects with impaired glucose regulation (IGR), and normal glucose tolerant subjects more than 40 years of age. Genotyping for three SNP loci: -1535C/T, rs2058539 and rs10953502 were performed using the allele-specific real-time PCR method.

Results: Visfatin levels were similar in T2DM patients, IGR and normal glucose tolerant subjects. However, visfatin levels were significantly lower in obese than normal-weight subjects (13.66 +/- 0.87 vs. 15.46 +/- 0.47 ng/ml, P = 0.03). There was suggestively significant correlation between visfatin level and body mass index (r = -0.17 P = 0.07) and waist-hip ratio (r = 0.16 P = 0.08) in male subjects, but not in female subjects. Allele and common haplotype frequencies of the three SNP loci were similar in T2DM patients, IGR and normal glucose tolerant subjects. However, significant associations were found between these three SNP loci and plasma glucose concentration at 0 and 120 min during OGTT, the area under the response curve for plasma glucose, and triglyceride and total cholesterol levels.

Conclusions: Serum visfatin levels may be related to visceral obesity in men, and the visfatin gene may account for variation of glucose and lipid parameters in Chinese subjects.

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