Incretins in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
The precise mechanism linking systemic inflammation with insulin resistance (IR) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains elusive. In the present study, we determined whether the incretin-insulin axis and incretin effect are disrupted in patients with RA and if they are related to the IR found in these patients.
We conducted a cross-sectional study that encompassed 361 subjects without diabetes, 151 patients with RA, and 210 sex-matched control subjects. Insulin, C-peptide, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) soluble form, and IR indexes by homeostatic model assessment (HOMA2) were assessed. A multivariable analysis adjusted for IR-related factors was performed. Additionally, ten patients and ten control subjects underwent a 566-kcal meal test so that we could further study the postprandial differences of these molecules between patients and control subjects.
Insulin, C-peptide, and HOMA2-IR indexes were higher in patients than in control subjects. This was also the case for GLP-1 (0.49 ± 1.28 vs. 0.71 ± 0.22 ng/ml, p = 0.000) and GIP (0.37 ± 0.40 vs. 1.78 ± 0.51 ng/ml, p = 0.000). These differences remained significant after multivariable adjustment including glucocorticoid intake. Disease Activity Score in 28 joints with erythrocyte sedimentation rate (β coefficient 46, 95% CI 6–87, p = 0.026) and Clinical Disease Activity Index (β coefficient 7.74, 95% CI 1.29–14.20, p = 0.019) were associated with DPP-4 serum levels. GLP-1 positively correlated with β-cell function (HOMA2 of β-cell production calculated with C-peptide) in patients but not in control subjects (interaction p = 0.003). The meal test in patients with RA revealed a higher total and late response AUC for glucose response, a later maximal response of C-peptide, and a flatter curve in GIP response.
The incretin-insulin axis, both during fasting and postprandial, is impaired in patients with RA.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13075-017-1431-9
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