4 years ago

Incretins in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Miguel A. González-Gay, Beatriz Tejera-Segura, José L. Hernández, Begoña Ubilla, María Jesús Domínguez-Luis, Raquel López-Mejías, Iván Ferraz-Amaro, José M. Olmos, Antonia M. de Vera-González, Alejandra González-Delgado



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

DOI: 10.1186/s13075-017-1431-9

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.