The IGF system in patients with type 2 diabetes: Associations with markers of cardiovascular target organ damage

Rikke Hjortebjerg*, Esben Laugesen, Pernille Hoyem, Claus Oxvig, Brian Stausbøl-Gron, Søren T. Knudsen, Won Y. Kim, Per L. Poulsen, Troels K. Hansen, Mette Bjerre, Jan Frystyk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objective: Perturbations in the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system may contribute to the accelerated cardiovascular disease (CVD) that occurs in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, it remains unknown whether the IGF system is also involved in the development of early, subclinical CVD. We characterised the IGF system in T2D patients and matched controls and examined the associations with markers of subclinical target organ damage. Methods: The study included 99 patients with recently diagnosed T2D and 99 age- and sex-matched controls. IGF-1 and IGFBP-1 to -4 were measured by immunoassays, as were pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and the PAPP-A-generated N-terminal (NT) and C-terminal (CT) IGFBP-4 fragments, which are novel CVD risk markers. Arterial stiffness was evaluated by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) and carotid artery remodelling were determined by MRI. Results: After multivariate adjustments, patients with T2D had lower concentrations of IGFBP-2, IGFBP-4, NT- and CT-IGFBP-4, when compared with controls. IGFBP-2 was inversely correlated to PWV in all subjects in multivariate analysis (P < 0.05), and IGFBP-3 was inversely associated with severity of WMLs (P < 0.05). The NT-IGFBP-4 fragment was associated with the degree of carotid artery remodelling among all subjects (regression coefficient (95% CI): 2.95 (0.70, 5.16), P = 0.011). Levels of NT- and CT-IGFBP-4 were reduced in T2D patients receiving metformin compared to those in controls and patients not receiving metformin. Conclusions: Even in recently diagnosed and well-controlled T2D patients, IGF protein levels are altered and associated with CVD risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)521-531
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1. May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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