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Factor in Inflammation May Be Linked to Diabetes Risk

Protein growth arrest-specific 6 lower in diabetes patients than those with normal glucose tolerance

FRIDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Plasma protein growth arrest-specific 6 (Gas6) -- a growth factor-like molecule -- is associated with inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and altered glucose tolerance, and it may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, according to research published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

Yi-Jen Hung, M.D., of the National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues analyzed data from 278 adults, including individuals with normal or impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes. Participants underwent assessment of insulin sensitivity, plasma Gas6 concentration, and other variables.

The researchers found that patients with diabetes had significantly lower plasma Gas6 concentrations compared to those with normal glucose tolerance. Gas6 was inversely associated with fasting glucose, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Higher Gas6 concentrations were associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes after adjusting for diabetes risk factors as well as factors including TNF-α, VCAM-1, IL-6, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. The authors concluded that plasma Gas6 may be an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

"Plasma Gas6 concentration may represent an independent risk factor of type 2 diabetes and a potential surrogate marker of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. These results support the hypothesis that modulation of Gas6 activity may provide an important point for intervention. Gas6/TAM [Tyro-3, Axl, Mer] signaling represents a new class of therapeutic targets," the authors write.

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