Hyperinsulinemia is a characteristic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and is believed to play a role in the low-grade inflammation seen in T2DM. The main aim was to study the effect of hyperinsulinemia on adipokines in individuals with different levels of insulin resistance, glycemia, and obesity. Three groups of sex-matched subjects were studied: young healthy subjects (YS; n = 10; mean age, 26 years; body mass index [BMI], 22 kg/m2), patients with T2DM (DS; n = 10; 61 years; BMI, 27 kg/m2), and age- and BMI-matched controls to DS (CS; n = 10; 60 years; BMI, 27 kg/m2). Plasma concentrations of adipokines were measured during a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp lasting 4 hours. Moreover, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in isolated adipocytes was analyzed to address adipose tissue insulin sensitivity. Plasma interleukin (IL)-6 increased significantly (P ≤ .01) in all 3 groups during hyperinsulinemia. However, the increase was smaller in both DS (P = .06) and CS (P < .05) compared with YS (∼2.5-fold vs ∼4-fold). A significant increase of plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α was observed only in YS. There were only minor or inconsistent effects on adiponectin, leptin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels during hyperinsulinemia. Insulin-induced rise in IL-6 correlated negatively to BMI (P = .001), waist to hip ratio (P = .05), and baseline (fasting) insulin (P = .03) and IL-6 (P = .02) levels and positively to insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in isolated adipocytes (P = .07). There was no association with age or insulin sensitivity. In a multivariate analysis, also including T2DM/no T2DM, an independent correlation (inverse) was found only between BMI and fold change of IL-6 (r2 = 0.41 for model, P < .005). Hyperinsulinemia per se can produce an increase in plasma IL-6 and TNFα, and this can potentially contribute to the low-grade inflammation seen in obesity and T2DM. However, obesity seems to attenuate the ability of an acute increase in insulin to further raise circulating levels of IL-6 and possibly TNFα.
2009. Vol. 58, no 6, 860-866 p.