Objective: Osteopontin (OPN) is a sialoprotein implicated in different immunity and metabolic pathways. Capable of activating dendritic cells and inducing Th1-Th17-mediated tissue damage, OPN plays a significant role in the development/progression of several autoimmune diseases; interestingly, it was also shown that OPN participates in the acute pancreatic islets response to experimentally induced diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. Furthermore, OPN promotes adipose tissue dysfunction, systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. Our aims of this study were to evaluate circulating OPN levels in adult patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) compared to non-diabetic control participants and to unravel clinical and biochemical correlates of OPN concentration. Design: Case-control study. Methods: We enrolled 54 consecutive T1DM patients referred to our diabetes outpatient clinic at Sapienza University of Rome and 52 healthy sex and age-comparable controls. The study population underwent clinical evaluation, blood sampling for biochemistry and complete screening for diabetes complications. Serum OPN levels were measured by MILLIPLEX Multiplex Assays Luminex. Results: T1DM patients had significantly higher serum OPN levels than controls (17.2 +/- 12.9 vs 10.5 +/- 11.6 mg/ml, P=0.009). OPN levels correlated with T1DM, higher blood pressure, BMI, creatinine, gamma-GT, ALP and lower HDL; the association between high OPN levels and T1DM was independent from all confounders. No correlation was shown between OPN and HbA1c, C-peptide, insulin requirement, co-medications and diabetes duration. Conclusions: This study demonstrates for the first time in a case-control study that adults with T1DM have increased serum OPN levels, and that higher OPN concentrations are associated with an unfavorable metabolic profile in these patients.
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