Highlights From the Latest in Diabetes Research

Specific Biochemical Pathways Linked With Metabolic Disease

Although the clinical risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes have been studied extensively, the biochemical pathways that enhance risk for the underlying metabolic abnormalities that characterize these conditions remain elusive. In a new report published in Circulation, Cheng et al. hypothesized that circulating substrates or metabolites of primary metabolism may be involved in the development of cardiometabolic disease. The authors utilized metabolomics to study the individual metabolic profiles of participants from two longitudinal, community-based cohort studies, the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) Offspring cohort and the Malmö Diet and Cancer (MDC) study. Their analyses indicated higher circulating concentrations of glutamate, branched-chain amino acids, and other amino acid derivatives, as well as lower concentrations of glutamine, among individuals with common metabolic risk factors such as central adiposity, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. A notable observation from both cohorts was the consistent, inverse association between both glutamine and the glutamine-to-glutamate ratio and a number of key metabolic risk factors. The authors supplemented cross-sectional analyses with prospective studies of incident diabetes in the two cohorts and found that glutamine was associated with reduced diabetes risk in both groups. In the FHS, the glutamine-to-glutamate ratio also reduced risk, whereas glutamate was associated with increased risk. The authors performed companion studies in C57/BL6 mice whose diet was supplemented with either glutamine or glutamate. After a glucose load, only the …

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This Article

  1. doi: 10.2337/db12-dd07 Diabetes vol. 61 no. 7 1904-1905
  1. Free via Open Access: OA