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J Clin Immunol. 2008 Jul;28(4):314-21. doi: 10.1007/s10875-007-9164-1. Epub 2008 Jan 26.

Cytokine secretion in long-standing diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2: associations with low-grade systemic inflammation.

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Laboratory of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Low-grade systemic chronic inflammation is a very well-known feature of diabetes mellitus (DM). The purpose of this study was the assessment of the proinflammatory cytokine secretion profile in long-standing diabetes along with the presence of features of systemic inflammation. Metabolic parameters and serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-1beta, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels were determined in 20 patients with type 1 DM and 21 patients with type 2 DM and compared to 34 healthy subjects. The number of cytokine-secreting peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), before and after mitogenic stimulation, was also determined in the same groups. Adverse lipid profile, higher levels of inflammatory markers, and higher count of cytokine-secreting cells were observed more prevalently in type 2 diabetics than in controls. After stimulation, the increase in number of cytokine-secreting cells was higher in controls. In conclusion, patients with DM have evidence of low-grade inflammation and abnormal PBMC function that could be related to long-term sequelae, the accelerated atherosclerotic process, and the susceptibility to infections.

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