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Diabetes Care. 2012 Feb;35(2):427-33. doi: 10.2337/dc11-1665. Epub 2011 Dec 30.

Type 1 diabetes increases the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules in the artery wall of candidate patients for kidney transplantation.

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Research Unit, University Hospital of the Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain.



Diabetes may accelerate atheromatosis in uremic patients. Our aim was to assess the influence of type 1 diabetes on the atheromatosis-related inflammation in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).


We analyzed the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules in the inferior epigastric artery walls of type 1 diabetic patients with CKD (n = 22) and compared it with nondiabetic uremic patients (n = 92) at the time of kidney transplantation. We evaluated the expression of interleukin (IL)-6, monocyte chemotractant protein (MCP)-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and the activation of nuclear factor-κβ p65 (NFkB-p65). Common carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT) was determined by conventional echography.


IL-6, MCP-1, and VCAM-1 proteins were elevated in type 1 diabetic patients compared with nondiabetic subjects (P < 0.05). The nuclear localization of NFkB-p65 was higher in type 1 diabetic patients (P < 0.01) and correlated with the levels of MCP-1 in this group (r = 0.726, P < 0.001). Arterial fibrosis correlated with IL-6 and MCP-1 levels (r = 0.411, P < 0.001 and r = 0.378, P = 0.001). A significant correlation was observed between VCAM-1 levels and both the degree of arterial narrowing and c-IMT.


Type 1 diabetes produces a proinflammatory state in the arteries of end-stage CKD patients, with increased levels of IL-6, MCP-1, and VCAM-1, as well as a greater degree of p65 activation, which are associated with more severe vascular lesions and higher c-IMT. Although causality is not demonstrated, these findings support the major role of inflammation in type 1 diabetic patients with CKD.

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