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Lipids Health Dis. 2013 Nov 6;12:169. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-12-169.

LC-MS/MS analysis of plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids in type 2 diabetic patients after insulin analog initiation therapy.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Akdeniz University Medical School, Antalya, Turkey.



Eicosanoids derived from omega-6 (n6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have proinflammatory functions whereas eicosanoids derived from omega-3 (n3) PUFAs have anti-inflammatory properties. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of insulin analog initiation therapy on n6 and n3 PUFAs in type 2 diabetic patients during early phase.


Sixteen type 2 diabetic patients with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels above 10% despite ongoing combination therapy with sulphonylurea and metformin were selected. Former treatment regimen was continued for the first day followed by substitution of sulphonylurea therapy with different insulin analogs (0.4 U/kg/day) plus metformin. Blood samples were obtained from all patients at 24 and 72 hours. Plasma levels of arachidonic acid (AA, C20:4n6), dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA, C20:3n6), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5n3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n3) were determined by an optimized multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method using ultra fast-liquid chromatography (UFLC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was measured in serum samples by enzyme immunoassay.


All measured PUFAs were significantly increased after treatment with insulin analogs plus metformin compared to before treatment levels. The mean AA/EPA ratio was significantly lower after treatment with insulin analogs plus metformin. A 22% decrease was observed in PGE2 levels after treatment with insulin analogs plus metformin compared to pretreatment levels (p > 0.05).


The significant decrease in AA/EPA ratio indicates that insulin analog initiation therapy has anti-inflammatory properties by favoring the increase of n3 fatty acid EPA.

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