Associations of Total and Undercarboxylated Osteocalcin With Peripheral and Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity and β-Cell Function in Overweight Adults

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Abstract

Context:

Animal studies indicate that osteocalcin (OC), particularly the undercarboxylated isoform (unOC), affects insulin sensitivity and secretion, but definitive data from humans are lacking.

Objective:

The objectives of the study were to determine whether total OC and unOC are independently associated with insulin sensitivity and β-cell response in overweight/obese adults; whether glucose tolerance status affects these associations; and whether the associations are independent of bone formation, as reflected in procollagen type 1 amino propeptide (P1NP).

Design, Setting, and Participants:

This was a cross-sectional study conducted at a university research center involving 63 overweight/obese adults with normal (n = 39) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG; n = 24).

Main outcome measures:

Serum concentrations of total/undercarboxylated OC and P1NP were assessed by RIA; insulin sensitivity was determined by iv glucose tolerance test (SI-IVGTT), liquid meal test (SI meal), and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance; β-cell response to glucose [basal β-cell response to glucose; dynamic β-cell response to glucose; static β-cell response to glucose; and total β-cell response to glucose] was derived using C-peptide modeling of meal test data; and intraabdominal adipose tissue was measured using computed tomography scanning.

Results:

Multiple linear regression, adjusting for intraabdominal adipose tissue and P1NP, revealed that total OC was positively associated with SI-iv glucose tolerance test (P < .01) in the total sample. OC was not associated with SI meal or homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. In participants with IFG, unOC was positively associated with static β-cell response to glucose and total β-cell response to glucose (P < .05), independent of insulin sensitivity.

Conclusions:

In overweight/obese individuals, total OC may be associated with skeletal muscle but not hepatic insulin sensitivity. unOC is uniquely associated with β-cell function only in individuals with IFG. Further research is needed to probe the causal inference of these relationships and to determine whether indirect nutrient sensing pathways underlie these associations.

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