Increased TLR2 expression in patients with type 1 diabetes: evidenced risk of microalbuminuria

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Abstract

Objective:

To study the activation of an inflammatory cascade through leukocyte mRNA expression of TLR2, TLR4, MyD88, and pro-inflammatory cytokines in individuals with childhood onset type 1 diabetes.

Design and methods:

Seventy-six type 1 diabetic patients and 100 normoglycemic subjects (NG) 6 to 20 years old were recruited. Type 1 diabetic patients (DM1) were considered to have good (DM1G) or poor (DM1P) glycemic control according to the values of glycated hemoglobin. TLR2, TLR4, MyD88, interleukin -1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) mRNA expressions were measured in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Urea, creatinine, albumin, and total protein serum levels were determined. Urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) was calculated.

Results:

DM1 and DM1P patients showed higher glycated hemoglobin (10 and 11%, respectively) and serum glucose concentrations (208 and 226 mg/dL, respectively) compared to NG (Glycated hemoglobin: 7% and glucose: 76 mg/dL) (p < 0.05). PBL mRNA expressions of TLR2, MyD88, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were higher in DM1 and TLR2, IL-1β, and IL-6 expressions were higher in DMP1 compared to NG (p < 0.05). In DM1, serum albumin and total protein were lower, while serum urea and ACR were higher in comparison to NG (p < 0.05). However, these differences compared to NG were more pronounced in DM1P, which included nine individuals with microalbuminuria.

Conclusions:

Increased mRNA expression of TLR2, MyD88, and pro-inflammatory cytokines in leukocytes of patients with childhood onset type 1 diabetes indicates the development of a TLR2-mediated pro-inflammatory process, which may also be associated with an early inflammatory process in the kidney and the occurrence of microalbuminuria.

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