American Diabetes Association
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Circulating Retinol Binding Protein 4 is Inversely Associated with Pancreatic β Cell Function across the Spectrum of Glycemia

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posted on 2020-04-07, 14:49 authored by Rong Huang, Songping Yin, Yongxin Ye, Nixuan Chen, Shiyun Luo, Min Xia, Lina Zhao

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the association of circulating retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) levels with β cell function across the spectrum of glucose tolerance from normal to overt type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 291 subjects aged 35-60 with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), newly diagnosed impaired fasting glucose or glucose tolerance (IFG/IGT) and type 2 diabetes were screened by standard 2-h oral glucose tolerance test (2-h OGTT) with the use of traditional measures to evaluate β cell function. 74 subjects from these participants were recruited in oral minimal model test and assessed β cell function with model-derived indices. Circulating RBP4 levels were measured by a commercially available ELISA kit.

RESULTS: Circulating RBP4 levels were significantly and inversely correlated with β cell function indicated by the Stumvoll first-phase and second-phase insulin secretion indexes, but not with HOMA-β, calculated from the 2-h OGTT in 291 subjects across the spectrum of glycemia. The inverse association was also observed in subjects involved in the oral minimal model test with β cell function assessed by both direct measures and model-derived measures, after adjustment for potential confounders. Moreover, RBP4 emerged as an independent factor of the disposition index-total insulin secretion (DI-PhiT).

CONCLUSION: Circulating RBP4 levels are inversely and independently correlated with β cell function across the spectrum of glycemia, providing another possible explanation of the linkage between RBP4 and the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.


This work was supported by the “one Hundred talent” project of Sun Yet-Sen University to L.Z., Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou (20190401343) to L.Z; and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities to M.X.


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