Urinary platelet-activating factor excretion is elevated in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

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Proteinuria is currently considered a very sensitive predictor of diabetic nephropathy, but 20-25% of all diabetic patients with negative Albustix reaction excrete higher than normal (<20 mg/24 h) amounts of albumin in their urine. It is our hypothesis that platelet-activating factor (PAF), a potent glycerophospholipid that acts as a chemical mediator for a wide spectrum of biological activities, including increased vascular permeability, may be produced in significant amounts during periods preceding microalbuminuria. In this study, we compared urinary PAF excretion in Mexican-American subjects who were diagnosed with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) with their healthy control counterparts. The age of the NIDDM subjects (45.9 ± 2.1 years) was not significantly different from the healthy control group, which was 39.4 ± 2.7 years (P<0.0672). The NIDDM subjects (body mass index, 29.9 ± 1.1 compared to 26.1 ± 0.9 kg/m2 in healthy controls) were characterized by significantly increased (P<0.05) fasting plasma glucose (192 ± 11 vs. 97 ± 4 mg/dl in healthy controls), fasting insulin (20.9 ± 2.4 vs. 12.3 ± 1.6 μU/ml), fasting C-peptide (2.93 ± 1.26 vs. 1.48 ± 0.51 ng/ml), and hemoglobin A(1c) (10.3 ± 0.7 vs. 5.6 ± 0.3%), respectively. The urine output for the NIDDM and control subjects were 1942 ± 191 ml/24 h and 1032 ± 94 ml/24 h, respectively, and urinary albumin excretion (UAE) rates were estimated to be 38 ± 7 μg/min and 11 ± 1 μg/min, respectively. The NIDDM subjects produced significantly increased levels of urinary PAF (2606.3 ± 513.1 ng/24 h compared with 77.9 ± 14.1 ng/24 h in controls (or 1706.3 ± 420.8 ng/ml compared with 85.4 ± 17.8 pg/ml of urine, in NIDDM and control subjects, respectively). We found that urinary PAF excretion was significantly correlated with microalbumin excretion (r = 0.7) especially at UAE rates greater than 30 mg/day and more importantly, some NIDDM patients with negative Albustix reaction (i.e, normal UAE) produced significantly more PAF, suggesting that PAF excretion may precede microalbuminuria and that subtle injury to the kidneys are present in NIDDM long before overt albuminuria ensues urinary PAF measurements could potentially therefore serve as a sensitive indicator of renal injury in diabetes mellitus. These results lend further credence to our hypothesis that PAF may be the biochemical compound linking the various members of the insulin resistance syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
JournalProstaglandins and Other Lipid Mediators
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Albuminuria
  • Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • Platelet-activating factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Pharmacology


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