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Relaxin Expression Correlates Significantly with Serum Changes in VEGF in Response to Antidiabetic Treatment in Male Patients with Type 2 Diabetes mellitus by Thomas Schöndorf, Thomas Forst, Cloth Flohberg, Georg Lübben, Franz Paul Armbruster, Werner Roth, Marcus Borchert, Christiane Köder, Mirjam Löbig, Martin Grabellus, Andreas Pfützner

Recent studies indicate that relaxin as well as VEGF possess cardioprotective properties. This study aimed to determine the association of relaxin with VEGF in patients with type 2 diabetes. We therefore analyzed samples from a recent study showing the benefits of anti-diabetic treatment on cardiovascular risk markers independently from glycemic control. VEGF, relaxin and markers of endothelial dysfunction, s-ICAM-1 and s-VCAM-1, were compared after 26 ± 2 weeks of antidiabetic treatment with pioglitazone or glimepiride with their base line values. A total of 151 data sets (patients age, 62.7 ± 8.1 years, diabetes duration, 6.8 ± 6.6 years, 57 women, 94 men) were available for the analysis. Baseline values were in median, relaxin: 27.4 pg/mL [25% quartile 15.8; 75% quartile: 45.2], s-ICAM-1: 294 ng/mL [25% quartile: 260; 75% quartile: 331], s-VCAM-1: 677 ng/mL [25% quartile: 589; 75% quartile 871], VEGF: 350 pg/mL [25% quartile: 251; 75% quartile: 514]. Parameter variation after therapy showed a significant correlation of relaxin expression with VEGF expression (p=0.02) in the entire study group. The correlation was seen in the subgroup of male patients (p<0.01) but did not reach significance in the female pa- tients (p=0.71). No further correlation was observed analyzing the other investigated parameters. Our data suggest that relaxin may exert its cardioprotective action possibly via VEGF increase, particularly in men. In women, other pathways may superimpose this effect. In conclusion, our study supports the hypothesis of different regulating pathways and effects of relaxin in men and women also in patients with type 2 diabetes.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 2007;53:193-198