OBJECTIVE First-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with type 2 diabetes may exhibit a disproportionately elevated risk of developing insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes when exposed to physical inactivity, which to some unknown extent may involve low-grade inflammation. We investigated whether subjects who are nonobese FDRs show signs of low-grade inflammation before or after exposure to short-term physical inactivity.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We studied 13 healthy FDR subjects and 20 control (CON) subjects matched for age, sex, and BMI before and after 10 days of bed rest (BR). Insulin sensitivity was measured by the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. Key low-grade inflammation mediators were measured in arterial blood and microdialysate from subcutaneous abdominal (SCAAT) and femoral adipose tissue. Adipokine mRNA expression was determined in SCAAT.
RESULTS Before BR, FDR subjects displayed insulin resistance, elevated plasma C-reactive protein, leptin, and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, high interleukin (IL)-6, and MCP-1 expressions, as well as low adiponectin and leptin expressions. FDR subjects responded to BR by decreasing plasma adiponectin and IL-10 expression and increasing plasma expression of IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor-α. In contrast, CON subjects responded to BR by increasing plasma adiponectin and adiponectin expression and by decreasing SCAAT microdialysate leptin.
CONCLUSIONS Young and nonobese FDR of patients with type 2 diabetes exhibit low-grade inflammation, which is further and disproportionately aggravated when exposed to physical inactivity. The study provides support for the notion that people at increased risk of type 2 diabetes should avoid even short periods of physical inactivity.