New article on plasma branched-chain amino acids and Type 2 Diabetes related metabolic disturbances

The article from our colleague Froukje Vanweert is now online available and will be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism with the following title: “Elevated Plasma Branched-Chain Amino Acid Levels Correlate With Type 2 Diabetes-Related Metabolic Disturbances”.

The full article can be found here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33079174/

Read the abstract below.

Context: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have elevated plasma branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) levels. The underlying cause, however, is not known. Low mitochondrial oxidation of BCAA levels could contribute to higher plasma BCAA levels.

Objective: We aimed to investigate ex vivo muscle mitochondrial oxidative capacity and in vivo BCAA oxidation measured by whole-body leucine oxidation rates in patients with T2DM, first-degree relatives (FDRs), and control participants (CONs) with overweight or obesity.

Design and setting: An observational, community-based study was conducted.

Participants: Fifteen patients with T2DM, 13 FDR, and 17 CONs were included (age, 40-70 years; body mass index, 27-35 kg/m2).

Main outcome measures: High-resolution respirometry was used to examine ex vivo mitochondrial oxidative capacity in permeabilized muscle fibers. A subgroup of 5 T2DM patients and 5 CONs underwent hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps combined with 1-13C leucine-infusion to determine whole-body leucine oxidation.

Results: Total BCAA levels were higher in patients with T2DM compared to CONs, but not in FDRs, and correlated negatively with muscle mitochondrial oxidative capacity (r = -0.44, P < .001). Consistently, whole-body leucine oxidation rate was lower in patients with T2DM vs CON under basal conditions (0.202 ± 0.049 vs 0.275 ± 0.043 μmol kg-1 min-1, P < .05) and tended to be lower during high insulin infusion (0.326 ± 0.024 vs 0.382 ± 0.013 μmol kg-1 min-1, P = .075).

Conclusions: In patients with T2DM, a compromised whole-body leucine oxidation rate supports our hypothesis that higher plasma BCAA levels may originate at least partly from a low mitochondrial oxidative capacity.