Serum concentrations of adiponectin and leptin can aid in discriminating between diabetes type 1 and type 2 in adolescents and children. Dr. Mark Atkinson, senior investigator feels this is very important, because of "the recent explosion in rates of type 2 diabetes observed in children and adolescents. We need better markers to distinguish this disease from cases of type 1 diabetes, a disorder we historically have linked to this age group."
Dr. Atkinson of the University of Florida, Gainesville and colleagues studied 41 young subjects with type 1 diabetes, 17 with type 2 diabetes and 43 controls.
Serum adiponectin concentrations were similar in type 1 diabetics and controls, but type 2 diabetics showed significantly lower levels.
Conversely, subjects with type 2 diabetes had significantly elevated levels of leptin compared to those in type 1 diabetics and in control subjects.
Moreover, say the investigators, evaluation of adiponectin-to-leptin ratios revealed a "striking difference" between children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
"Our findings," Dr. Atkinson concluded, should not only help differentiate the conditions "but in addition, may provide clues to the mechanisms that underlie each disorder and point to targets aimed at preventing diabetes." Diabetes Care 2004;27:2010-2014.