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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 410579, 9 pages
Research Article

Correlation between Blood Activin Levels and Clinical Parameters of Type 2 Diabetes

1Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia
2School of Public Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia
3Prince Henry's Institute, Melbourne, VIC 3168, Australia
4Paranta Biosciences, Richmond, VIC 3121, Australia

Received 26 September 2012; Accepted 15 November 2012

Academic Editor: Daisuke Koya

Copyright © 2012 Hui Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. Activins A and B, and their binding protein, follistatin, regulate glucose metabolism and inflammation. Consequently, their role in type 2 diabetes (T2D) was examined. Methods. Blood was taken from fasted participants (34 males; 58 females; 50–75 years) with diabetes or during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Clinical parameters were assessed, and blood assayed for activins, follistatin, and C-reactive protein. Results. Serum levels of activin A (93.3 ± 27.0 pg/mL, mean ± SD), B (81.8 ± 30.8 pg/mL), or follistatin (6.52 ± 3.15 ng/mL) were not different ( ) between subjects with normal OGTT ( ), impaired glucose tolerance and/or fasting glucose ( ), or T2D ( ). However, activin A and/or activin B were positively correlated with parameters of insulin resistance and T2D, including fasting glucose ( ), fasting insulin ( ), glycated hemoglobin ( ), and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR; ). Follistatin was positively correlated with HOMA-IR alone ( ). Conclusions. These data indicate that serum measurements of activin A, B, or follistatin cannot discriminate risk for T2D in individual patients, but the activins display a positive relationship with clinical parameters of the disease.