Calcification biomarkers and vascular dysfunction in obesity and type 2 diabetes: influence of oral hypoglycemic agents.

Francesca Schinzari, Manfredi Tesauro, Aldo Bertoli, Alessia Valentini, Augusto Veneziani, Umberto Campia, Carmine Cardillo*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Vascular aging in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with progressive vascular calcification, an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality. Pathways for vascular calcification modulate bone matrix deposition, thus regulating calcium deposits. We investigated the association between biomarkers of vascular calcification and vasodilator function in obesity or T2D, and whether antidiabetic therapies favorably impact those markers. Circulating levels of proteins involved in vascular calcification, such as osteopontin (OPN), osteoprotegerin (OPG), regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), and fetuin-A were measured in lean subjects, individuals with metabolically healthy obesity (MHO), and patients with metabolically unhealthy obesity (MUO) or T2D. Vasodilator function was assessed by infusion of ACh and sodium nitroprusside (SNP). Circulating levels of OPN were higher in the MUO/T2D group than in lean subjects (P < 0.05); OPG and RANTES were higher in MUO/T2D group than in the other groups (both P < 0.001); fetuin-A was not different between groups (P > 0.05); vasodilator responses to either ACh or SNP were impaired in both MUO/T2D and MHO compared with lean subjects (all P <0.001). In patients with T2D who were enrolled in the intervention trial, antidiabetic treatment with glyburide, metformin, or pioglitazone resulted in a significant reduction of circulating OPG (P < 0.001), without changes in the other biomarkers and vasodilator responses (all P > 0.05). In conclusion, obese patients with MUO/T2D have elevated circulating OPN, OPG, and RANTES; in these patients, antidiabetic treatment reduces only circulating OPG. Further study is needed to better understand the mechanisms of vascular calcifications in obesity and diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-666
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Adipose tissue
  • Atherosclerosis


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