X.WEI1, J.K.S.TAN2, C.H.CHUA1, J.M.LEE1, S.S.LAI1, R.DALAN1, R.AGRAWAL1
Tan Tock Seng Hospital1, National University of Singapore2
Impaired red blood cell (RBC) deformability impedes tissue perfusion. We have previously shown RBC deformability was reduced in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and diabetic retinopathy (DR). Proinflammatory cytokines are known to affect RBC rheology. This study aims to investigate whether changes in RBC deformability are associated with serum cytokine profile in patients with T2DM.
This cross-sectional study included 21 T2DM patients (7 without DR and 14 with DR) and 12 control subjects. RBC deformability was measured by a microfluidic cross-slot channel (elongation index, EI). Venous blood sample was taken for assessment of serum concentration of a panel of 11 serum cytokines (GM-CSF, IFNγ, IL-1b, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70 and TNFα) and 2 cytokine-induced adhesion molecules (VCAM1 and ICAM1).
The mean age of T2DM patients with DR, T2DM patients without DR and control subjects in this study was 63.3, 56.3 and 46.8 years, respectively (p=0.017). RBC deformability as measured by EI was reduced in T2DM patients with and without DR compared to controls. There was no statistically significant association between RBC deformability and serum concentration of the selected panel of serum cytokines and cytokine-induced adhesion molecules (all p>0.05).
RBC deformability did not show significant association with cytokine profile in this group of patients with T2DM and controls. Impaired RBC deformability in T2DM may be mediated by mechanisms other than cytokine levels. Future study with larger sample size is required to validate this finding.