Vitamin K-dependent growth arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6) and its receptors of the TAM (TYRO-3/Axl/Mer) family are ubiquitously expressed in immune, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. They play pivotal roles of regulating tissue homeostasis via anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies show that the Gas6/TAM system is involved in glucose tolerance-related metabolic disorders. Our aim was to investigate the link between Gas6 protein, insulin sensitivity and inflammatory cytokines in men and women.
A total of 278 adults (126 men and 152 women) were recruited in this study. Plasma Gas6 concentration and various biochemical, proinflammatory and endothelial markers were measured. Insulin sensitivity was estimated by homeostasis model assessment.
Waist, fasting and 2 h post-load glucose, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) were significantly lower in women than in men. Age, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and highly-sensitive C-reactive protein levels were significantly higher in women than in men. Plasma Gas6 levels were negatively correlated with waist (r = −0.187, P = 0.022), HOMA-IR (r = −0.171, P = 0.035), interleukin 6 (r = −0.362, P < 0.001), and E-selectin (r = −0.216, P = 0.008), while they were positively correlated with insulin sensitivity (QUICKI) (r = 0.168, P = 0.039) in women, but not in men. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that TNF-α was independently correlated with plasma Gas6 levels in both the sexes (P < 0.001).
Plasma Gas6 is associated with obesity, insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction in women and may be a general marker of inflammatory conditions in women.
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Published online: January 27, 2014
Accepted: December 28, 2013
Received in revised form: August 28, 2013
Received: April 10, 2013
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