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Na+/H+ antiporter properties in peripheral blood lymphocytes from normotensive obese and type 2 diabetic patients do not differ significantly from controls

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It has been hypothesized that some genetic factors link different conditions characterized by the presence of insulin resistance: among them, obesity, type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus and arterial hypertension. A good candidate could be the Na+/H+ exchanger, the increased activity of which is considered a genetic marker of essential hypertension. In this study we looked at whether the Na+ dependence of the Na+/H+ antiporter is modified in obese and type 2 diabetic patients, in the absence of arterial hypertension. The activity of this ion exchanger was measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes by acidifying them in Na+-free buffer and then monitoring the recovery of intracellular pH after Na+ addition. Quiescent lymphocytes were used because they do not have insulin receptors, thus ruling out the effects of the elevated insulin concentrations on the Na+/H+ exchanger activity. Antiport activity, measured as the ability to extrude H+ in the presence of external Na+, showed no differences in normotensive obese and type 2 diabetic patients when compared with healthy subjects. Our data therefore suggest that an altered Na+/H+ exchange activity cannot be considered a common feature of insulin-resistant states.

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Ghigo, D., Alessio, P., Burzacca, S. et al. Na+/H+ antiporter properties in peripheral blood lymphocytes from normotensive obese and type 2 diabetic patients do not differ significantly from controls. Acta Diabetol 29, 237–239 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00573496

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Key words

  • Arterial hypertension
  • Na+/H+ antiport
  • Obesity
  • Peripheral blood lymphocytes
  • Type 2 diabetes