, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 848–855 | Cite as

Basal and postprandial change in serum fibroblast growth factor-21 concentration in type 1 diabetic mellitus and in healthy controls

  • Karin ZibarEmail author
  • Kristina Blaslov
  • Tomislav Bulum
  • Jadranka Knežević Ćuća
  • Lea Smirčić-Duvnjak
Original Article


Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) appears to have an important role in glucose and lipid metabolism. FGF-21 secretion is mainly determined by nutritional status. The aim of this study was to measure basal and postprandial FGF-21 and postprandial change of FGF-21 concentration in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) patients and in healthy controls, and to investigate the differences between the groups. The cross-sectional study included 30 C-peptide negative T1DM patients, median age 37 years (20–59), disease duration 22 years (3–45), and nine healthy controls, median age 30 years (27–47). Basal and postprandial FGF-21 concentrations were measured by ELISA. The associations of FGF-21 with glucose, lipids, and insulin were analyzed. Individuals with T1DM showed significantly lower basal FGF-21 concentration (P = 0.046) when compared with healthy controls (median value 28.2 vs 104 pg/mL) and had significantly different postprandial change (∆ 30′−0′) of FGF-21 (P = 0.006) in comparison with healthy controls (median value −1.1 vs −20.5 pg/mL). The glucose and lipid status did not correlate with FGF-21. In healthy controls, postprandial insulin level correlated with basal FGF-21 (ρ = 0.7, P = 0.036). Multiple regression analysis showed that they are independently associated after adjustment for confounding factors (β = 1.824, P = 0.04). We describe the pathological pattern of basal and postprandial change of FGF-21 secretion not associated with glucose, lipid levels, or insulin therapy in patients with T1DM. Since FGF-21 has numerous protective metabolic effects in the experimental model, the lower basal FGF-21 concentration in T1DM patients opens the question about the potential role of recombinant FGF-21 therapy.


Fibroblast growth factor-21 Type 1 diabetes mellitus C-peptide negative Healthy controls 



The authors would like to thank the laboratory staff at Merkur University Hospital, Vuk Vrhovac University Clinic for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Zagreb, Croatia. The work was supported by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia Grant 045-1080230-0516.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of The University of Zagreb School of Medicine and Merkur University Hospital of Zagreb, Croatia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin Zibar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kristina Blaslov
    • 1
  • Tomislav Bulum
    • 1
  • Jadranka Knežević Ćuća
    • 2
  • Lea Smirčić-Duvnjak
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Vuk Vrhovac University Clinic for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic DiseasesMerkur University HospitalZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory MedicineMerkur University HospitalZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Medical School University of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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