Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 527–533 | Cite as

Increased levels of galectin-3 were associated with prediabetes and diabetes: new risk factor?

  • H. Yilmaz
  • M. Cakmak
  • O. Inan
  • T. Darcin
  • A. Akcay
Original Article



Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a marker of cardiac fibrosis and predicts incident heart failure. Gal-3-deficient mice are resistant to multiple low-dose streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Recent experimental studies suggested an important role for Gal-3 in the regulation of adiposity, metaflammation and type 2 diabetes. This study aimed to examine the relationship between Gal-3 and newly diagnosed prediabetes and diabetes.


Gal-3 concentrations were measured in 118 participants and 56 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. All subjects underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test and were stratified into normal, prediabetic, and diabetes mellitus subgroups. DM was defined as a plasma glucose level ≥126 mg/dL in the fasting state or ≥200 mg/dL in the second hour after glucose loading. Impaired fasting glucose was defined as an FPG level of 100–125 mg/dL, and impaired glucose tolerance was defined as a 2-h plasma glucose level of 140–199 mg/dL.


Sixty-one patients had prediabetes (Group 1), 57 had diabetes (Group 2), and 56 had neither diabetes nor prediabetes (Group 3). Gal-3 levels correlated with FPG (r = 0.787, P < 0.01), 2hPG (r = 0.833, P < 0.01), CRP (r = 0.501, P < 0.01), and HOMA-IR (r = 0.518, P < 0.01). Gal-3 levels were higher in Group 2 than in Groups 1 and 3 [1,053.9 (358.1) and 744.1 (119.3) vs. 481.7 (175.4) pg/mL; P < 0.001]. Gal-3 is an independent predictor of diabetes in multivariate logistic analysis. In ROC analysis, a Gal-3 cutoff value of 803.55 pg/mL diagnoses diabetes with a sensitivity of 80.7 % and a specificity of 85.5 % (AUC = 0.912).


Gal-3 is a promising biomarker for detecting prediabetes and diabetes.


Galectin-3 Prediabetes Diabetes Insulin resistance Inflammation 


Conflict of interest

We declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Yilmaz
    • 1
  • M. Cakmak
    • 2
  • O. Inan
    • 3
  • T. Darcin
    • 4
  • A. Akcay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, School of MedicineTurgut Ozal UniversityEmek, AnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineTurgut Ozal University, School of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Yenimahalle State HospitalAnkaraTurkey
  4. 4.Agrı State HospitalAgrıTurkey

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