Skin autofluorescence, a non-invasive biomarker for advanced glycation end products, is associated with the metabolic syndrome and its individual components
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and related complications, whereas their role in the early deterioration of glycaemia is unknown. While previous studies used antibody-based methods to quantify AGEs, data from tandem mass spectrometry coupled liquid chromatography (LC-MS/MS)-based measurements are limited to patients with known diabetes. Here, we used the LC-MS/MS method to test the hypothesis that plasma AGE levels are higher in individuals with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) than in those with normal fasting glucose (NFG). Secondary aims were to assess correlations of plasma AGEs with quantitative markers of glucose metabolism and biomarkers of subclinical inflammation. This study included on 60 women with NFG or IFG (n = 30 each, mean age 74 years) from the German SALIA cohort. Plasma levels of free metabolites (3-deoxyfructose, 3-deoxypentosone, 3-deoxypentulose), two hydroimidazolones, oxidised adducts (carboxymethyllysine, carboxyethyllysine, methionine sulfoxide) and Nε-fructosyllysine were measured using LC-MS/MS. Plasma concentrations of all tested AGEs did not differ between the NFG and IFG groups (all p>0.05). Associations between plasma levels of AGEs and fasting glucose, insulin and HOMA-IR as a measure of insulin resistance were weak (r between -0.2 and 0.2, all p>0.05). The association between 3-deoxyglucosone-derived hydroimidazolone with several proinflammatory biomarkers disappeared upon adjustment for multiple testing. In conclusion, plasma AGEs assessed by LC-MS/MS were neither increased in IFG nor associated with parameters of glucose metabolism and subclinical inflammation in our study. Thus, these data argue against strong effects of AGEs in the early stages of deterioration of glucose metabolism.