Skin autofluorescence predicts cardio-renal outcome in type 1 diabetes: a longitudinal study
Several mechanistic pathways linking hyperglycemia to diabetes complications, including glycation of proteins and formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), have been proposed. We investigated the hypothesis that skin collagen glycation and AGEs predict the risk of progression of microvascular disease. We measured glycation products in the skin collagen of 211 Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) volunteers in 1992 who continued to be followed in the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications study for 10 years. We determined whether the earlier measurements of glycated collagen and AGE levels correlated with the risk of progression of retinopathy and nephropathy from the end of the DCCT to 10 years later. In multivariate analyses, the combination of furosine (glycated collagen) and carboxymethyllysine (CML) predicted the progression of retinopathy (chi2 = 59.4, P < 0.0001) and nephropathy (chi2 = 18.2, P = 0.0001), even after adjustment for mean HbA(1c) (A1C) (chi2 = 32.7, P < 0.0001 for retinopathy) and (chi2 = 12.8, P = 0.0016 for nephropathy). The predictive effect of A1C vanished after adjustment for furosine and CML (chi2 = 0.0002, P = 0.987 for retinopathy and chi2 = 0.0002, P = 0.964 for nephropathy). Furosine explained more of the variation in the 10-year progression of retinopathy and nephropathy than did CML. These results strengthen the role of glycation of proteins and AGE formation in the pathogenesis of retinopathy and nephropathy. Glycation and subsequent AGE formation may explain the risk of these complications associated with prior A1C and provide a rational basis for the phenomenon of "metabolic memory" in the pathogenesis of these diabetes complications.