OBJECTIVE The pancreas in type 1 diabetes exhibits decreased size (weight/volume) and abnormal exocrine morphology. Serum trypsinogen levels are an established marker of pancreatic exocrine function. As such, we hypothesized that trypsinogen levels may be reduced in patients with pre–type 1 diabetes and type 1 diabetes compared with healthy control subjects.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Serum trypsinogen levels were determined in 100 persons with type 1 diabetes (72 new-onset, 28 established), 99 autoantibody-positive (AAb+) subjects at varying levels of risk for developing this disease, 87 AAb-negative (AAb−) control subjects, 91 AAb− relatives with type 1 diabetes, and 18 patients with type 2 diabetes.
RESULTS Trypsinogen levels increased significantly with age in control subjects (r = 0.71; P < 0.0001) and were significantly lower in patients with new-onset (mean ± SD 14.5 ± 6.1 ng/mL; P < 0.0001) and established type 1 diabetes (16.7 ± 6.9 ng/mL; P < 0.05) versus AAb− control subjects (25.3 ± 11.2 ng/mL), AAb− relatives (29.3 ± 15.0 ng/mL), AAb+ subjects (26.5 ± 12.1 ng/mL), and patients with type 2 diabetes (31.5 ± 17.3 ng/mL). Multivariate analysis revealed reduced trypsinogen in multiple-AAb+ subjects (P < 0.05) and patients with type 1 diabetes (P < 0.0001) compared with AAb− subjects (control subjects and relatives combined) and single-AAb+ (P < 0.01) subjects when considering age and BMI.
CONCLUSIONS These findings further support the interplay between pancreatic endocrine and exocrine dysfunction. Longitudinal studies are warranted to validate trypsinogen as a predictive biomarker of type 1 diabetes progression.
- Received August 16, 2016.
- Accepted January 8, 2017.
- © 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.