HDL Cholesterol Efflux Predicts Incident New-Onset Diabetes After Transplantation (NODAT) in Renal Transplant Recipients Independent of HDL Cholesterol Levels

Tamas Szili-Torok, Wijtske Annema, Josephine L. C. Anderson, Stephan J. L. Bakker, Uwe J. F. Tietge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In renal transplant recipients (RTRs), new-onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT) is a frequent and serious complication limiting survival of graft and patient. However, the underlying pathophysiology remains incompletely understood. In vitro and in preclinical models, HDL can preserve beta-cell function, largely by mediating cholesterol efflux, but this concept has not been evaluated in humans. This study investigated whether baseline cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) in RTRs is associated with incident NODAT during follow-up. This prospective longitudinal study included 405 diabetes-free RTRs with a functioning graft for >1 year. During a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 9.6 (6.6-10.2) years, 57 patients (14.1%) developed NODAT. HDL CEC was quantified using incubation of human macrophage foam cells with apolipoprotein B-depleted plasma. Baseline CEC was significantly lower in patients developing NODAT during follow-up (median 6.84% [interquartile range 5.84-7.50%]) compared with the NODAT-free group (7.44% [6.46-8.60%]; P = 0.001). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a lower risk for incident NODAT with increasing sex-stratified tertiles of HDL efflux capacity (P = 0.004). Linear regression analysis indicated that CEC is independently associated with incident NODAT (P = 0.04). In Cox regression analyses, CEC was significantly associated with NODAT (hazard ratio 0.53 [95% CI 0.38-0.76]; P <0.001), independent of HDL cholesterol levels (P = 0.015), adiposity (P = 0.018), immunosuppressive medication (P = 0.001), and kidney function (P = 0.01). Addition of CEC significantly improved the predictive power of the Framingham Diabetes Risk Score (P = 0.004). This study establishes HDL CEC as a strong predictor of NODAT in RTRs, independent of several other recognized risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1915-1923
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2019


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