Objective:Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been suggested to enhance glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier, thereby increasing brain glucose supply. Increased brain glucose concentration is known to suppress food intake and to decrease body mass via action on hypothalamic regulation centers. Based on the crucial role of VEGF on brain glucose supply, we hypothesized that higher VEGF concentrations are associated with lower food intake and body mass in humans.Methods:Intending to investigate subjects with high variance of blood glucose, we examined patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Our hypothesis was tested in a population-based cohort of 190 subjects with type 2 diabetes. Plasma VEGF levels in conjunction with other parameters known to modulate food intake were measured and subsequently correlated with food intake patterns at a breakfast buffet as well as with body mass.Results:We found that subjects with higher concentrations of plasma VEGF had 17% less carbohydrate intake (P=0.003) and 4.8% lower body mass (P=0.017) than those with lower VEGF concentrations. Intake of protein and fat did not correlate with VEGF concentrations. These associations of plasma VEGF were confirmed in multiple linear regression analyses controlling for several parameters interacting with food intake.Conclusion:We conclude that high plasma VEGF concentrations are associated with less carbohydrate intake and lower body mass in type 2 diabetes. The role VEGF plays in facilitating glucose access to the brain represents a new aspect of food intake regulation and energy homeostasis, with relevance for diseases with body mass disturbances.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)