Controlled cell deletion (apoptosis) and cellular proliferation are the main mechanisms that are responsible for shaping tissues and organs in developing embryos. During adult life, apoptosis serves a protective mechanism which eliminates old, useless, and damaged cells. In healthy organisms apoptosis and cell proliferation are in balance.
Aim of the study: To detect apoptosis of peripheral blood lymphocytes in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients and its relation with the percentage of glycohemoglobin and the effect on the outcome of the disease.
Method: This study was carried out on 40 volunteers, twenty of them (9 males and 11 females) were patients with type 2 diabetes and twenty (5 males and 15 females) were normal healthy subjects and was served as controls of the study. From each patient a sample of blood was aspirated for detection of peripheral blood lymphocyte apoptosis and for the measurement of the percentage of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). For the control subjects, blood samples were aspirated to detect peripheral blood lymphocyte apoptosis.
Results: The percentage of peripheral blood lymphocytes apoptosis increased significantly (P<0.0001) in diabetic patient (15.3±50%) than the percentage in healthy subjects (4.9±1.6%). There was a strong positive correlation between the peripheral blood lymphocytes apoptosis percentage and the percentage of glycated hemoglobin (r=0.56, p<0.01).
Conclusion: High blood glucose and in turn increasing blood level of glycated hemoglobin in poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus disease is associated with increased rate of apoptosis of peripheral blood lymphocytes which can be considered as a marker of severity for this disease.