Associations Between Pancreatic Lipids and β-Cell Function in Black African and White European Men With Type 2 Diabetes

Olah Hakim, Riccardo C Bonadonna, Cynthia Mohandas, Zoya Billoo, Alexander Sunderland, Linda Boselli, K George M M Alberti, Janet L Peacock, A Margot Umpleby, Geoff Charles-Edwards, Stephanie A Amiel, Louise M Goff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CONTEXT: Intrapancreatic lipid (IPL) has been linked to β-cell dysfunction. Black populations disproportionately develop type 2 diabetes (T2D) and show distinctions in β-cell function compared with white populations.

OBJECTIVE: We quantified IPL in white European (WE) and black West African (BWA) men with early T2D and investigated the relationships between IPL and β-cell insulin secretory function (ISF).

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We performed a cross-sectional assessment of 18 WE and 19 BWA middle-age men with early T2D as part of the South London Diabetes and Ethnicity Phenotyping study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The participants underwent Dixon MRI to determine IPL in the pancreatic head, body, and tail and subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue volumes. Modeled first- and second-phase ISFs were comprehensively determined using C-peptide measurements during a 3-hour meal tolerance test and a 2-hour hyperglycemic clamp test.

RESULTS: The WE men had greater mean IPL levels compared with BWA men (P = 0.029), mainly owing to greater IPL levels in the pancreatic head (P = 0.009). The mean IPL level was inversely associated with orally stimulated first-phase ISF in WE but not BWA men (WE, r = -0.554, P = 0.026; BWA, r = -0.183, P = 0.468). No association was found with orally stimulated second-phase ISF in either WE or BWA men. No associations were found between the mean IPL level and intravenously stimulated ISF.

CONCLUSIONS: The IPL levels were lower in BWA than WE men with early T2D, and the lack of inverse association with first-phase ISF in BWA men indicates that IPL might be a less important determinant of the development of T2D in BWA than in WE men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1210
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • African Continental Ancestry Group/statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/diagnostic imaging
  • European Continental Ancestry Group/statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Insulin/metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells/metabolism
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat/diagnostic imaging
  • Lipids/analysis
  • London
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas/chemistry

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