Human adenovirus-36 (Adv36) increases adiposity, but also upregulates distal insulin signaling in vitro in human adipose and muscle tissue and in vivo in the rodent independently of adiposity. Accordingly, healthy adults and children with antibodies against Adv36 had increased insulin sensitivity and reduced hepatic lipid accumulation. We hypothesized that Adv36 infection would be less frequent in individuals with type 2 diabetes or impaired glycemic control.
Presence of antibodies against Adv36 was analyzed for association to type 2 diabetes or impaired glycemic control in a two-wave population-based sample of well-characterized adults (n = 1734). Indices of impaired glycemic control included oral glucose tolerance, and circulating fasting levels of glucose, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1).
Adv36 seropositivity was more common in those with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) than in those with diabetes (females: OR 17.2, 95% CI 4.0-74.3; males: OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.8-6.7). Also, females with NGT had higher frequency of Adv36 seropositivity than females with prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance and/or impaired fasting glucose; OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-3.1). Within the female prediabetes group Adv36 seropositivity was associated with higher insulin sensitivity reflected by reduced HOMA-IR and increased IGFBP-1.
Adv36 infection is associated with lower occurrence of type 2 diabetes and better insulin sensitivity in adults, particularly among females.