Metabolic mechanisms underlying the heterogeneity of major adverse cardiovascular (CV) event (MACE) risk in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) remain unclear. We hypothesized that circulating metabolites reflecting mitochondrial dysfunction predict incident MACE in T2D. Targeted mass-spectrometry profiling of 60 metabolites was performed on baseline plasma samples from the Trial Evaluating Cardiovascular Outcomes with Sitagliptin (TECOS; discovery cohort) and Exenatide Study of Cardiovascular Event Lowering (EXSCEL; validation cohort) biomarker substudy cohorts. A principal components analysis metabolite factor comprising medium-chain acylcarnitines (MCACs) was associated with MACE in TECOS and validated in EXSCEL, with higher levels associated with higher MACE risk. Meta-analysis showed that long-chain acylcarnitines (LCACs) and dicarboxylacylcarnitines were also associated with MACE. Metabolites remained associated with MACE in multivariate models and favorably changed with exenatide therapy. A third cohort (Cardiac Catheterization Genetics [CATHGEN]) with T2D was assessed to determine whether these metabolites improved discriminative capability of multivariate models for MACE. Nine metabolites (MCACs and LCACs and 1 dicarboxylacylcarnitine) were associated with time to MACE in the CATHGEN cohort. Addition of these metabolites to clinical models minimally improved the discriminative capability for MACE but did significantly down reclassify risk. Thus, metabolites reporting on dysregulated mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation are present in higher levels in individuals with T2D who experience subsequent MACE. These biomarkers may improve CV risk prediction models, be therapy responsive, and highlight emerging risk mechanisms.
Jessica A. Regan, Robert J. Mentz, Maggie Nguyen, Jennifer B. Green, Lauren K. Truby, Olga Ilkayeva, Christopher B. Newgard, John B. Buse, Harald Sourij, C. David Sjöström, Naveed Sattar, Robert W. McGarrah, Yinggan Zheng, Darren K. McGuire, Eberhard Standl, Paul Armstrong, Eric D. Peterson, Adrian F. Hernandez, Rury R. Holman, Svati H. Shah