(HealthDay News) — Obese youth with type 2 diabetes have a distinct metabolomic profile, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, held in Orlando, Fla.

Pinar Gumus Balikcioglu, MD, from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, and colleagues recruited 33 obese African-American children ages 8 to 18 from pediatric obesity and diabetes clinics. Twenty-four hour urine samples were analyzed to identify key urinary metabolic signatures.

The researchers found that among 187 metabolites identified, 3 metabolites were significantly higher in obese youth with type 2 diabetes than in obese youth without diabetes. The 3 metabolites related to mitochondrial dysfunction and respiratory chain defects. Compared to those without diabetes, subjects with diabetes had a significantly lower level of one metabolite, 5-hydroxy-indoleacetic acid, the major metabolite of serotonin (P =.0007).

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“Validation of our findings in larger clinical trials could provide a new noninvasive approach to identification of biomarkers for metabolic risk in both children and adults,” Balikcioglu said in a statement. “More importantly, analysis of serotonin metabolism may provide new therapeutic targets for diabetes prevention and treatment.”

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  1. Balikcioglu PG, Bain J, Muehlbauer M, et al. Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes in Obese Adolescents: Metabolites of Serotonin and Mitochondrial Function in 24- Hour Urine Samples. Endo 2017. 4 April 2017.