AIMS: Thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP) is an attractive candidate gene for diabetes or diabetic dyslipidaemia, since TXNIP is the strongest glucose-responsive gene in pancreatic B-cells, TXNIP deficiency in a mouse model is associated with hyperlipidaemia and TXNIP is located in the 1q21-1q23 chromosomal Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) locus. We set out to investigate whether metabolic effects of TXNIP that were previously reported in a murine model are also relevant in human Type 2 DM. METHODS: The frequency distribution of a 3' UTR single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in TXNIP was investigated in subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT; n = 379), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; n = 228) and Type 2 DM (n = 230). Metabolic data were used to determine the effect of this SNP on parameters associated with lipid and glucose metabolism. RESULTS: The frequency of the TXNIP variation did not differ between groups, but within the group of diabetic subjects, carriers of the TXNIP-T variant had 1.6-fold higher triglyceride concentrations (P = 0.015; n = 136) and a 5.5-mmHg higher diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.02; n = 212) than homozygous carriers of the common C-allele, whereas in non-diabetic subjects fasting glucose was 0.26 mmol/l lower (P = 0.002; n = 478) in carriers of the T-allele. Moreover, a significant interaction between plasma glucose concentrations and TXNIP polymorphism on plasma triglycerides was observed (P = 0.012; n = 544). CONCLUSION: This is the first report to implicate TXNIP in a human disorder of energy metabolism, Type 2 diabetes. The effect of TXNIP on triglycerides is influenced by plasma glucose concentrations, suggesting that the biological relevance of TXNIP variations may be particularly relevant in recurrent episodes of hyperglycaemia.