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Diabetes Metab. 2000 Apr;26(2):133-9.

Lack of effect of a physiological elevation of plasma non-esterified fatty acid levels on insulin secretion.

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  • 1Department Medicine, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

Abstract

Elevated plasma non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) levels in obese subjects may contribute to their higher insulin secretory rates by direct effects on the islet B-cells. This may involve short-term metabolic effects, or long-term effects on islet B-cell mass, which is characteristically increased in obesity. We examined the effects of elevating plasma NEFA levels for 5.5 to 7 h on insulin secretion after an overnight fast and during a 90 min 12 mmol/l hyperglycemic clamp in 9 normal women (40.1 +/- 9.5 years [mean +/- SD]; BMI: 25.2 +/- 3.72 kg/m(2) ). Subjects were studied twice. In one study plasma NEFA levels were increased approximately 2-fold by infusion of 20% Intralipid (60 ml/h) and heparin (900 U/h) for 5.5 h before and throughout the glucose clamp. Elevated NEFA levels were associated with a small increase in fasting plasma glucose (5.0 +/- 0.1 vs 4.7 +/- 0.1 mmol/l, P <0.05) and C-peptide levels (0.54 +/- 0.09 vs 0.41 +/- 0.06 nmol/l, P <0.05). The increase in fasting insulin levels did not, however, reach statistical significance (9.0 +/- 2.5 vs 5.3 +/- 1.4 mU/l, NS). During the glucose clamp, plasma NEFA levels were suppressed to very low levels in the saline control study. Although plasma NEFA levels also fell in the lipid/heparin study, they remained significantly higher than on the control day, and somewhat higher than might be expected postprandially in obese subjects. During the glucose clamps, plasma glucose, insulin, and C-peptide profiles were similar on the two study days. No difference in either first or second phase insulin secretion was observed between the two studies. In conclusion, our findings do not support the idea that the exaggerated insulin secretion in obesity is mediated by short-term effects of plasma NEFA levels on islet B-cell metabolism, independent of plasma glucose levels.

PMID:
10804328
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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