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Metabolism. 2009 Jan;58(1):93-101. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2008.08.011.

Impaired endothelial function and insulin action in first-degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of Systems Biology Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.


First-degree relatives (FDR) of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. We studied if endothelial dysfunction of the resistance vessels is present and may coexist with metabolic insulin resistance in FDR. Male FDR (n = 13; 26 +/- 1 years; body mass index, 25 +/- 1 kg m(2) [mean +/- SEM]) and matched control subjects (CON) (n = 22; 25 +/- 1 years; body mass index, 24 +/- 1 kg m(2)) were studied by hyperinsulinemic (40 mU min(-1)m(-2)) isoglycemic clamp combined with brachial arterial and deep venous catheterization of the forearm. Forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography upon stimulation with systemic hyperinsulinemia (291 +/- 11 pmol/L, pooled data from both groups) and upon intraarterial infusion of adenosine (ADN) and acetylcholine (ACH) +/- hyperinsulinemia. Forearm blood flow response to ADN and ACH was less in FDR vs CON (P < .05); systemic hyperinsulinemia added to the FBF effect of ADN in CON (P < .05) but not in FDR. In addition, FDR demonstrated impaired FBF to hyperinsulinemia (2.1 +/- 0.2 vs 4.0 +/- 0.6 mL 100 mL(-1) min(-1)) in FDR and CON, respectively (P < .05). Both M-value (5.0 +/- 0.7 vs 7.0 +/- 0.5 mg min(-1) kg(-1)) and forearm glucose clearance (0.6 +/- 0.1 vs 1.4 +/- 0.4 mL 100 mL(-1)min(-1)) were diminished in FDR compared with CON (all P < .05). FDR demonstrated endothelial dysfunction of the resistance vessels in addition to impaired insulin-stimulated increase in bulk flow. Moreover, FDR demonstrated whole-body insulin resistance as well as decreased basal and insulin-stimulated forearm glucose uptake. It remains to be established whether FDR also demonstrate impaired insulin-stimulated microvascular function.

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