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J Clin Invest. 1990 Dec;86(6):2008-13.

Glucagon, catecholamine and pancreatic polypeptide secretion in type I diabetic recipients of pancreas allografts.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


Successful pancreas transplantation in type I diabetic patients restores normal fasting glucose levels and biphasic insulin responses to glucose. However, virtually no data from pancreas recipients are available relative to other islet hormonal responses or hormonal counterregulation of hypoglycemia. Consequently, glucose, glucagon, catecholamine, and pancreatic polypeptide responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia and to stimulation with arginine and secretin were examined in 38 diabetic pancreas recipients, 54 type I diabetic nonrecipients, and 26 nondiabetic normal control subjects. Glucose recovery after insulin-induced hypoglycemia in pancreas recipients was significantly improved. Basal glucagon levels were significantly higher in recipients compared with nonrecipients and normal subjects. Glucagon responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia were significantly greater in the pancreas recipients compared with nonrecipients and similar to that observed in control subjects. Glucagon responses to intravenous arginine were significantly greater in pancreas recipients than that observed in both the nonrecipients and normal subjects. No differences were observed in epinephrine responses during insulin-induced hypoglycemia. No differences in pancreatic polypeptide responses to hypoglycemia were observed when comparing the recipient and nonrecipient groups, both of which were less than that observed in the control subjects. Our data demonstrate significant improvement in glucose recovery after hypoglycemia which was associated with improved glucagon secretion in type I diabetic recipients of pancreas transplantation.

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