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Insulin action and secretion in healthy, glucose tolerant first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Influence of body weight.

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1
Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

It is a matter of controversy, whether insulin action or secretion - or both - are disturbed in first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes. We intended to assess both the compensatory and the obesity-related part of insulin secretion. In order to dissect out the latter, matching for insulin sensitivity was mandatory to normalize for the compensatory part of hyperinsulinemia. In 154 healthy, glucose tolerant first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes we directly quantified both insulin sensitivity (by euglycemic-glucose-clamp technique) and insulin secretion (oral glucose load; stimulated serum c-peptide). Insulin sensitivity was scattered over a wide range with a considerable overlap of both first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes and 97 controls without a family history of diabetes. Average insulin sensitivity was higher in controls (8.0+/-0.3 vs. 7.1 + 0.2 ml x kg-l x min-1, p < 0.05). Prevalence of insulin resistance (defined as controls, lowest tertile for insulin sensitivity) was 40% in first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes. Insulin secretion after oral glucose was significantly increased in insulin resistant first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes compared to insulin sensitive first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes. Early phase relative insulin secretion (30 min) expressed as x-fold increase above basal was smaller in insulin resistant first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes than in insulin sensitive counterparts (5.3+/-0.4 vs. 7.3+/-0.5; p < 0.01). Body mass index was distributed over the whole range in insulin resistant first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes. In the insulin sensitive subgroup absolute and relative secretion did not differ in obese (Body mass index >25 kg/m2) and insulin sensitivity-matched lean. In obese insulin resistant first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes absolute hyperinsulinemia was combined with reduced and delayed relative early insulin release. In summary, degree and prevalence of insulin resistance is higher in first degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes than in controls. However, both groups are of heterogenous metabolic composition and family history as major discriminator should not be overestimated. Our data suggest, that hyperinsulinemia cannot simply be explained as a compensatory event to balance insulin resistance. Hypersecretion is associated with insulin resistance predominantly in combination with obesity. It might be speculated that adipose tissue derived signals to the beta-cell might lead to hypersecretion only in the genetic background that also leads to insulin resistance.

PMID:
10320055
DOI:
10.1055/s-0029-1212089
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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