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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Sep;85(9):3077-84.

Recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I treatment for 1 week improves metabolic control in type 2 diabetes by ameliorating hepatic and muscle insulin resistance.

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Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284, USA.


The administration of recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I (rhIGF-I) reduces hyperglycemia and insulin requirements in subjects with severe insulin resistance syndromes and in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, the mechanisms responsible for the improved metabolic control are incompletely understood. One proposed mechanism is that rhIGF-I therapy in T2DM may bypass early defects in insulin action (i.e. signal transduction), leading to improved hepatic and/or peripheral insulin sensitivity. To test this hypothesis, we used the euglycemic insulin clamp to measure the response to 7 days of rhIGF-I therapy (80 microg/kg, sc, twice daily) in eight poorly controlled T2DM subjects. rhIGF-I significantly improved fasting (203 +/- 12 vs. 134 +/- 14 mg/dL; P < 0.01) and day-long (0800-1700 h; 234 +/- 11 vs. 153 +/- 10 mg/dL; P < 0.01) plasma glucose levels. Basal endogenous glucose production decreased from 3.2 +/- 0.2 to 2.7 +/- 0.2 mg/kg lean body mass x min (P < 0.03) despite a concomitant decline in the fasting plasma insulin concentration from 13 +/- 5 to 5 +/- 1 microU/mL (P < 0.01). The decrement in basal endogenous glucose production was closely correlated with the decrement in fasting plasma glucose concentration (r = 0.78; P < 0.01). Whole body insulin-stimulated glucose disposal increased by 27% (from 5.6 +/- 0.8 to 7.1 +/- 0.8 mg/kg lean body mass x min; P < 0.01), but remained well below that observed in age- and weight-matched healthy subjects. The effects of rhIGF-I on endogenous glucose production and peripheral insulin sensitivity resemble those observed with intensified insulin regimens in T2DM. We conclude that 7 days of sc rhIGF-I improves glucose control by improving hepatic and muscle insulin sensitivity, but it remains markedly abnormal. This indicates that an intrinsic defect(s) responsible for insulin resistance in T2DM cannot be overcome by rhIGF-I treatment.

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