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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jan;290(1):E67-E77. Epub 2005 Aug 16.

Mechanisms for abnormal postprandial glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


To assess mechanisms for postprandial hyperglycemia, we used a triple-isotope technique ([\3-(3)H]glucose and [(14)C]bicarbonate and oral [6,6-dideutero]glucose iv) and indirect calorimetry to compare components of glucose release and pathways for glucose disposal in 26 subjects with type 2 diabetes and 15 age-, weight-, and sex-matched normal volunteers after a standard meal. The results were as follows: 1) diabetic subjects had greater postprandial glucose release (P<0.001) because of both increased endogenous and meal-glucose release; 2) the greater endogenous glucose release (P<0.001) was due to increased gluconeogenesis (P<0.001) and glycogenolysis (P=0.01); 3) overall tissue glucose uptake, glycolysis, and storage were comparable in both groups (P>0.3); 4) glucose clearance (P<0.001) and oxidation (P=0.004) were reduced, whereas nonoxidative glycolysis was increased (P=0.04); and 5) net splanchnic glucose storage was reduced by approximately 45% (P=0.008) because of increased glycogen cycling (P=0.03). Thus in type 2 diabetes, postprandial hyperglycemia is primarily due to increased glucose release; hyperglycemia overcomes the effects of impaired insulin secretion and sensitivity on glucose transport, but intracellular defects persist so that pathways of glucose metabolism are abnormal and glucose is shunted away from normal sites of storage (e.g., liver and muscle) into other tissues.

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