Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Physiol. 1991 May;260(5 Pt 1):E801-9.

Computer model for mechanisms underlying ultradian oscillations of insulin and glucose.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Illinois 60637.


Oscillations in human insulin secretion have been observed in two distinct period ranges, 10-15 min (i.e. rapid) and 100-150 min (i.e., ultradian). The cause of the ultradian oscillations remains to be elucidated. To determine whether the oscillations could result from the feedback loops between insulin and glucose, a parsimonious mathematical model including the major mechanisms involved in glucose regulation was developed. This model comprises two major negative feedback loops describing the effects of insulin on glucose utilization and glucose production, respectively, and both loops include the stimulatory effect of glucose on insulin secretion. Model formulations and parameters are representative of results from published clinical investigations. The occurrence of sustained insulin and glucose oscillations was found to be dependent on two essential features: 1) a time delay of 30-45 min for the effect of insulin on glucose production and 2) a sluggish effect of insulin on glucose utilization, because insulin acts from a compartment remote from plasma. When these characteristics were incorporated in the model, numerical simulations mimicked all experimental findings so far observed for these ultradian oscillations, including 1) self-sustained oscillations during constant glucose infusion at various rates; 2) damped oscillations after meal or oral glucose ingestion; 3) increased amplitude of oscillation after increased stimulation of insulin secretion, without change in frequency; and 4) slight advance of the glucose oscillation compared with the insulin oscillation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center