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Am J Physiol. 1990 May;258(5 Pt 1):E805-12.

D-[U-11C]glucose uptake and metabolism in the brain of insulin-dependent diabetic subjects.

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Department of Endocrinology, Karolinska Hospital and Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


We used D-[U-11C]glucose to evaluate transport and metabolism of glucose in the brain in eight nondiabetic and six insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) subjects. IDDM subjects were treated by continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion. Blood glucose was regulated by a Biostator-controlled glucose infusion during a constant insulin infusion. D-[U-11C]-glucose was injected for positron emission tomography studies during normoglycemia as well as during moderate hypoglycemia [arterial plasma glucose 2.74 +/- 0.14 in nondiabetic and 2.80 +/- 0.26 mmol/l (means +/- SE) in IDDM subjects]. Levels of free insulin were constant and similar in both groups. The tracer data were analyzed using a three-compartment model with a fixed correction for 11CO2 egression. During normoglycemia the influx rate constant (k1) and blood-brain glucose flux did not differ between the two groups. During hypoglycemia k1 increased significantly and similarly in both groups (from 0.061 +/- 0.007 to 0.090 +/- 0.006 in nondiabetic and from 0.061 +/- 0.006 to 0.093 +/- 0.013 ml.g-1.min-1 in IDDM subjects). During normoglycemia the tracer-calculated metabolism of glucose was higher in the whole brain in the nondiabetic than in the diabetic subjects (22.0 +/- 1.9 vs. 15.6 +/- 1.1 mumol.100 g-1.min-1, P less than 0.01). During hypoglycemia tracer-calculated metabolism was decreased by 40% in nondiabetic subjects and by 28% in diabetic subjects. The results indicate that uptake of glucose is normal, but some aspect of glucose metabolism is abnormal in a group of well-controlled IDDM subjects.

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