Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Diabetol Lat. 1980 Apr-Jun;17(2):153-60.

Diurnal variations in insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity in aged subjects.


Glucose tolerance tends to decrease in healthy aged subjects without family history of diabetes. Either reduced insulin secretion or insulin resistance may be responsible. Insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity were studied in 7 aged subjects (68-75 years) and 8 young controls (21-27 years). A 1-mg i.v. glucagon and a 5-U/m2 body area i.v. insulin test were run in each subject at 07(00) and at 19(00) on two different days to detect diurnal variations. An arginine test was also performed to evaluate pancreatic glucagon behavior. In the evening, young subjects presented a glucose tolerance impairment with significantly decreased plasma insulin levels, and a reduced hypoglycemic effect of exogenous insulin. Resistance to both endogenous and exogenous insulin in the aged was observed in the morning without significant morning/evening variations. Since the response to contra-insular hormones (GH in the insulin test, glucagon in the arginine test) was the same in both age groups, their role in the phenomenon could be ruled out. It is suggested that in the aged a stable reduction in number and/or a change in affinity of insulin receptors may occur. In addition, since aging is seen to be associated with the disappearance of diurnal variations in glucose tolerance and insulin secretion and sensitivity, and since a reduction in the receptor level of young healthy subjects in the evening has been reported by some authors, it is suggested that aged subjects may be less able to modulate the binding of insulin to its peripheral receptors in the course of the day.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center