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Acta Diabetol. 1993;30(3):132-7.

Proportional proinsulin responses in first-degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark.


Elevated fasting proinsulin immunoreactive material (PIM) has previously been found in patients with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. It is not known whether this is a genetic trait or whether it is related to the manifestation of type 2 diabetes. Neither is it clear whether the raised fasting insulin immunoreactivity previously observed in first-degree relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes is due to raised PIM. Furthermore, it has not been investigated whether first-degree relatives have altered PIM responses to different secretagogues. To study this, PIM, insulin and C-peptide were measured in patients with type 2 diabetes, in their first-degree relatives and in healthy control subjects in the fasting state and in relatives and controls during a hyperglycemic clamp. At the end of the hyperglycemic clamp, 0.5 mg of glucagon was given intravenously to stress the beta cells further. Fasting PIM concentrations were significantly higher in patients with type 2 diabetes (P < 0.05). These patients did not have significantly elevated fasting insulin levels when corrected for PIM. In the relatives, fasting insulin concentrations were elevated but PIM levels were normal suggesting that the increase in fasting insulin concentrations reflected an increase in true insulin. The incremental PIM, insulin and C-peptide responses to glucose and glucagon in the relatives were not different from those in the controls. We conclude that elevated fasting PIM levels in patients with type 2 diabetes seem not to be a genetic trait.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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