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J Neuroendocrinol. 1996 Oct;8(10):755-60.

Osmoregulation of plasma vasopressin in diabetes mellitus with sustained hyperglycemia.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan.


We studied osmoregulation of plasma vasopressin in 5 patients with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus. All patients showed typical symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus such as marked hyperglycemia, polyuria, and polydipsia, but did not have advanced diabetic complications. Vasopressin release was studied using 5% hypertonic saline infusion test twice: before treatment when the patient was hyperglycemic, and after treatment 1 to 2 months later when the patient was euglycemic. Plasma vasopressin was measured by a sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay. The mean basal plasma vasopressin value in the patients was significantly higher in the hyperglycemic compared with the euglycemic state (3.75 +/- 0.70 vs 1.18 +/- 0.46 pmol/l, respectively; P < 0.05). The relationship of plasma vasopressin with serum sodium, but not plasma osmolality, during hyperglycemia showed an apparent hypersecretion of vasopressin. In both cases, the sensitivity of the vasopressin response to osmotic stimuli was significantly decreased. During euglycemia, the sensitivity of vasopressin secretion to either sodium or osmolality was almost normal, although a slight rise in the osmostat was observed compared with normal subjects. Together, we found that the positive correlation of vasopressin with sodium or osmolality is maintained but significantly altered in patients with untreated diabetes mellitus. Especially noteworthy is the lowered threshold and decreased sensitivity of osmotically-induced vasopressin secretion during hyperglycemia, which may be caused by multiple factors such as diabetes-associated hypovolemia, osmogenic effects of glucose and other osmoles, depletion of the pool of vasopressin available for release, and the metabolic derangement of osmoreceptor/magnocellular neurons.

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