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Metabolism. 1997 Sep;46(9):1019-23.

Diabetes mellitus associated with the 3243 mitochondrial tRNA(Leu)(UUR) mutation: insulin secretion and sensitivity.

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Saiseikai Central Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


To investigate the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus associated with the 3243 mitochondrial tRNA(Leu)(UUR) mutation (DM-Mt3243), insulin secretion and sensitivity were studied using the 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT), 1-mg intravenous glucagon test, and euglycemic glucose clamp test. Twelve DM-Mt3243 patients were investigated (seven men and five women). Their ages ranged from 36 to 74 years, and the onset of diabetes occurred at 44.5 +/- 9.5 years (mean +/- SD). In the glucose tolerance test, nine patients (75.0%) showed lower C-peptide reactivity (CPR) than normal at 30 minutes, suggesting blunted insulin secretion. Three patients showed an impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) pattern, although they had absolute hyperglycemia at the onset of diabetes. In the glucagon test, 10 patients (76.3%) had CPR within the normal range at 6 minutes, indicating an adequate response. In the glucose clamp test, the M value was 8.70 +/- 2.35 mg/kg/min and was within normal limits in all patients. The glucose metabolized (M value) was negatively correlated with 24-hour urinary C-peptide excretion (r = .696, P < .05). Thus, plasma CPR to glucose loading was blunted in many DM-Mt3243 patients, but CPR to glucagon was relatively well preserved. This difference in the intrinsic insulin response to the two stimuli may be characteristic of DM-Mt3243. Although M values were normal in all subjects, the correlation with 24-hour urinary C-peptide excretion suggests a relationship between insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion. These two mechanisms may cooperate to maintain homeostasis in this disease. Since three patients did not progress with aging, this mutation may not always cause gradual beta-cell destruction.

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