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      Loss of Inverse Relationship Between Pulsatile Insulin and Glucagon Secretion in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

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          In patients with type 2 diabetes, glucagon levels are often increased. Furthermore, pulsatile secretion of insulin is disturbed in such patients. Whether pulsatile glucagon secretion is altered in type 2 diabetes is not known.


          Twelve patients with type 2 diabetes and 13 nondiabetic individuals were examined in the fasting state and after mixed meal ingestion. Deconvolution analyses were performed on insulin and glucagon concentration time series sampled at 1-min intervals.


          Both insulin and glucagon were secreted in distinct pulses, occurring at ∼5-min intervals. In patients with diabetes, postprandial insulin pulse mass was reduced by 74% ( P < 0.001). Glucagon concentrations were increased in the patients during fasting and after meal ingestion ( P < 0.05), specifically through an increased glucagon pulse mass ( P < 0.01). In healthy subjects, the increase in postprandial insulin levels was inversely related to respective glucagon levels ( P < 0.05). This relationship was absent in the fasting state and in patients with diabetes.


          Glucagon and insulin are secreted in a coordinated, pulsatile manner. A plausible model is that the postprandial increase in insulin burst mass represses the corresponding glucagon pulses. Disruption of the insulin–glucagon interaction in patients with type 2 diabetes could potentially contribute to hyperglucagonemia.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Techniques to determine changing system complexity from data are evaluated. Convergence of a frequently used correlation dimension algorithm to a finite value does not necessarily imply an underlying deterministic model or chaos. Analysis of a recently developed family of formulas and statistics, approximate entropy (ApEn), suggests that ApEn can classify complex systems, given at least 1000 data values in diverse settings that include both deterministic chaotic and stochastic processes. The capability to discern changing complexity from such a relatively small amount of data holds promise for applications of ApEn in a variety of contexts.
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            Selective beta-cell loss and alpha-cell expansion in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Korea.

            In the presence of obesity, beta-cell mass needs to be increased to compensate for the accompanying demands and maintain euglycemia. However, in Korea, the majority of type 2 diabetic patients are nonobese. We determined the absolute masses, relative volumes, and ratio of alpha- and beta-cell in the pancreas and islets in normal and diabetic Korean subjects to correlate these findings with the clinical characteristics. Whole pancreases procured from organ donors were divided into 24 parts (control 1, n = 9). Tissue was also obtained by surgical resection after 35 partial pancreatectomies: in 25 diabetic patients, 10 age- and body mass index (BMI)-matched patients of benign or malignant pancreatic tumor without diabetes mellitus (DM) (control 2). Morphometric quantifications were performed. In control 1, the relative volume of beta-cells was 2.1 +/- 0.9%, and the total beta-cell mass was 1.3 +/- 0.3 g. The relative volume of beta-cells was found to be variable (control 1, 2.1 +/- 0.9%; control 2, 1.9 +/- 0.7%; DM, 1.4 +/- 1.0%; P 6415 micro m(2); P < 0.05) in control 1 and diabetic patients. The relative volume of beta-cell was found to be correlated with BMI in diabetic patients and normal organ donors. Moreover, decreased beta-cell but increased alpha-cell proportion in the islets suggests for a selective beta-cell loss in the pathogenesis of Korean type 2 diabetes.
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              Role of reduced suppression of glucose production and diminished early insulin release in impaired glucose tolerance.

              Insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion both occur in non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM), but their relative importance is unclear. Hyperglycemia itself has adverse effects on tissue insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion that make it difficult to distinguish between primary and secondary abnormalities. To avoid this problem we studied subjects with postprandial glucose intolerance but not sustained hyperglycemia. We compared the rate of systemic appearance and disappearance of glucose, the output of endogenous hepatic glucose, splanchnic and muscle uptake of glucose, and plasma insulin and glucagon responses after the ingestion of 1 g of glucose per kilogram of body weight in 15 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (8 of them nonobese and 7 obese) and in 16 normal subjects (9 nonobese and 7 obese) who were matched for age and weight. After glucose ingestion the mean (+/- SE) rate of total systemic appearance of glucose was significantly higher in both the nonobese subjects (455 +/- 12 mmol per five hours) and the obese subjects (486 +/- 17 mmol per five hours) with impaired glucose tolerance than in the respective normal subjects (411 +/- 11 and 436 +/- 7 mmol per five hours). This difference was fully accounted for by the reduced suppression of endogenous hepatic glucose in the subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (a reduction of about 28 percent, vs. 48 percent in the normal subjects; P less than 0.01). Despite late hyperinsulinemia, at 30 minutes the subjects with impaired glucose tolerance had smaller increases in plasma insulin and smaller reductions in plasma glucagon (both P less than 0.01). Molar ratios of plasma insulin to plasma glucagon levels correlated inversely (r = -0.62, P less than 0.001) with the rates of systemic glucose appearance; the latter correlated positively (r = 0.72, P less than 0.0001) with peak plasma glucose concentrations. Impaired glucose tolerance, the precursor of NIDDM, results primarily from reduced suppression of hepatic glucose output due to abnormal pancreatic islet-cell function. The late hyperinsulinemia may be the consequence of an inadequate early beta-cell response rather than of insulin resistance.

                Author and article information

                American Diabetes Association
                August 2011
                18 July 2011
                : 60
                : 8
                : 2160-2168
                1Department of Medicine I, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
                2Department of Biomedical Sciences, The Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
                3Department of Medicine, Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Juris J. Meier, juris.meier@ 123456rub.de .
                © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.

                Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.


                Endocrinology & Diabetes


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