Influence of plasma glucose and insulin concentration on plasma glucose clearance in man

R. A. DeFronzo, E. Ferrannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


We examined the influence of plasma glucose concentration on whole-body glucose uptake and glucose clearance at two physiologic levels of hyperinsulinemia. Twelve healthy, young volunteers were divided into two groups (A and B); each subject participated in three studies. In group A, plasma insulin was raised and maintained by ~100 μU/ml for 3 h, while plasma glucose concentration was clamped at hypoglycemic (60 ± 1 mg/dl), euglycemic (89 ± 1 mg/dl), or hyperglycemic (165 ± 3 mg/dl) levels. In group B, plasma insulin was raised by ~ 50 μU/ml, while plasma glucose was clamped at 62 ± 1.86 ± 2, or 143 ± 3 mg/dl for 3 h. At the higher insulin level (group A), glucose uptake rose from 5.2 ± 0.5 to 7.3 ± 0.6 to 12.2 ± 1.0 mg/ as plasma glucose was varied from low to high levels; glucose clearance fell slightly from 8.8 ± 1.0 to 7.8 ± 0.7 to 7.3 ± 0.6 mg/, during the hypo-, eu-, and hyperglycemic clamps (P = NS). At the lower insulin level (group B), glucose uptake rose from 6.0 ± 1.2 to 8.1 ± 1.7 mg/ (P < 0.05) with increasing glucose levels, whereas glucose clearance fell significantly (P < 0.01) from 9.7 ± 1.8 to 5.6 ± 1.1 ml/ When the data from both groups were analyzed together, insulin had s stimulatory effect on both glucose uptake and clearance. Elevation of the plasma glucose level had a similar stimulatory effect on glucose uptake (P < 0.01) but inhibited glucose clearance (P < 0.01). This inhibition, however, was modest (14% for the change from hypo- to euglycemia). We conclude that physiologic hyperglycemia exerts a modest inhibitory effect on glucose clearance, which is largely overcome at higher, yet still physiologic, plasma insulin levels (~ 100 μU/ml).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-688
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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