Leucine metabolism in IDDM. Role of insulin and substrate availability

L. Luzi, P. Castellino, D. C. Simonson, A. S. Petrides, R. A. DeFronzo

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Abstract

The effect of insulin on plasma amino acid concentrations and leucine metabolism was examined in 18 healthy nondiabetic young volunteers and in 7 subjects with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) with the euglycemic insulin-clamp technique (40 mU·m-2·min-1) in combination with [1-14C]leucine. All diabetic subjects were studied while in poor metabolic control (fasting glucose 13.3 ± 1.1 mM; HbA(1c) 10.8 ± 0.2%) and again after 2 mo of intensified insulin therapy (fasting glucose 7.2 ± 0.5 mM; HbA(1c) 8.0 ± 0.2%). Insulin-mediated total-body glucose uptake in poorly controlled diabetic subjects (3.6 ± 0.5 mg·kg-1·min-1) was significantly reduced compared with control subjects (7.5 ± 0.2 mg·kg-1min-1· P<.001) and improved slightly after insulin therapy (4.8 ± 0.3 mg.kg-1.min-1; P<.05), although it still remained significantly lower than in control subjects (P.01). During the insulin-clamp study performed in subjects with poorly controlled IDDM, endogenous leucine flux (ELF), leucine oxidation (LO), and nonoxidative leucine disposal (NOLD) all decreased (50.1 ± 2.0 to 26.4 ± 0.4; 9.2 ± 0.4 to 6.0 ± 0.3; 40.9 ± 2.0 to 20.4 ± 2.0 μmol·m-2·min-1, respectively) to the same extent as in control subjects. After 2 mo of intensified insulin therapy, the effect of acute hyperinsulinemia on ELF, LO and NOLD was comparable to that of control subjects, whereas insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism was still impaired. To examine the effect of substrate availability on leucine turnover, well-regulated IDDM and control subjects underwent a repeat insulin-clamp study combined with a balanced amino acid infusion designed to increase circulating plasma amino acid levels approximately twofold. Under these conditions, NOLD was equally enhanced above baseline in both control and IDDM subjects (P<.01) whereas ELF was inhibited to a greater extent (P<.01) than during the insulin clamp performed without amino acid infusion (control vs. diabetic subjects, NS). In conclusion, insulin-mediated glucose metabolism is severely impaired in subjects with both poorly controlled and well-controlled IDDM whereas the effect of acute insulin infusion on leucine turnover is normal, and combined hyperaminoacidemia/hyperinsulinemia stimulated NOLD to a similar extent in both IDDM and control subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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