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Partial recovery of insulin secretion and action after combined insulin-sulfonylurea treatment in Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with secondary failure to oral agents

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Summary

Metabolic control, insulin secretion and insulin action were evaluated in seven Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with secondary failure to oral antidiabetic agents before and after two months of combined therapy with supper-time insulin (Ultratard: 0.4 U/kg body weight/day) plus premeal glibenclamide (15 mg/day). Metabolic control was assessed by 24 h plasma glucose, NEFA, and substrate (lactate, alanine, glycerol, ketone bodies) profile. Insulin secretion was evaluated by glucagon stimulation of C-peptide secretion, hyperglycaemic clamp (+7 mmol/l) and 24 h free-insulin and C-peptide profiles. The repeat studies, after two months of combined therapy, were performed at least 72 h after supper-time insulin withdrawal. Combining insulin and sulfonylurea agents resulted in a reduction in fasting plasma glucose (12.9±7 vs 10.4±1.2 mmol/l; p<0.05) and hepaic glucose production (13.9±1.1 vs 11.1±1.1 μmol·kgc-min−1; p<0.05). Mean 24 h plasma glucose was also lower (13.7±1.2 vs 11.1±1.4 mmol/l; p<0.05). Decrements in fasting plasma glucose and mean 24 h profile were correlated (r=0.90; p<0.01). HbA1c also improved (11.8±0.8 vs 8.9±0.5%; p<0.05). Twenty-four hour profile for NEFA, glycerol, and ketone bodies was lower after teatment, while no difference occurred in the blood lactate and alanine profile. Insulin secretion in response to glucagon (C-peptide =+0.53±0.07 vs +0.43±0.07 pmol/ml) and hyperglycaemia (freeinsulin = 13.1±2.0 vs 12.3±2.2 mU/l) did not change. On the contrary, mean 24 h plasma freeinsulin (13.2±2.6 vs 17.5±2.2 mU/l; p<0.01) and C-peptide (0.76±0.10 vs 0.98±0.13 pmol/l; p<0.02) as well as the area under the curve (19.1±4.1 vs 23.6±3.1 U/24 h;p<0.01 and 1.16±0.14 vs 1.38±0.18 μmol/24 h; p<0.02 respectively) were significantly increased. The ratio between glucose infusion (M) and plasma insulin concentration (I) during the hyperglycaemic clamp studies (M/I, an index of insulin sensitivity), was not statistically different (1.40±0.25 vs 1.81±0.40 μmol·kg−1· min−1/mU·l−1). These data suggest that, in Type 2 diabetic patients with secondary failure to oral antidiabetic agents, the combination of supper-time longacting insulin and premeal sulfonylurea agents can improve metabolic control. This positive effect is possibly mediated through an increased secretion of insulin in response to physiologic stimuli.

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Del Prato, S., de Kreutzenberg, S.V., Riccio, A. et al. Partial recovery of insulin secretion and action after combined insulin-sulfonylurea treatment in Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with secondary failure to oral agents. Diabetologia 33, 688–695 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00400571

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Key words

  • insulin
  • sulfonylurea
  • combined therapy
  • insulin action
  • insulin secretion
  • metabolic control