Pathophysiological characteristics in patients with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults using clamp tests: evidence of a continuous disease spectrum of diabetes

  • Lin Yang
  • Xinyuan Liu
  • Huiying Liang
  • Ying Cheng
  • Gan Huang
  • Zhiguang ZhouEmail author
Original Article



This study aimed to assess islet insulin secretion and insulin resistance in Chinese patients with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).


Twelve patients with LADA, 10 with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), 10 with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and 10 nondiabetic healthy controls (HCs) were included. Patients with LADA were subtyped according to the glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody (GADA) titer (LADA1, GADA titer ≥ 180 U/mL; LADA2, GADA titer 18–180 U/mL). Insulin secretion and sensitivity were assessed using hyperglycemic and hyperinsulinemic–euglycemic clamp tests, respectively.


The first-phase insulin secretion gradually increased in patients with T1DM, LADA1, LADA2, and T2DM to HCs (29.32 ± 6.00 mU/L vs. 68.71 ± 4.50 mU/L vs. 87.60 ± 11.60 mU/L vs. 138.27 ± 13.18 mU/L vs. 248.49 ± 21.97 mU/L; P < 0.05). The second-phase insulin secretion (2 ph) and maximum insulin secretion (MIS) were significantly lower in patients with LADA2 and T2DM than in HCs, but higher in those with LADA1 and T1DM. No significant differences in 2 ph and MIS were observed between patients with LADA1 and T1DM, and between those with LADA2 and T2DM. The levels of insulin sensitivity index (ISI) during hyperinsulinemic–euglycemic clamps were lower in patients with LADA and T2DM than in those with T1DM. Patients with T1DM displayed lower ISI compared with HCs.


Chinese patients with LADA and T1DM had impaired insulin sensitivity and β-cell function. Furthermore, the hypothesis that diabetes is a continuous spectrum from T1DM, LADA1, LADA2 to T2DM was confirmed in this study.


Hyperglycemic clamp test Hyperinsulinemic–euglycemic clamp test Insulin resistance Islet β-cell function Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults 



The authors thank their colleagues from the Institute of Metabolism and Endocrinology, the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, who greatly assisted in the research.


This study was supported by the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD/CDS/Lilly Collaborative Grant Programme-2009) and the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFC1315603).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethical committee of the Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University (#2010-S(001)) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Metabolism and Endocrinology, Institution of Metabolism and EndocrinologyThe Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Key Laboratory of Diabetes Immunology, Ministry of Education, National Clinical Research Center for Metabolic DiseasesChangshaChina
  2. 2.Department of Geriatric EndocrinologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina

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