, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 671–676 | Cite as

Acetyl-salicylic acid impairs insulin-mediated glucose utilization and reduces insulin clearance in healthy and non-insulin-dependent diabetic man

  • P. R. Bratusch-Marrain
  • H. Vierhapper
  • M. Komjati
  • W. K. Waldhäusl


The effect of acetyl-salicylic acid (ASA, 3 g per day for 3 days) on glucose utilization and insulin secretion was studied in healthy volunteers and Type 2 diabetic patients using the hyperglycaemic and euglycaemic insulin clamp technique. When in healthy subjects arterial plasma glucose was acutely raised and maintained at +7 mmol/l above fasting level, the plasma insulin response was enhanced by ASA (70±7 vs. 52±7mU/l), whereas the plasma C-peptide response was identical. Despite higher insulin concentrations, glucose utilization was not significantly altered (control, 61±7; ASA, 65±6μmol·kg−1·min−1) indicating impairment of tissue sensitivity to insulin by ASA. Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis was not likely to be involved in the effect of ASA, since insulin response and glucose utilization were unchanged following treatment with indomethacin. In the euglycaemic insulin (1 mU·kg−1·min−1) clamp studies, glucose utilization was unaltered by ASA despite higher insulin concentrations achieved during constant insulin infusion (103±4vs. 89±4mU/l). In Type 2 diabetic patients, fasting hyperglycaemia (10.6 ±1.1 mmol/l) and hepatic glucose production (15±2 μmol·kg−1·min−1) fell upon ASA treatment (8.6±0.7 mmol/l; 13±1 μmol·kg−1· min−1). During the hyperglycaemic clamp study, the plasma response of insulin, but not of C-peptide, was enhanced by ASA, whereas tissue sensitivity to insulin was reduced by 30 percent. It is concluded that in healthy and Type 2 diabetic man, ASA impairs tissue sensitivity to the action of insulin. This effect is counterbalanced by an augmented plasma insulin response to glucose, which results from a reduced insulin clearance rate. In Type 2 diabetic patients, the reduction in hepatic glucose production may be responsible for the amelioration of hyperglycaemia following ASA treatment.

Key words

Acetyl-salicylic acid indomethacin glucose utilization insulin sensitivity insulin secretion insulin clearance hepatic glucose production Type 2 diabetes 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. R. Bratusch-Marrain
    • 1
  • H. Vierhapper
    • 1
  • M. Komjati
    • 1
  • W. K. Waldhäusl
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes MellitusI. Medizinische UniversitätsklinikViennaAustria

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