The studies so far reported on the metabolic clearance rate of insulin in human diabetes mellitus have given conflicting results, probably because they have been conducted on few patients and have used a variety of experimental techniques and data treatments. We investigated the kinetics of insulin distribution and degradation in 35 normal subjects and in 42 nonketotic, nonobese, overtly diabetic patients, of whom 26 were above 40 yr old and 16 were 40 yr old or less at diagnosis. The design of the study combined (a) the use of a tracer to perturb minimally the steady state and to avoid glucose infusion; (b) the preparation of purified [125I]-monoiodoinsulin, which has a metabolic behavior similar to that of native insulin; and (c) noncompartmental analysis of the plasma immunoprecipitable 125I-insulin disappearance curves, which were recorded for 2 h after pulse i.v. injection of the tracer.


Renzo Navalesi, Alessandro Pilo, Eleuterio Ferrannini, Paolo Cecchetti, Antonio Masoni


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