Published March 1, 1984 - More info
The antilipolytic effect of insulin was studied in 9 obese and 10 age- and sex-matched subjects of normal weight. Isolated fat cells were taken before and 1 h after an 100 g oral glucose load. Insulin inhibition of basal and isoprenaline-induced rates of lipolysis were determined by using a sensitive bioluminescent glycerol assay. When compared with the controls, the obese group showed a lower glucose tolerance, a higher insulin secretion, and a lower specific insulin receptor binding per adipocyte surface area, which would suggest an insulin-resistant state. Before oral glucose, however, the sensitivity of the antilipolytic effect of insulin was enhanced 10-fold in obesity (P less than 0.01), but the maximum antilipolytic effect was not altered. Glucose ingestion induced a 10-25-fold increase in insulin sensitivity (P less than 0.01) and a 10% but not significant increase in specific adipocyte insulin receptor binding in the nonobese group. In the obese group, however, neither the insulin binding nor the antilipolytic effect of the hormone was increased by oral glucose. After oral glucose, insulin sensitivity was similar in the two groups. The concentration of the hormone which produced a half maximum effect was about 1 microU/ml. Similar results were obtained with insulin inhibition of basal and isoprenaline-stimulated glycerol release. It is concluded that, after an overnight fast, the sensitivity of the antilipolytic effect of insulin is markedly enhanced in adipocytes of "insulin-glucose resistant" obese subjects, presumably because of alterations at postreceptor levels of insulin action. In obesity, the antilipolytic effect of insulin seems normal after glucose ingestion. Furthermore, in adipocytes of subjects of normal weight, oral glucose rapidly stimulates the sensitivity of the antilipolytic effect of insulin, apparently because of changes at postreceptor sites. This short-term regulation of insulin action following the ingestion of glucose does not seem to be present in obesity.