To examine whether hyperinsulinemia associated with glucocorticoid treatment results solely from hypersecretion of insulin or also involves altered fractional hepatic extraction, oral glucose (1 g/kg body wt) was administered to dogs with or without dexamethasone treatment (2 mg/d for 2 d). Dexamethasone significantly increased basal glucose and insulin concentrations in the portal vein, hepatic vein, and femoral artery, reduced basal fractional hepatic extraction of insulin from 43 +/- 4% to 22 +/- 4%, and, after oral glucose, increased retention by the liver of net glucose released into the portal system from 27 +/- 4% to 53 +/- 13%. Intraportal insulin infusion (1 and 2 mU/kg per min) after 7 d of dexamethasone treatment (2 mg/d) caused less suppression of endogenous glucose production, and less exogenous glucose was required to maintain an euglycemic clamp than in control animals. Dexamethasone treatment is associated with: decreased basal fractional hepatic insulin extraction contributing to hyperinsulinemia; and less suppression of endogenous glucose production and increase in peripheral uptake in response to insulin, but no reduction in net hepatic glucose uptake after oral glucose.
Z Chap, R H Jones, J Chou, C J Hartley, M L Entman, J B Field