We evaluated immunological and metabolic responses during therapy with beef (B), pork (P), human (H, rDNA), and sulfated beef (SB) insulins in patients with insulin-antibody-mediated insulin resistance.

Research Design and Methods

A randomized double-blind sequential crossover study was performed with each insulin administered for 56 days unless dose reached 200 U/day or allergy developed. Participants were 26 individuals with history of B-P insulin dosage ≥200 U/day and insulin binding capacities >0.216 nM (30 mU/ml serum). Twenty-one participants completed the study. Insulin dosage/day, fasting plasma glucose, percentage HbA1, insulin antibody binding capacity (IABC), bound insulin (BI), percentage binding of 125I-labeled B, P, and H insulins, and receptor inhibition factor (RIF) were assessed.


Mean insulin dosage (U/day) was significantly greater on B (88.9) than on P (29.2), H (29.4), or SB (29.6). On B, dosage increased in 12 individuals and reached 200 U/day in 6 individuals. Mean fasting plasma glucose (12.1 mM) and HbA1 (11%) were significantly higher on B than on P, H, and SB. Mean IABC, bound insulin, RIF, and percentage of B, P, and H bound were significantly higher on B than on P, H, and SB. Prolonged treatment with SB before entry into the study (>5 wk) resulted in a blunted anamnestic response to B insulin.


Rechallenge with B results in anamnestic immunological response and deterioration of metabolic control. SB, H, and P insulins have equivalent effects in patients with insulin antibody-mediated immunologic resistance.

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