It has recently been reported that glucose and its analogues inhibit in vitro ascorbic acid transport across the cell membrane of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and fibroblasts. We have studied the effect of in vivo hyperglycemia on the intracellular ascorbic acid level of mononuclear leukocytes in normal and diabetic human subjects. Administration of an intravenous glucose load resulted in a prompt decrease of mononuclear leukocyte ascorbic acid level in the normal subjects. The rate of its decline correlated closely with the rate of change of plasma glucose. Among the NIDDM subjects in the fasting state, the plasma glucose was high and the leukocyte ascorbic acid level was low when compared with that of the normal subjects. The decrease in the leukocyte ascorbic acid level during disposition of the i.v. glucose load was not statistically significant in the diabetics. The hyperglycemia-induced intracellular depletion of ascorbic acid could be clinically important and requires further evaluation.

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