This study compares some properties of the immunoreactive insulin-like material extracted from the urine of children with overt diabetes with that from normal children. Insulin-like species were fractionated by gel filtration and by isoelectric focusing and were tested for sensitivity to an insulin-specific degradative enzyme. Insulin concentration was measured by radioimmunoassay. The major insulin-like component from the urine of ten normal children and fifteen untreated juvenile diabetics and from the urine of four and the serum of one latent diabetics behaved (on gel filtration) as normal insulin, was sensitive to insulinase, and (in all cases studied) had an identical isoelectric point (resolution 0.1 pH units).

A proportion of the immunoreactivity extracted from urine (0–4 per cent from normal children, 5–30 per cent from twelve of the thirteen nonobese untreated diabetic children) eluted from the gel filtration column before insulin. This material from diabetic urine was of two size classes, “proinsulin-like” and “mid-insulin,” both resistant to degradation by insulinase. Insulinase-resistant immunoreactivity from one patient was analyzed by isoelectric focusing. Urine samples from two obese children with overt diabetes and four children with latent diabetes contained normal proportions (less than 4 per cent) of immunoreactive species larger than insulin. The possible nature and significance of the present insulinaseresistant species are briefly considered.

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