To investigate whether insulin exerts feedback regulation of its own secretion, paired studies were performed in normal men in two separate protocols. In the first protocol, four men were studied on two occasions. On one occasion, insulin was infused at 5 μU. per kilogram per minute for 120 minutes, achieving arterial insulin levels of 600 to 700 μU./ml. With use of a variable glucose infusion, the plasma glucose concentration was maintained at fasting levels for 60 minutes and then raised abruptly to 165 mg./dl. and was maintained at that level for the remaining 60 minutes. On a second occasion, the study was repeated except that saline was infused instead of insulin. The plasma glucose concentration remained at fasting levels until the last 60 minutes, when it was similarly raised to 165 mg./dl. and maintained at that level until the end of the study. Connecting peptide reactivity (CPR) was measured as an index of endogenous insulin secretion in the presence of exogenous insulin. During the initial 60 minutes of the study, with euglycemia maintained, there was a significant (46 per cent) decline (p < 0.01) in the levels of CPR in the insulin-treated subjects. At 60 minutes, when hyperglycemia was induced, CPR rose in both groups. The rise of CPR in the insulin-treated group, however, was significantlyless (p < 0.01) than in the saline control group.
To investigate whether insulin inhibition of insulin secretion during hyperglycemia would occur without prolonged insulin pretreatment, paired studies were performed in three additional men. In this protocol, insulin (5 mU. per kilogram per minute) or saline was infused for 70 minutes. Euglycemia was maintained for just 10 minutes. Thereafter, the plasma glucose concentration was. raised to 170 mg./dl. in both groups. This acute induction of hyperglycemia without prolonged insulin pretreatment resulted in similar increases in CPR in both insulin- and saline-treated groups.
From these data we conclude that (1) exogenous insulin administration, with maintenance of euglycemia, results in significant inhibition of basal insulin secretion; (2) the administration of exogenous insulin for 60 minutes before and for 60 minutes after the acute induction of hyperglycemia results in significant inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion; and (3) exogenous insulin administered for just 10 minutes before and during the acute induction of hyperglycemia, however, does not result in inhibition of the insulin response to the hyperglycemic stimulus.