Since it is important to elucidate the precise significance of pancreatic A-cell hypersecretion in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus, the change in the immunoreactive glucagon (IRG) response to 100 g oral glucose challenges was studied in diabetics whose blood glucose responses and plasma immunoreactive insulin concentrations (IRI) simulated those in normal subjects with the aid of the artificial beta cell system that we developed originally.

In six nonobese adult-onset and four insulin-dependent diabetics whose blood glucose responses and plasma insulin concentrations after 100 g oral glucose load were made equivalent to those seen in normal subjects by the artificial beta cell, the glucagon release was similar to the response in normal subjects. In one insulin-dependent diabetic with high anti-insulin-binding capacity, the blood glucose response after an oral glucose challenge was not normalized by the artificial beta cell and the glucagon secretion was paradoxically increased. This fact suggested that the paradoxic rise in glucagon, seen in response to an oral glucose load in some diabetics, is secondary to insulin deficiency.

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