Plasma insulin, glucose, and insulin/glucose responses to a 50-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were compared in 14 islet cell antibody (ICAb) positive non-insulin-dependent diabetics (NIDDM), 14 matched ICAb negative NIDDM, and 14 ICAb negative nondiabetic controls. Both groups of NIDDM exhibited marked carbohydrate intolerance with insulinopenia. Despite having significantly higher plasma glucose concentrations during the study, the ICAb positive NIDDM had significantly lower insulin levels, and thus lower insulin/glucose ratios, than the ICAb negative NIDDM both in the fasting state and in response to the OGTT. Similarly, ICAb positive NIDDM had higher integrated glucose responses (ΔG), lower integrated insulin responses (ΔI), and lower (Δ/ΔG values than ICAb negative NIDDM. Three ICAb negative and seven ICAb positive NIDDM subsequently required insulin treatment.
These findings show that ICAb positive NIDDM suffer from a greater disturbance of B-cel1 function than do matched ICAb negative NIDDM.