The effects of induced hyperglycemia on both antithrombin III (ATIII) biologic activity and plasma concentration in normal subjects are reported. A decrease in ATIII activity parallel to hyperglycemia was observed, while ATIII concentration was unchanged. When the glycemia returned to basal values ATIII activity concomitantly showed values in the basal range. Heparin infusion was able to significantly preserve ATIII activity from glycemia-induced alterations. These data demonstrate that hyperglycemia by itself may alter ATIII biologic activity. Moreover, the effect of heparin administration suggests that both glucose and heparin compete in vivo for the same functional site. Our study, showing the possible role of hyperglycemia in altering the biologic function of some proteins, stresses the role of increased blood glucose in the development of some complications in diabetes.

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