Insulin is secreted into the portal vein in a pulsatile manner. Portal vein insulin concentrations directly and rapidly alter endogenous glucose production (EGP). Pulse frequency has been inversely correlated with hepatic insulin action in some, but not all, human studies. Indeed, increased pulse disorderliness, decreased secretory burst mass and decreased pulse frequency have been observed in type 2 diabetes, in aging and in obesity. In dogs, disruption of pulsatile insulin secretion is associated with defects in hepatic insulin action. As part of a series of experiments examining the mechanisms underlying prediabetes, we studied 29 nondiabetic subjects (BMI 28 ± 1 Kg/m2) on 2 occasions. On one occasion, EGP was measured using [3-3H]glucose after an overnight fast (14.2 ± 0.5μmol/kg/min) and during a euglycemic clamp (6.8 ± 1.1μmol/kg/min). The deuterated water method was used to estimate the contribution of gluconeogenesis to EGP. On a separate study day we utilized nonparametric stochastic deconvolution of frequently sampled peripheral C-peptide concentrations during fasting to reconstruct portal insulin secretion. In addition to measuring basal and pulsatile insulin secretion, we used Approximate Entropy (ApEn) to measure orderliness and a Fourier transform to measure the average and the dispersion of insulin pulse frequency. The gradient of Loge EGP vs. Loge insulin in each individual (-1.2 ± 0.5) was used as a measure of hepatic insulin action. Basal secretion (126 ± 8 pmol/min, R2=0.04), pulse amplitude (41 ± 38 pmol/min, R2=0.02), ApEn (1.14 ± 0.03, R2=0.01), pulse interval (5.7 ± 0.4 min, R2<0.01) and frequency dispersion (0.47 ± 0.01, R2<0.01) did not correlate (all p > 0.10) with hepatic insulin action. Suppression of gluconeogenesis by insulin also did not correlate with fasting insulin pulse characteristics. Overall, our data demonstrate that insulin pulse characteristics do not directly alter the sensitivity of EGP and gluconeogenesis to insulin in humans.


M.C. Laurenti: None. C. Dalla Man: Research Support; Self; Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH. R.T. Varghese: None. J. Jones: None. C. Barosa: None. R.A. Rizza: None. A. Matveyenko: None. G. De Nicolao: None. C. Cobelli: None. A. Vella: Advisory Panel; Self; vTv Therapeutics, Zealand Pharma A/S. Research Support; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S, Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


National Institutes of Health (DK78646, DK116231)

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