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The relationship between plasma concentration and plasma disappearance rate of immunoreactive insulin in normal subjects

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Summary

To investigate the mechanism of insulin degradation in normal subjects, a kinetic model of insulin disappearance was constructed: insulin was assumed to be extracted from plasma by two independent processes, one saturable and one non-saturable. On the basis of these assumptions, a linear (non-proportional) relationship between steady-state plasma insulin concentration and steady-state plasma disappearance rate was predicted over the concentration range studied. Constant infusion experiments were performed on eight healthy normal subjects, normoglycaemia and fasting plasma C-peptide concentrations being maintained during the experiments. Agreement was found between the predictions of the model and the experimental results, and it is concluded that insulin degradation in normal subjects may be described in terms of two processes: one that is saturated at physiological plasma insulin concentrations and one that is apparently non-saturable over a wide concentration range.

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Fugleberg, S., Kølendorf, K., Thorsteinsson, B. et al. The relationship between plasma concentration and plasma disappearance rate of immunoreactive insulin in normal subjects. Diabetologia 22, 437–440 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00282586

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Key words

  • Insulin
  • insulin degradation
  • kinetics of insulin disappearance
  • constant infusion technique