Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

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

  • 66 Accesses

  • 17 Citations


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.


  1. 1.

    Sherwin RS, Kramer KJ, Tobin JD, Insel PA, Liljenquist JE, Bennan M, Andres R (1974) A model of the kinetics of insulin in man. J Clin Invest 53:1481–1492

  2. 2.

    Insel PA, Liljenquist JE, Tobin JD, Sherwin RS, Watkins P, Andres R, Berman M (1975) Insulin control of glucose metabolism in man, a new kinetic analysis. J Clin Invest 55:1057–1066

  3. 3.

    McGuire EA, Tobin JD, Berman M, Andres R (1979) Kinetics of native insulin in diabetic, obese, and aged men. Diabetes 28: 110–120

  4. 4.

    Tranberg KG (1979) Plasma disappearance of unlabelled insulin in man. MD Thesis, University of Lund, Sweden

  5. 5.

    Ooms HA, Brunengraber H, Franckson JRM (1968) Hepatic influence on labelled insulin metabolism. Acta Diabetologia Latina 5:162–176

  6. 6.

    Franckson JRM, Ooms HA (1973) The catabolism of insulin in the dog: evidence for the existence of two catabolic pathways. Postgrad Med J 49:931–939

  7. 7.

    Sönksen PH, Tompkins CV, Srivastava MC, Nabarro JDN (1973) A comparative study on the metabolism of human insulin and porcine proinsulin in man. Clin Sci Mol Med 45: 633–654

  8. 8.

    Frost DP, Srivastava MC, Jones RH, Nabarro JDN, Sönksen PH (1973) The kinetics of insulin metabolism in diabetes mellitus. Postgrad Med J 49:949–954

  9. 9.

    Geigy Scientific Tables, 6th ed (1962) p 623

  10. 10.

    Bojsen J, Kølendorf K, Haslev F, Jørgensen K (1978) A portable infusion pump, programmable with 16 rates. Biotelemetry 5: 123–133

  11. 11.

    Heding LG (1972) Determination of total serum insulin (IRI) in insulin-treated diabetic patients. Diabetologia 8:260–266

  12. 12.

    Heding LG (1975) Radioimmunological determination of human C-peptide in serum. Diabetologia 11: 541–548

  13. 13.

    Faber OK, Markussen J, Naithani VK, Binder C (1976) Production of antisera to synthetic benzyloxycarbonyl C-peptide of human proinsulin. Hoppe Seylers Z Physiol Chem 357: 751–757

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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).

Download citation

Key words

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