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Antecedent chronic hyperglycaemia blocks phlorizin-induced insulin resistance in the dog

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Hyperglycaemia may enhance insulin resistance typical of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, as well as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, and thus initiate a vicious pathogenetic cycle. We sought to test the hypothesis that reduction in chronic hyperglycaemia in the diabetic dog by methods that do not employ insulin may improve insulin resistance. We used the glucuretic agent phlorizin in dogs rendered chronically hyperglycaemic and diabetic by alloxan treatment. To analyse glucose disposition the euglycaemic clamp was performed. To minimize the role of counterregulatory influences that might be at play when glucose is reduced, the hyperglycaemic clamp with continuous somatostatin infusion was performed. Although phlorizin normalised plasma glucose in the diabetic dog and reduced plasma glucose in normal, non-diabetic dogs, insulin dependent glucose disposition rate did not improve. While phlorizin itself was associated with insulin resistance in the normal animals, the insulin resistance of diabetes mellitus was not further augmented. We conclude that phlorizin is associated with insulin resistance perhaps by a common pathway shared by chronic hyperglycaemia. Care must be taken when phlorizin is used as an agent to study glucose disposition.


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Koffler, M., Imamura, T., Santeusanio, F. et al. Antecedent chronic hyperglycaemia blocks phlorizin-induced insulin resistance in the dog. Diabetologia 31, 228–234 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00290590

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Key words

  • Insulin resistance
  • chronic hyperglycaemia
  • phlorizin
  • hyperinsulinaemic glucose clamps
  • somatostatin