Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 233–239 | Cite as

Insulin receptors and insulin sensitivity in normo and hyperinsulinemic obese patients

  • A. Carducci Artenisio
  • F. Ragonese
  • F. Forte
  • G. Saitta
  • G. Perrone
  • G. Lettina
  • R. Campisi
  • F. Consolo


The authors have studied insulin receptors on peripheral blood monocytes and insulin sensitivity, evaluated by simultaneous infusion of glucose, insulin and somatostatin in 10 control subjects and in 20 obese patients with normal glucose tolerance. The obese patients have been divided into two groups, normo (NO) and hyperinsulinemic (HO), according to the total insulm response during OGTT. We considered HO patients with insulin response higher than M + 2DS of controls. Obese patients showed, in comparison to the controls, a lower specific binding and higher degree of insulin resistance. The subdivision of obese patients allowed us to distinguish two groups. The first was characterized by basal hyperinsulinemia, normal insulin response to the stimulus, reduced number of insulin receptors and normal or slightly reduced sensitivity. The second group showed high basal and after stimulus insulinemic values, reduced number of insulin receptors and high level of insulin resistance. When we compared the two groups of obeses we found that the first has a shorter duration of obesity and lower blood glucose values after OGTT. However both groups show the same reduction of insulin bound and the same degree of basal hyperinsulinemia. These data suggest that a reduction of insulin receptors is not the main factor responsible for insulin resistance in obesity. Furthermore, the presence of basal hyperinsulinemia and normal insulin sensitivity in our first group suggests that the modification of basal insulin concentrations is not dependent on the presence of insulin resistance.


Obesity insulin receptors insulin resistance glucose tolerance hyperinsulinemia 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Rabinowitz D., Zierler K.L. Metabolism in obesity and its response to intraarterial insulin. J. Clin. invest. 41: 2173, 1962.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rabinowitz D. Some endocrine and metabolic aspects of obesity. Ann. Rev. Med. 21: 241, 1970.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Salans L.B., Dougherty J.W. The effect of insulin upon glucose metabolism by adipose cells of different size. Influence of cell lipid and protein content, age and nutritional state. J. Clin. Invest. 50: 1399, 1971.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    York D.A., Steinke J., Bray G.A. Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance in genetically obese rats. Metabolism 21: 277, 1972.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davidson M.B. Effect of obesity on insulin sensitivity of human adipose tissue. Diabetes 28: 6, 1972.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nagulesparan M., Savage P.J., Unger R.M., Bennet P.M. A simplified method using somatostatin to asses in vivo insulin resistance over a range of obesity. Diabetes 28: 980, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kahn C.R., Neville jr D.M., Roth J. Insulin receptor interaction in the obese hyperglycemic mouse: a model of insulin resistance. J. Biol. Chem. 248: 244, 1973.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Olefsky J.M., Reaven G.M., Jen P. Insulin binding to isolated human adipocytes. Diabetes 23: 565, 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Forgue M.E., Freychet P. Insulin receptors in the heart muscle: demonstration of specific binding sites and impairment of insulin binding in the plasma membrane of the obese hyperglycemic mouse. Diabetes 24: 715, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Olefsky J.M., Reaven G.M. Effects of age and obesity of insulin binding to isolated adipocytes. Endocrinology 96: 1486, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Soll A.H., Kahn R.G., Nevill D.M., Roth J. Insulin receptor deficiency in genetic and acquired obesity. J. Clin. Invest. 56: 769, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Olefsky J.M., Bacon V.O. Insulin receptors of skeletal muscle: specific insulin binding sites and demonstration of decreased numbers of sites in obese rats. Metabolism 25: 179, 1976.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Olefsky J.M. The effects of spontaneous obesity on insulin binding, glucose transport and glucose oxidation of isolated rat adipocytes. J. Clin. Invest. 57: 842, 1976.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Archer J.A., Gorden P., Roth J. Defect in insulin binding to receptors in obese man, a melioration with calorie restriction. J. Clin. Invest. 55: 166, 1975.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Beck-Nielsen H., Pedersen O., Bagger J.P., Sorensen N.S. The insulin receptor in normal and obese persons. Acta Endocrinol. (Kbh.) 83: 565, 1976.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Harrison L.C., Ian F., Martin R., Melick R.A. Correlation between insulin receptor binding in isolated fat cells and insulin sensitivity in obese human subjects. J. Clin. Invest. 58: 1435, 1976.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Olefsky J.M. Decreased insuJin binding to adipocytes and circulating monocytes from obese subjects. J. Clin. Invest. 57: 1156, 1976.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    De Pirro R., Fusco A., Lauro R., Testa I., De Martinis C. Insulin receptor on monocytes and erythrocytes from obese patients. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 51: 1437, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kappy M.S., Plotnick L. Erythrocytes insulin binding in obese children and adolescents. J. Cli. Endocrinol Metab. 51: 1440, 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Beck-Nielsen H., Pedersen O., Lindskov H.O. Normalization of the insulin sensitivity and the cellular insulin binding during treatment of obese diabetics for one year. Acta Endocrinol. (Kbh.) 90: 103, 1979.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kono T., Barham F.W. The relationship between the insulin binding capacity of fat cells and the cellular response to insulin: studies with intact and trypsin-treated fat cells. J. Biol. Chem. 246: 6210, 1971.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Olefsky J.M. The insulin receptors: its role in insulin resistance in obesity and diabetes. Diabetes 25: 1154, 1976.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Marshall S., Olefsky J.M. Effects of insulin incubation on insulin binding glucose transport and insulin degradation by isolated rat adipocytes. J. Clin. Invest. 66: 763, 1980.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Czech M.P. Cellular basis of insulin insensitivity in large rat adipocytes. J. Clin. Invest. 57: 1523, 1976.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Czech M.P., Richardson D.K., Smith C.J. Biochemical basis of fat cell insulin resistance in obese rodents and man. Metabolism 26: 1057, 1977.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kolterman O.G., Insel J., Saekow M., Olefsky J.M. Mechanism of insulin resistance in human obesity. J. Clin. Invest. 65: 1272, 1980.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ciaraldi T.P., Kolterman O.G., Olefsky J.M. Mechanism of the post-receptor defect in insulin action in human obesity. J. Clin. Invest. 68: 875, 1981.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Olefsky J.M., Kolterman O.G. Mechanism of insulin resistance in obesity and noninsulin-dependent (type II) diabetes. Am. J. Med. 70: 151, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    National Diabetes Data Group Classification and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and other categories of glucose intolerance. Diabetes 28: 1040, 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Boyum A. A one stage procedure for isolation of granulocytes and limphocytes from human blood. Scand. J. Clin. Lab. Invest. 21 (97): 51, 1968.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Yam L.T., Li C.Y., Crosby W.N. Cytochemical identification of monocytes and granulocytes. Am. J. Clin. Pathol. 55: 283, 1971.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Scatchard G. The attractions of proteins for smallmolecules and ions. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. USA 51: 660, 1949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    De Fronzo R.A., Soman V., Sherwin R.S., Hendler R., Felig P. Insulin binding to monocytes and insulin action in human obesity, starvation and refeeding. J.Clin. Invest. 61: 204, 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kolterman O.G., Reaven G.M., Olefsky J.M. Relationship between in vivo insulin resistance and decreased insulin receptors in obese man. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 48: 487, 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Jeanrenaud B. Hyperinsulinemia in obesity syndromes: its metabolic consequences and possible etiology. Metabolism 27: 1881, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Marchand Y., Freychet P., Jeanrenaud B. Longitudinal study on the establishment of insulin resistance in hypothalamic obese mice. Endocrinology 102: 74, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Carducci Artenisio
    • 1
  • F. Ragonese
    • 1
  • F. Forte
    • 1
  • G. Saitta
    • 1
  • G. Perrone
    • 1
  • G. Lettina
    • 1
  • R. Campisi
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Consolo
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Pluridisciplinare di Clinica Medica e Terapia Medica Generale e SpecialeUniversità degli studi di MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Prof. Inc. Chimica BiologicaUniversità di PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations