The effect of oral glucose and arginine infusion on plasma glucose, glucagon, serum insulin, and C-peptide concentrations was evaluated in 16 patients with hyperthyroid Graves' disease and in ten euthyroid age- and sex-matched normal subjects. Basal plasma glucose concentrations were significantly higher in the hyperthyroid patients, but the plasma glucose response following glucose and arginine administration was similar in the two groups. The insulin response was similar in the hyperthyroid and normal subjects after glucose administration and significantly lower during arginine infusion in the hyperthyroid patients. The serum C-peptide response to both glucose and arginine administration was markedly blunted in the hyperthyroid patients, and the plasma glucagon response to arginine infusion was decreased. These results suggest that pancreatic beta and alpha cell secretory function is impaired in hyperthyroidism as assessed by C-peptide and glucagon secretion following oral glucose administration and arginine infusion. The apparent discrepancy between C-peptide and insulin secretion in the hyperthyroid patients following glucose administration might be due to diminished hepatic extraction of insulin or enhanced metabolism of C-peptide.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism