Hyperinsulinemia in the physiologic range is not superior to short-term fasting in suppressing insulin secretion in obese men

A. I. Pincelli, A. Brunani, A. Caumo, M. Scacchi, L. Pasqualinotto, A. Tibaldi, A. Dubini, S. Bonadonna, F. Cavagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The negative-feedback control exerted by plasma insulin on β-cell insulin release in normal-weight and obese subjects is still a matter of debate. Subjects submitted to a euglycemic insulin clamp undergo a suppression of insulin secretion that is due to both the infused insulin and the 2- to 3-hour fast during the procedure. We elected to elucidate the role of physiologic hyperinsulinemia per se in the insulin negative autofeedback in obese men. Ten men with massive uncomplicated obesity (age, 18 to 37 years; body mass index [BMI], 41 ± 1.15 kg/m2) and 6 normal-weight healthy men (age, 22 to 30 years; BMI, 22 ± 0.28 kg/m2) underwent 2 studies in random order: (1) a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic glucose clamp with an insulin infusion rate of 1 mU/kg/min and (2) a control study with saline infusion. Serum C-peptide concentrations were significantly higher in obese versus control subjects at baseline (2.54 ± 0.178 v 1.63 ± 0.256 ng/mL, P <.05). Exogenous insulin infusion significantly suppressed serum C-peptide at steady state ([SS] last 30 minutes of insulin or saline infusion) in controls (mean of the last 4 measurements from 120 minutes to 150 minutes, 0.86 ± 0.306 ng/mL, P <.05 v baseline) but not in obese patients (2.03 ± 0.26 ng/mL, nonsignificant [NS] v baseline). During the saline infusion studies, C-peptide levels slightly and similarly declined over time in both groups (2.71 ± 0.350 at baseline v 2.31 ± 0.300 ng/mL at SS in obese patients, NS, and 1.96 ± 0.189 v 1.62 ± 0.150 ng/mL in controls, NS). This study shows that in obese men hyperinsulinemia within the postprandial range is not superior to a 2.5-hour fast for the suppression of β-cell activity, suggesting an impairment of the insulin negative autofeedback in this clinical condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-111
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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