Sulfonylureas enhance in vivo the effectiveness of insulin in type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes mellitus

A. E. Pontiroli, M. Alberetto, A. Bertoletti, G. Baio, G. Pozza

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Indirect evidence suggests that sulfonylureas, in addition to stimulating insulin release, exert additional effects at extrapancreatic levels which are of value in the management of type 2 diabetes. In order to characterize in vivo some of these effects, insulin sensitivity was studied in 9 type 1 diabetics with no residual insulin secretory activity, during treatment with chlorpropamide (250 mg b.i.d. for 8 days) and with glipizide (5 mg t.i.d. for 8 days). Employing the glucose clamp technique with the aid of an artificial pancreas (Biostator®), glucose disposal during insulin infusion (0.1 U/kg in 60 min) was calculated by the amount of glucose required to keep the blood glucose at preinfusion levels. Chlorpropamide and glipizide administration was accompanied by a significant increase of the amount of glucose required to clamp blood glucose levels, while serum (free) insulin levels were superimposable during the different clamping studies. In the absence of endogenous insulin release, these data strongly suggest that the two sulfonylureas employed enhance in vivo the peripheral sensitivity to insulin. Further studies are required to indicate a preferential site of action (liver, muscle, adipose tissue) of sulfonylureas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-170
Number of pages4
JournalHormone and Metabolic Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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