Physiologic modeling of the intravenous glucose tolerance test in type 2 diabetes: a new approach to the insulin compartment

Metabolism. 2001 May;50(5):512-9. doi: 10.1053/meta.2001.21029.


The minimal model of Bergman et al has been used to yield estimates of insulin sensitivity (Si) and glucose effectiveness (Sg) in type 2 diabetes by incorporating exogenous insulin protocols into the regular intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT). These estimates, however, are influenced by the degree to which the dose of exogenous insulin is greater than the physiologic response to a glucose load. Moreover, most studies have related to type 2 diabetes subjects whose diabetes was relatively mild in terms of therapeutic requirements. To develop a "minimal disturbance" approach in estimating Si and Sg in type 2 diabetes, we have used a reduced glucose load (200 mg/kg) and a "physiologic" insulin infusion throughout the IVGTT in a series of 8 patients, 5 of whom were insulin-requiring. Data from this approach were analyzed using the modelling program CONSAM to apply the Bergman model, either unmodified (BMM), or incorporating an additional delay element between the plasma and "remote" insulin compartments (MMD). Application of the MMD and extension of the IVGTT from 3 to 5 hours improved successful resolution of Si and Sg from 37.5% (BMM, 3-hour IVGTT) to 100% (MMD, 5-hour IVGTT). Si was reduced in these type 2 diabetes patients compared with normal subjects (1.86 +/- 0.60 v. 8.65 +/- 2.27 min(-1) x microU(-1) x mL x 10(4) P <.01). The results were validated in the type 2 diabetes group using a 2-stage euglycemic clamp ((Si)CLAMP = 2.02 +/- 0.42 min(-1) x microU(-1) x mL x 10(4) P >.4). Sg was not significantly reduced (2.00 +/- 0.25 type 2 diabetes v. 1.55 +/- 0.26 normal min(-1) x 10(2)). Data from a group of normal nondiabetic subjects was then analyzed using the MMD, but this approach did not enhance the fit of the model compared with the BMM. This result indicates that the delay in insulin action in type 2 diabetes represents an abnormality whereby the onset of insulin action cannot be described as a single phase in the transfer of insulin from plasma to the remote compartment. It is postulated that the physiologic basis for this delayed action may relate to transcapillary endothelial transfer of insulin, this process limiting the rate of onset of insulin action.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Glucose / administration & dosage
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glucose Tolerance Test*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological*


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose