The syndromes of insulin resistance and acanthosis nigricans. Insulin-receptor disorders in man

N Engl J Med. 1976 Apr 1;294(14):739-45. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197604012941401.


In six patients with acanthosis nigricans variable degrees of glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia and marked resistance to exogenous insulin were found. Studies of insulin receptors on circulating monocytes suggest that the insulin resistance in these patients was due to a marked decrease in insulin binding to its membrane receptors. When these patients were fasted, there was a fall in plasma insulin but no increase in insulin binding, suggesting that the receptor defect was not secondary to the hyperinsulinemia. The clinical features shared by these cases and several similar ones previously reported may be divided into two unique clinical syndromes: Type A, a syndrome in younger females with signs of virilization or accelerated growth, in whom the receptor defect may be primary, and Type B, a syndrome in older females with signs of an immunologic disease, in whom circulating antibodies to the insulin receptor are found.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acanthosis Nigricans / complications*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Binding Sites
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / immunology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hirsutism / complications
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Antibodies / analysis
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface*
  • Sex Factors
  • Syndrome


  • Autoantibodies
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Insulin Antibodies
  • Receptors, Cell Surface