Objective: Some obese youth with a clinical diagnosis of type 2 diabetes have evidence of islet cell autoimmunity with positive autoantibodies. In this study, we investigated the differences in insulin sensitivity and secretion between autoantibody-negative (Ab-) and -positive (Ab+) youth with clinically diagnosed type 2 diabetes in comparison with control subjects.
Research design and methods: Sixteen Ab- and 26 Ab+ clinically diagnosed type 2 diabetic patients and 39 obese control youth underwent evaluation of insulin sensitivity (3-h hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp), substrate oxidation (indirect calorimetry), first- and second-phase insulin secretion (2-h hyperglycemic clamp), body composition and abdominal adiposity (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography scan, respectively), and glucose disposition index (first-phase insulin secretion x insulin sensitivity).
Results: Insulin-stimulated total, oxidative, and nonoxidative glucose disposal, and suppression of fat oxidation during hyperinsulinemia were significantly lower in Ab- compared with Ab+ clinically diagnosed type 2 diabetic and control subjects with no difference between the latter two. First- and second-phase insulin secretion and C-peptide were lower in Ab+ compared with Ab- type 2 diabetes. Glucose disposition index was not different between the Ab- and Ab+ clinically diagnosed type 2 diabetic patients, but both were significantly lower than that in control subjects. Systolic blood pressure and alanine aminotransferase were higher in Ab- versus Ab+ clinically diagnosed type 2 diabetic patients, whereas the frequency of ketonuria at diagnosis was higher in Ab+ versus Ab- patients.
Conclusions: Islet-cell Ab- clinically diagnosed type 2 diabetic youth are characterized by severe insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency, whereas Ab+ youth have severe insulin deficiency and beta-cell failure. The former group has additional features of insulin resistance. These important metabolic differences could influence the natural history of hyperglycemia, insulin dependence, and clinical outcomes in these youth.