Effects of proinsulin C-peptide on oxygen transport, uptake and utilization in insulinopenic diabetic subjects--a review

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009:645:193-8. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-85998-9_30.


Exogenous C-peptide administration has beneficial effects in many of the tissues commonly affected by diabetic complications. Diabetes-induced circulatory impairments such as decreased blood flow are prevented by C-peptide, possibly via Ca2+-mediated effects on nitric oxide release. C-peptide also improves diabetes-induced erythrocyte deformability, which likely improves oxygen availability and uptake in affected tissues. Furthermore, C-peptide prevents diabetic neuropathy via improvements of endoneural blood flow and by preventing axonal swelling. In the kidney, C-peptide normalizes the diabetes-induced increase in oxygen consumption via inhibition of the Na+/K+-ATPase. Surprisingly, C-peptide has also been shown to prevent complications in patients with type II diabetes. Taken together, these results may indicate that C-peptide treatment has the potential to reduce the prevalence of diabetic complications. In this paper, the current knowledge regarding these beneficial effects of C-peptide administered to diabetic subjects will be reviewed briefly.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • C-Peptide / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Oxygen / metabolism*


  • C-Peptide
  • Insulin
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Oxygen