Muscle enzyme activity and insulin sensitivity in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus

Diabetologia. 1986 Oct;29(10):699-75. doi: 10.1007/BF00870279.


The mechanisms of insulin insensitivity in diabetes are poorly understood. We have therefore assessed the relationship between glucose disposal during a euglycaemic clamp, muscle glycogen formation, and the activities of insulin regulated enzymes within skeletal muscle in five Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients, both on conventional injection therapy (HbA1 11.0 +/- 1.0 (SD) %) and after 6 weeks continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (HbA1 7.6 +/- 1.4%, p less than 0.01). On both regimens, overnight euglycaemia before the clamp was maintained with an intravenous insulin infusion. The increase in clamp glucose requirements (insulin 0.1 U X kg-1 X h-1) between injection therapy and continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion was significant (6.2 +/- 0.9 (SE) to 7.0 +/- 0.9 mg X kg-1 X min-1, p less than 0.05), but small compared to differences between subjects. Glucose requirement remained lower than in control subjects (10.4 +/- 0.7 mg X kg-1 X min-1, p less than 0.05). The increase in muscle glycogen with the clamp was slightly higher on continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (9.5 +/- 2.5 mg/g protein) than on injection therapy (8.5 +/- 2.4 mg/g, p less than 0.05), but less than in control subjects (17.9 +/- 2.1 mg/g, p less than 0.05). The expressed activity of glycogen synthase and pyruvate dehydrogenase increased significantly between fasting and the end of the clamps in the patients (p less than 0.001 and less than 0.005), but was not significantly different between the two treatment regimens. Expressed glycogen synthase activity at the end of the clamp was lower on both treatments than in control subjects (p less than 0.05). Both enzyme activities were, however, highly correlated with glucose requirement between patients, (r = 0.89-0.94, p less than 0.05-0.02), and glycogen synthase was similarly correlated in the control subjects (r = 0.84, p less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / enzymology*
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Glycogen Synthase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin Infusion Systems*
  • Muscles / enzymology*
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex / metabolism*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex
  • Glycogen
  • Glycogen Synthase