Although insulin resistance consistently occurs with type 1 diabetes, its predominant driver is uncertain. We therefore determined the relative contributions of hyperglycemia and iatrogenic hyperinsulinemia to insulin resistance using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps in three participant groups (n = 10/group) with differing insulinemia and glycemia: healthy control subjects (euinsulinemia and euglycemia), glucokinase-maturity-onset diabetes of the young (GCK-MODY; euinsulinemia and hyperglycemia), and type 1 diabetes (hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia matching GCK-MODY). We assessed the contribution of hyperglycemia by comparing insulin sensitivity in control and GCK-MODY and the contribution of hyperinsulinemia by comparing GCK-MODY and type 1 diabetes. Hemoglobin A1c was normal in control subjects and similarly elevated for type 1 diabetes and GCK-MODY. Basal insulin levels in control subjects and GCK-MODY were nearly equal but were 2.5-fold higher in type 1 diabetes. Low-dose insulin infusion suppressed endogenous glucose production similarly in all groups and suppressed nonesterified fatty acids similarly between control subjects and GCK-MODY, but to a lesser extent for type 1 diabetes. High-dose insulin infusion stimulated glucose disposal similarly in control subjects and GCK-MODY but was 29% and 22% less effective in type 1 diabetes, respectively. Multivariable linear regression showed that insulinemia-but not glycemia-was significantly associated with muscle insulin sensitivity. These data suggest that iatrogenic hyperinsulinemia predominates in driving insulin resistance in type 1 diabetes.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02971202.
© 2019 by the American Diabetes Association.