Studies on overnight insulin requirements and metabolic clearance rate of insulin in normal and diabetic man: relevance to the pathogenesis of the dawn phenomenon

Diabetologia. 1986 Aug;29(8):475-80. doi: 10.1007/BF00453496.


In order to assess whether the metabolic clearance of insulin changes overnight, 11 patients with Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes and low insulin antibody titre, and 6 nondiabetic subjects were studied. In these studies insulin was always infused by a Harvard pump. Initially, the nocturnal insulin requirements were assessed in the diabetic patients by an overnight feedback insulin infusion to maintain euglycaemia. The insulin requirements decreased continuously after midnight to a nadir of 0.115 +/- 0.014 mU X kg-1 X min-1 at 04.30 hours, but after 05.00 hours the insulin requirements increased nearly 40 percent to a maximum of 0.16 +/- 0.012 mU X kg-1 X min-1 at 07.00 hours. To assess whether plasma insulin clearance changes overnight, the diabetic patients were studied on two different occasions, from 22.00-02.30 hours and from 04.00-08.30 hours. During each of these two studies insulin was infused in sequential steps of 90 min each at the rate of 0.13, 0.40 and 0.20 mU X kg-1 X min-1. Despite changes in plasma free insulin concentration, the metabolic clearance of insulin in the interval 22.00-02.30 hours (12.6 +/- 0.17 ml X kg-1 X min-1) was no different from that of the interval 04.00-08.30 hours (12.5 +/- 0.19 ml X kg-1 X min-1). The nondiabetic subjects were studied on two different occasions to assess whether the metabolic clearance of insulin changes overnight. Somatostatin (0.25 mg/h) and insulin (0.3 mU X kg-1 X min-1) were infused from 22.00-02.30 hours on one occasion, and from 04.00-08.30 hours on the other.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Antibodies / analysis
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate


  • Insulin
  • Insulin Antibodies