Insulin resistance with respect to lipolysis in non-diabetic relatives of European patients with type 2 diabetes

Diabet Med. 1995 Jan;12(1):66-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.1995.tb02065.x.


Type 2 diabetes is characterized by resistance to insulin action of glucose metabolism and lipolysis. First-degree relatives of diabetic patients are at increased risk of developing diabetes themselves and early metabolic abnormalities in these relatives may represent primary defects in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Our previous work has demonstrated impaired suppression of lipolysis after an oral glucose load in glucose-tolerant relatives of Asian origin, but not in European relatives. To investigate whether a more subtle defect exists in the European population we studied 8 first-degree relatives of European patients and 9 matched control subjects. All had normal glucose tolerance. Glycerol and glucose turnovers were measured using a primed constant infusion of the stable isotopic tracers [1,1,1,2,3(2)H5] glycerol and [6,6(2)H] glucose, basally and in response to a very low dose insulin infusion (0.005 units kg-1 h-1). The relatives had higher basal insulin concentrations (median (range): 49 (30 to 113) vs 28 (18 to 66) pmol 1(-1), p < 0.05) compared to controls, but basal glycerol and glucose turnovers and plasma concentrations of glycerol, glucose, and non-esterifed fatty acids (NEFA) were similar. Following insulin, the suppression of glycerol appearance in the circulation measured isotopically was significantly less complete in the relatives compared with controls (mean change +/- SEM: + 0.06 +/- 0.21 vs - 0.51 +/- 0.16 mumol kg-1 min-1, p < 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glycerol / blood
  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipolysis*
  • London
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Family
  • Reference Values


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Glucose
  • Glycerol