The contribution of insulin-dependent and insulin-independent glucose uptake to intravenous glucose tolerance in healthy human subjects

Diabetes. 1994 Apr;43(4):587-92. doi: 10.2337/diab.43.4.587.


Glucose disposal occurs by both insulin-independent and insulin-dependent mechanisms, the latter being determined by the interaction of insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion. To determine the role of insulin-independent and insulin-dependent factors in glucose tolerance, we performed intravenous glucose tolerance tests on 93 young healthy subjects (55 male, 38 female; 18-44 years of age; body mass index, 19.5-52.2 kg/m2). From these tests, we determined glucose tolerance as the glucose disappearance constant (Kg), calculated beta-cell function as the incremental insulin response to glucose for 19 min after an intravenous glucose bolus (IIR0-19), and derived an insulin sensitivity index (SI) and glucose effectiveness at basal insulin (SG) using the minimal model of glucose kinetics. To eliminate the effect of basal insulin on SG and estimate insulin-independent glucose uptake, we calculated glucose effectiveness at zero insulin (GEZI = SG - [SI x basal insulin]). Insulin-dependent glucose uptake was estimated as SI x IIR0-19, because the relationship between SI and beta-cell function has been shown to be hyperbolic. Using linear regression to determine the influence of these factors on glucose tolerance, we found that GEZI was significantly related to Kg (r = 0.70; P < 0.0001), suggesting a major contribution of insulin-independent glucose uptake to glucose disappearance. As expected, SI x IIR0-19 also correlated well with Kg (r = 0.74; P < 0.0001), confirming the importance of insulin-dependent glucose uptake to glucose tolerance. Although IIR0-19 alone correlated with Kg (r = 0.35; P = 0.0005), SI did not (r = 0.18; P > 0.08).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin