Objective: Insulin resistance (IR) is a key element in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. The results of recent experiments on insulin-mediated vasodilatation have suggested that vascular insensitivity is a component of IR. However, it is still controversial that patients with type 2 diabetes have a decreased ability of insulin to increase endothelial nitric oxide (NO) release. Method: Plasma concentration of NO was examined in 26 patients with type 2 diabetes and 78 nondiabetic volunteers during an insulin suppression test. The test measured the efficacy of insulin in promoting disposal of the infused glucose load, in which the steady state plasma glucose (SSPG) during the 150-180 min of the test was used as an index of IR. Plasma NO levels were assayed by measurement of the stable end products of their metabolism. Comparison of plasma NO levels between groups were performed by Mann-Whitney test and relationships between SSPG and different variables were analyzed by partial correlations. Results: Our results showed that the plasma NO levels were significantly higher in the diabetic group. When the nondiabetic subjects were analyzed according to their SSPG levels, there was no difference of plasma NO levels between those with SSPG > 160 mg/dl and those with SSPG < 160 mg/dl. There were also no difference of NO levels between those with a family history of type 2 diabetes and those without. In the nondiabetic group, SSPG correlated with BMI, fasting insulin, triglyceride and HDL-cholesteroL but neither with plasma NO levels nor fasting plasma glucose. Conclusion: Our data suggests that the impairment of NO activity in patients with type 2 diabetes is due to an impaired effect rather than its production. This altered NO signaling pathway is not an early event in insulin resistant individuals. Any such changes will not be apparent until type 2 diabetes with overt hyperglycemia develops.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism