M. S. Ríos, S. D. L. Viña, M. Carbo
Jul 1, 1983
SummaryA 16-year-old boy with persistent hyperglycaemia (approximately 16 mmol/l in the fasting state) and acanthosis nigricans had insulin resistance and received daily up to 2 800 U of short-acting, soluble, highly purified porcine insulin. The number and affinity of insulin receptors were markedly decreased. No significant insulin binding to IgG could be detected. Immunoreactive insulin varied between 1344 and 2400 mU/l. Endogenous insulin secretion and proinsulin levels were grossly elevated in the fasting state (C-peptide 2.2–3.5 pmol/ml; proinsulin approximately 1 pmol/ml). After an oral glucose tolerance test and intravenous arginine infusion, B cell hypersecretion was confirmed. The molar ratio of C-peptide to immunoreactive insulin, normally approximately 7, was about 0.3, clearly indicating that most of the immunoreactive insulin was exogenous. The molar ratio of proinsulin to C-peptide, which is about 0.05 in fasting control subjects, was 0.23–0.45, clearly showing that too high a proportion of proinsulin was being secreted. This may indicate that the constant hyperstimulation of the B cell leads to reduced conversion of proinsulin to insulin. Immunoreactive glucagon levels were within normal limits fasting but were above normal after intravenous arginine infusion. Thus, in this case of diabetes with acanthosis nigricans, the severe insulin resistance, probably caused by a receptor defect, was associated with markedly increased B cell function.