Sulfonylurea therapy improves glucose disposal without changing skeletal muscle GLUT4 levels in noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus subjects: a longitudinal study

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A major pathological feature of noninsulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM) is defective insulin-stimulated glucose transport in skeletal muscle. When NIDDM subjects are assessed as a group, GLUT4 gene expression in skeletal muscle varies widely and is not different from that in controls. Thus, longitudinal studies are needed to assess whether changes in GLUT4 expression in muscle of NIDDM subjects could be responsible for changes in glucose disposal. The question is timely because recent studies in transgenic mice show that increasing GLUT4 expression can increase insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in vivo and in vitro. Here we use a longitudinal design to investigate the effects of 8 weeks of therapy with the sulfonylurea gliclazide on glycemic control, glucose tolerance, insulin-stimulated glucose disposal, and GLUT4 expression in muscle of 10 obese NIDDM subjects. Subjects were on a weight-maintaining diet. Gliclazide treatment results in increased serum C-peptide, decreased hemoglobin-A1c, decreased glucose excursion on glucose tolerance test, and 35% increased insulin-stimulated glucose disposal. Gliclazide therapy is not associated with any change in DNA or protein content per g muscle or any alteration in GLUT4 levels expressed either per microgram membrane protein or per DNA. In summary, the improvement in glycemic control and glucose disposal in NIDDM subjects receiving gliclazide therapy cannot be explained by increased expression of GLUT4 in muscle. Thus, therapeutic effects on insulin-stimulated glucose disposal can be achieved in NIDDM subjects without altering GLUT4 expression in muscle.
TidsskriftThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)270-5
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - jan. 1995

ID: 92193622