Whole-body insulin clearance in people with type 2 diabetes and normal kidney function: Relationship with glomerular filtration rate, renal plasma flow, and insulin sensitivity

Michaël J. B. van Baar, Erik J. M. van Bommel, Mark M. Smits, Daan J. Touw, Max Nieuwdorp, Reinier W. ten Kate, Jaap A. Joles, Daniël H. van Raalte

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Objective: Kidney insulin clearance, proposed to be the main route of extra-hepatic insulin clearance, occurs in tubular cells following glomerular filtration and peritubular uptake, a process that may be impaired in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and/or impaired kidney function. Human studies that investigated kidney insulin clearance are limited by the invasive nature of the measurement. Instead, we evaluated relationships between whole-body insulin clearance, and gold-standard measured kidney function and insulin sensitivity in adults with T2D and normal kidney function. Research design and methods: We determined insulin, inulin/iohexol and para-aminohippuric acid (PAH) clearances during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp to measure whole-body insulin clearance and kidney function. Insulin sensitivity was expressed by glucose infusion rate (M value). Associations between whole-body insulin clearance, kidney function and insulin sensitivity were examined using univariable and multivariable linear regressions models. Results: We investigated 44 predominantly male (77%) T2D adults aged 63 ± 7, with fat mass 34.5 ± 9 kg, lean body mass 63.0 ± 11.8 kg, and HbA1c 7.4 ± 0.6%. Average whole-body insulin clearance was 1188 ± 358 mL/min. Mean GFR was 110 ± 22 mL/min, mean ERPF 565 ± 141 mL/min, and M value averaged 3.9 ± 2.3 mg/min. Whole-body insulin clearance was positively correlated with lean body mass, ERPF and insulin sensitivity, but not with GFR. ERPF explained 6% of the variance when entered in a nested multivariable linear regression model op top of lean body mass (25%) and insulin sensitivity (15%). Conclusions: In adults with T2D and normal kidney function, whole-body insulin clearance was predicted best by lean body mass and insulin sensitivity, and to a lesser extent by ERPF. GFR was not associated with whole-body insulin clearance. In contrast to prior understanding, this suggests that in this population kidney insulin clearance may not play such a dominant role in whole-body insulin clearance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108166
JournalJournal of diabetes and its complications
Issue number4
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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