Islet cell responses to glucose in human transplanted pancreas

D. Elahi, B. A. Clark, M. McAloon-Dyke, G. Wong, R. Brown, M. Shapiro, K. L. Minaker, T. L. Flanagan, T. Pruett, R. Gingerich, J. Hanks, D. K. Andersen

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33 Scopus citations


Postsurgery, pancreas transplantation results in alterations of carbohydrate metabolism. Additionally, immunosuppressive therapy impacts on glucose regulation. We evaluated the hormonal and metabolic responses of pancreas allografts, utilizing the hyperglycemic clamp technique coupled with the tritiated glucose methodology, in 11 volunteers who had received simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation (P-K) with systemic drainage. Their responses were compared with seven volunteers who had received only a kidney (K) graft and with seven normal control (C) volunteers. Although basal glucose and hepatic glucose output were similar in all three groups, basal insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, and pancreatic polypeptide were highest in the P-K group and lowest in normal subjects. During hyperglycemia, all groups showed a similar characteristic, initial complete suppression of hepatic glucose production, with recovery followed by a later suppression. Peripheral glucose uptake was similar in P-K and C subjects but decreased in K patients. Systemic insulin levels were fourfold higher in the pancreas transplant patients than in healthy subjects. Thus, under basal and hyperglycemic stimulation, 1) hepatic glucose homeostasis is regulated normally, even with pancreatic drainage into the systemic circulation; 2) overall glucose disposal is normal in P-K patients because of marked hyperinsulinemia; and 3) there is loss of tonic inhibition of endocrine pancreatic function secondary to pancreatic denervation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E800-E808
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 24-6
StatePublished - 1991


  • Denervation
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hepatic glucose production
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Systemic drainage


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