Increased proinsulin secretion, which characterizes type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, may be due to an intrinsic, primitive defect in proinsulin processing or be secondary to increased demand on b-cells (hyperinsulinemia secondary to insulin resistance). An alternative way to investigate the relation between relative hyperproinsulinemia and increased secretory demand is to study the dynamic changes in the proinsulin-to-insulin ratio after partial pancreatectomy, a model of acute increased b-cell workload on the remaining pancreas. To pursue this aim, patients without diabetes, scheduled for partial pancreatectomy, underwent 4-h mixed-meal tests and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps before and after surgery. After acute b-cell mass reduction, no changes were observed in the fasting proinsulin-to-insulin ratio, whereas the fold change in the proinsulin-to-insulin ratio significantly increased over time after the meal. Further, our data demonstrate that whole-body insulin resistance is associated with underlying defects in proinsulin secretion, which become detectable only in the presence of increased insulin secretion demand.
- Insulin secretion