Dose-response characteristics for effects of insulin on production and utilization of glucose in man.

R. A. Rizza, L. J. Mandarino, J. E. Gerich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

613 Scopus citations


To determine the dose-response characteristics for the effects of insulin on glucose production, glucose utilization, and overall glucose metabolism in normal man, 15 healthy subjects were infused with insulin for 8 h at sequential rates ranging from 0.2 to 5.0; each rate was used for 2 h. Glucose production and utilization were measured isotopically ([3-3H]glucose). Tissue insulin receptor occupancy was estimated from erythrocyte insulin binding. Glucose production was completely suppressed at plasma insulin concentrations of approximately 60 microunits/ml. Maximal glucose utilization (10-11 occurred at insulin concentrations of 200-700 microunits/ml. The concentration of insulin causing half-maximal glucose utilization (55 + 7 microunits/ml) was significantly greater than that required for half-maximal suppression of glucose production (29 +/- 2 microunits/ml, P less than 0.01). Maximal effects of insulin on glucose production and utilization occurred at plasma insulin concentrations causing 11 and 49% insulin receptor occupancy, respectively. The above dose-response relationships indicate that in man 1) glucose production is more sensitive to changes in plasma insulin concentration than is glucose utilization; 2) both hepatic and peripheral tissues may contain "spare" insulin receptors; and 3) relatively minor changes in plasma insulin concentration or insulin receptor function can cause appreciable alterations in glucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe American journal of physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1981
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this