Insulin is released in a high-frequency pulsatile secretory pattern, which is reflected as quantifiable oscillations in peripheral circulating insulin concentrations. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by a broad spectrum of abnormalities in β-cell function, including disturbed pulsatile insulin secretion as assessed by autocorrelation analysis. To achieve further insight into β-cell pathophysiology in type 2 diabetes, we examined the orderliness of the baseline serum insulin time series (blood collection every minute for 75 minutes) in 16 type 2 diabetics (fasting plasma glucose, 170 ± 10 mg/dL [mean ± SE]; serum free fatty acid [FFA], 0.794 ± 0.083 mmol/L; and known diabetes duration, 6 ± 2 years) and 15 healthy controls (serum FFA, 0.523 ± 0.055 mmol/L). We used approximate entropy (ApEn), a recently introduced scale- and model-independent measure of serial irregularity. ApEn was significantly increased in the type 2 diabetics compared with the controls (0.671 ± 0.016 v 0.653 ± 0.008, P = .04), indicating more irregular serum insulin time series in diabetics. Autocorrelation also discriminated between groups, although only when the data were pooled. Interestingly, an inverse relationship between ApEn and serum FFA was observed in the controls (r = -.63, P = .01) and diabetics (r = -.65, P < .01), whereas no relationships were found between ApEn and the age, body mass index (BMI), or plasma glucose. In conclusion, type 2 diabetes is characterized by an increased disorderliness of the fasting serum insulin time series, strongly suggesting perturbed rapid oscillatory insulin release. An inverse relationship between ApEn and fasting serum FFA among both groups might suggest a hitherto unknown stabilizing action of FFA on the high-frequency pulsatile insulin release process. This hypothesis needs to be tested in experimental designs that more specifically focus on this issue, eg, during changes in serum FFA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism