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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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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