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Effects of insulin on renal haemodynamics and sodium handling in normal subjects

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Diabetic patients treated with insulin injected subcutaneously are characterized by peripheral hyperinsulinaemia and an increased mass of total body exchangeable sodium. We hypothesized that this may cause, at least in part, the glomerular hyperfiltration seen in the diabetic state. Six normal subjects were studied on 2 days in random order. Day A: Basal state for 40 min, hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp for 1 h (insulin infusion rate 2 mU kg-1 min-1 and 50% glucose infusion) and hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp combined with volume expansion (2 1 isotonic sodium chloride) for 2 h. Day B: as day A, but without insulin and glucose infusion. During combined volume expansion and hyperinsulinaemia an increase in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (128 +/- 6 vs 117 +/- 8 ml min-1 1.73 m-2, p less than 0.01) and lithium clearance (CLi) (50 +/- 4 vs 33 +/- 5 ml min-1 1.73 m-2, p less than 0.01) was observed compared with basal conditions. GFR and CLi were unchanged during day B. Insulin infusion reduced renal sodium excretion. Absolute proximal tubular reabsorption was unchanged on both days. Insulin infusion without volume expansion caused a decrease of 24% in the fractional distal sodium excretion. Superimposed volume expansion and the concomitant increase in GFR and CLi was accompanied by a subsequent enhanced fractional distal sodium excretion of 27%. The changes in plasma concentrations of aldosterone, renin, angiotensin II, atrial natriuretic peptide and catecholamines did not explain the differences in GFR. An increase in GFR of 10%, comparable with that observed in diabetic patients, was induced by combined hyperinsulinaemia and volume expansion in euglycaemic normal subjects. The enhanced GFR is probably a compensatory response to the sodium retention induced by the action of insulin on the distal tubules.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation
Volume51
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)367-76
Number of pages10
ISSN0036-5513
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1991

    Research areas

  • Adult, Female, Glomerular Filtration Rate, Humans, Hyperinsulinism, Insulin, Kidney, Male, Natriuresis, Renal Circulation, Renin-Angiotensin System, Sodium

ID: 44940661