Erythrocyte insulin binding in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: Lack of relationship to duration and control of diabetes in children and adolescents

M. S. Kappy, L. P. Plotnick, J. C. Findlay, R. D. Kayne

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Insulin binding was measured in the erythrocytes (RBCs) of four children and 12 adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in the basal (fasting, nonketotic) state. Children and adolescents with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus showed normal binding of insulin to their RBCs when expressed as the total insulin bound over the physiologic range of insulin concentrations. The insulin receptor concentration and receptor binding affinity for insulin were also normal. These parameters of insulin binding were not correlated with either the duration or diabetes or the degree of diabetic control in the patients. Since insulin binding by erythrocytes has been shown to reflect binding by traditional target tissues (liver, fat), the data suggest that alterations in binding of insulin to cells in children and adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus probably play little if any, role in the response of these patients to exogenous insulin or in the control of their glucose metabolism in the basal state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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