Free fatty acids reduce splanchnic and peripheral glucose uptake in patients with type 2 diabetes

Mandeep Bajaj, Thongchai Pratipanawatr, Rachele Berria, Wilailak Pratipanawatr, Sangeeta Kashyap, Kenneth Cusi, Lawrence Mandarine, Ralph A. DeFronzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Splanchnic glucose uptake (SGU) plays a major role in the disposal of an oral glucose load (OGL). To investigate the effect of an elevated plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentration on SGU in patients with type 2 diabetes, we measured SGU in eight diabetic patients (mean age 51 ± 4 years, BMI 29.3 ± 1.4 kg/m2, fasting plasma glucose 9.3 ± 0.7 mmol/l) during an intravenous Intralipid/heparin infusion and 7-10 days later during a saline infusion. SGU was estimated by the OGL insulin clamp method: subjects received a 7-h euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp (insulin infusion rate = 100 mU·m-2·min-1), and a 75-g OGL was ingested 3 h after starting the insulin clamp. After glucose ingestion, the steady-state glucose infusion rate during the insulin clamp was decreased appropriately to maintain euglycemia. SGU was calculated by subtracting the integrated decrease in glucose infusion rate during the 4-h period after glucose ingestion from the ingested glucose load (75 g). 3-[3H]glucose was infused during the 3-h insulin clamp before glucose ingestion to determine the rates of endogenous glucose production and glucose disappearance (Rd). Intralipid/heparin or saline infusion was initiated 2 h before the start of the OGL clamp. Plasma FFA concentrations were significantly higher during the OGL clamp with the intralipid/heparin infusion than with the saline infusion (2.5 ± 0.3 vs. 0.11 ± 0.02 mmol/l, P < 0.001). During the 3-h insulin clamp period before glucose ingestion, Intralipid/heparin infusion reduced Rd (4.4 ± 0.3 vs. 5.3 ± 0.3 mg·kg-1·min-1, P < 0.01). During the 4-h period after glucose ingestion, SGU was significantly decreased during the intralipid/heparin versus saline infusion (30 ± 2 vs. 37 ± 2%, P < 0.01). In conclusion, an elevation in plasma FFA concentration impairs both peripheral and SGU in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3043-3048
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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