Glucose levels at the site of subcutaneous insulin administration and their relationship to plasma levels

Publication from Health

S. Lindpointner, S. Korsatko, G. Köhler, H. Köhler, , L. Schaupp, M. Ellmerer, , W. Regittnig

Diabetes Care 33 (4): 833-838., 3/2010



To examine insulin's effect on the tissue glucose concentration at the site of subcutaneous insulin administration.


A CMA-60 microdialysis (MD) catheter and a 24-gauge microperfusion (MP) catheter were inserted into the subcutaneous adipose tissue of fasting, healthy subjects (n = 5). Both catheters were perfused with regular human insulin (100 units/ml) over a 6-h period and used for glucose sampling and simultaneous administration of insulin at sequential rates of 0.33, 0.66, and 1.00 units/h (each rate was used for 2 h). Before and after the insulin delivery period, both catheters were perfused with an insulin-free solution (5% mannitol) for 2 h and used for glucose sampling only. Blood plasma glucose was clamped at euglycemic levels during insulin delivery.


Start of insulin delivery with MD and MP catheters resulted in a decline of the tissue glucose concentration and the tissue-to-plasma glucose ratio (TPR) for approximately 60 min (P < 0.05). However, during the rest of the 6-h period of variable insulin delivery, tissue glucose concentration paralleled the plasma glucose concentration, and the TPR for MD and MP catheters remained unchanged at 83.2 +/- 3.1 and 77.1 +/- 4.8%, respectively. After subsequent switch to insulin-free perfusate, tissue glucose concentration and TPR increased slowly and reattained preinsulin delivery levels by the end of the experiments.


The results show the attainment of a stable TPR value at the site of insulin administration, thus indicating that insulin delivery and glucose sensing may be performed simultaneously at the same adipose tissue site.