Pancreas transplantation has been proven effective in supplying an endogenous insulin supply in diabetics. However, alterations in glucose metabolism after transplantation suggest a possible “insensitivity” to its action in the periphery. We hypothesized that sulfonylurea treatment of canines who had received segmental pancreas autotransplants would correct these alterations by altering peripheral insulin sensitivity. Glipizide therapy (5 mg p.o. b.i.d.) did appear, in fact, to enhance basal insulin sensitivity by lowering fasting glucose (100+3 to 81 + 11 mg/dl pre-treatment to post-treatment) while not affecting basal insulin levels. However, glipizide therapy was associated with decreased insulin response to challenge by either oral glucose (2 gm/kg) or sustained intravenous hyperglycemia (150 mg/dl above basal). We conclude that our model of pancreas autotransplantation documents alterations in glucose metabolism which are devoid of the effect of immunosuppression. Glipizide treatment appears to affect fasting sensitivity to insulin, but results in a decrement of insulin response to oral or intravenous glucose challenge.
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