Suppression of insulin secretion by C-peptide infusion in humans

P. Cohen, N. Barzilai, E. Karnieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A role for insulin in the regulation of its own secretion has been established; however, no such effect of C-peptide has been demonstrated. In order to reexamine the role of C-peptide and insulin in regulating β cell secretion, we infused C-peptide as a primed continuous infusion of 1 ng/min per kg for 45 min to 7 healthy volunteers, and insulin in a similar manner at rates of 1 and 10 mU/min per kg for 2 h to 14 healthy subjects using the euglycemic insulin clamp technique. Plasma insulin and C-peptide were measured before and during the infusions. During C-peptide infusion, C-peptide levels rose from 1.8 ± 0.2 to 2.3 ± 0.2 ng/ml; and insulin levels fell from 14.5 ± 0.8 to 11.0 ± 1.0 μU/ml (P < 0.01). During low and high rate insulin infusions, insulin levels rose to 70 ± 8 and 1,020 ± 105 μU/ml, while C-peptide levels fell significantly from 1.9 ± 0.2 to 1.5 ± 0.2 and to 1.3 ± 0.1 ng/ml, respectively. Thus 5- and 70-fold increases in circulating insulin levels caused 15% and 33% drops in serum C-peptide, respectively, However, a 30% increase in C-peptide levels caused a significant ~ 24% decrease in the levels of plasma insulin. We conclude that insulin induces a dose-dependent inhibition of β cell secretion, which is even more sensitive to inhibition by C-peptide. These data suggest a physiological role for C-peptide in regulating human insulin secretion in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-288
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • C-peptide
  • Euglycemic clamp technique
  • Insulin
  • Insulin secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering


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