Horm Metab Res 1980; 12(11): 577-581
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-999204

© Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart · New York

Insulin Resistance in Liver Cirrhosis: Decreased Insulin Binding to Circulating Monocytes

A. V. Greco, A. Bertoli, G. Ghirlanda, R. Manna, L. Altomonte, A. G. Rebuzzi
  • Istituto di Patologia Medica, Università Cattolica, Rome, Italy
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Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance have been reported in patients with liver cirrhosis. Since insulin receptor decrease has been demonstrated in some conditions of insulin resistance, we have studied insulin binding to circulating monocytes in eleven patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Specific insulin binding at tracer concentration was lower in cirrhotics than in control subjects (p < 0.005). Insulin binding to monocytes was correlated with basal plasma insulin level in cirrhotics (r = -0.76; p < 0.01). The inhibiting effect of native insulin on 125I-insulin binding was similar in cirrhotics and controls suggesting that concentration rather than affinity of the binding sites is affected in cirrhosis of the liver.

These findings suggest that decrease in insulin receptor concentration exists in liver cirrhosis, probably as a consequence of chronic hyperinsulinemia.