Endocrinology and Metabolism


The changes in plasma glucose concentration and in interstitial glucose concentration, determined with a miniaturized subcutaneous glucose sensor, were investigated in anesthetized nondiabetic rats. Interstitial glucose was estimated through two different calibration procedures. First, after a glucose load, the magnitude of the increase in interstitial glucose, estimated through a one-point calibration procedure, was 70% of that in plasma glucose. We propose that this is due to the effect of endogenous insulin on peripheral glucose uptake. Second, during the spontaneous secondary decrease in plasma glucose after the glucose load, interstitial glucose decreased faster than plasma glucose, which may also be due to the effect of insulin on peripheral glucose uptake. Third, during insulin-induced hypoglycemia, the decrease in interstitial glucose was less marked than that of plasma glucose, suggesting that hypoglycemia suppressed transfer of glucose into the interstitial tissue; subsequently, interstitial glucose remained lower than plasma glucose during its return to basal value, suggesting that the stimulatory effect of insulin on peripheral glucose uptake was protracted. If these observations obtained in rats are relevant to human physiology, such discrepancies between plasma and interstitial glucose concentration may have major implications for the use of a subcutaneous glucose sensor in continuous blood glucose monitoring in diabetic patients.

  • glucose sensor
  • insulin
  • phlorizin
  • subcutaneous tissue


  • Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: G. Reach, INSERM U341, Diabetes Dept., Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, 1, Place du Parvis Notre Dame, 75004 Paris, France (E-mail:gerard.reach{at}htd.ap-hop-paris.fr).

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