Metabolism of Insulin Glargine After Repeated Daily Subcutaneous Injections in Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Carmine G. Fanelli, MD, PHD1
  1. 1Internal Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
  2. 2sanofi-aventis Deutschland GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany
  1. Corresponding author: Geremia B. Bolli, gbolli{at}


OBJECTIVE To investigate concentration of plasma insulin glargine after its subcutaneous dosing compared with concentration of its metabolites 1 (M1) and 2 (M2) in subjects with type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Nine subjects underwent a 32-h euglycemic glucose clamp study (0.4 units/kg glargine after 1 week of daily glargine administration). Glargine, M1, and M2 were measured by a specific liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay.

RESULTS Glargine was detected in only five of the nine subjects, at few time points, and at negligible concentrations. M1 was detected in all subjects and exhibited the same pattern as traditional radioimmunoassay-measured plasma insulin. M2 was not detected at all.

CONCLUSIONS After subcutaneous injection, glargine was minimally detectable in blood, whereas its metabolite M1 accounted for most (>90%) of the plasma insulin concentration and metabolic action of the injected glargine.

  • Received February 8, 2012.
  • Accepted July 9, 2012.

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