Abstract

Human erythrocytes have specific insulin receptors. When studied in an insulin radioreceptor assay, erythrocytes from adult-onset, nonobese diabetic subjects bound at least 42 percent less insulin than the normal subjects at insulin concentrations from 0.1 to 100 nanograms per milliliter. The diabetic subjects had 190 insulin receptor sites per cell as compared with the 380 insulin receptor sites per cell for the normal subjects. The deficit of insulin binding in the diabetic subject was thus associated with a fewer number of insulin binding sites per cell with little or no change in affinity. The erythrocyte is a readily available cell for the evaluation of cellular insulin receptor activity.

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