Combining ZHENG Theory and High-Throughput Expression Data to Predict New Effects of Chinese Herbal Formulae
Erythrocyte (RBC) insulin receptors and the insulin response to glucose load (oGTT) were evaluated in ten male, non-obese, non-insulin dependent diabetic patients (NIDDM) before and after 14 and 90 days of 250 mg/day of chlorpropamide administration. In addition, as a control group, twelve healthy non-obese subjects were studied. Diabetic patients with fasting plasma glucose level higher than 14 mmol/l (group A), presented a significant improvement in the incremental glucose area only after 90 days of therapy. There was an evident reduction in insulin secretion, in comparison to normals, which however increased progressively during drug administration. No alterations in insulin binding to RBC receptors were observed either before or after the use of chlorpropamide, but the normalization of the initially low number of receptors per cell (N) and an increased high affinity constant (Ke) were achieved. In group B with fasting glucose less than 14 mmol/l there was a significant reduction in plasma glucose levels during oGTT without changes in glucose areas and a significant improvement of the insulin secretion was noted only in the early samples. Except for transient alterations in N and Ke no significant changes were observed in insulin-RBC binding parameters. We conclude that the improvement in the glucose tolerance in NIDDM is associated both to a greater insulin secretion and to the correction of the alterations in receptor parameters which could be related, at least partially, to proportionate changes in reticulocyte count.