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Keywords:

  • non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM);
  • insulin secretion;
  • genetics;
  • Modified Quetelet Index;
  • morphometry;
  • islet cell antibody

Abstract

Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) from Cayo Santiago were examined for evidence of carbohydrate intolerance indicative of potential development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Monkeys 6 to >20 years from natal Groups J, M, and P, an AGED Group (all >20 years), and unrelated monkeys removed from the island in association with other groups (CAYO), were examined with intravenous glucose tolerance tests (iv-GTT). Morphometric measurements were made on all tested monkeys. Impairments included fasting hyperglycemia (>115 mg/dl), impaired glucose clearance (K <2.0%/min), fasting hyperinsulinemia (>150 μU/ml) or hypoinsulinemia (<20 μU/ml), and insulin secretory abnormalities (>500 μU/ml or <75 μU/ml). Natal groups J and M had 31% with impairments, group P had 0% the AGED group had 45%, and the CAYO group had 33%. Impaired glucose clearance was usually attributable to a reduced insulin response. Impairments correlated significantly (p ⩽ 0.05) to body weight and a modified Quetelet index, but not to sex, acute stress, or islet cell antibodies; the relationships to age could not be delineated in this survey. Impairements in monkeys are indicative of various stages in the asynchronous development of carbohydrate intolerance leading to NIDDM.