Underestimation of glucose turnover corrected with high-performance liquid chromatography purification of [6-3H]glucose

W. F. Schwenk, P. C. Butler, M. W. Haymond, R. A. Rizza

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29 Scopus citations


We have recently reported that during infusion of commercially available [6-3H]glucose, a radioactive nonglucose contaminant may accumulate in plasma causing errors in the measurement of glucose turnover. To determine whether purification of this tracer by HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) before infusion would eliminate the contaminant in plasma and remove the underestimation of glucose turnover reported during hyperinsulinemia, four normal subjects each underwent two 5-h euglycemic clamps during infusion of insulin (1 mU · kg-1 · min-1). Glucose turnover was measured with either commercially available [6-3H]glucose or with HPLC-purified [6-3H]glucose. HPLC analysis of samples from the clamps done with commercially available [6-3H]glucose showed that 9.7% of the infused tracer and 26% of the 'plasma glucose 3H radioactivity' were contaminants. In contrast, no contaminant was observed in the plasma during infusion of HPLC-purified [6-3H]glucose. During the last hour of the clamp, mean glucose turnover using commercially available [6-3H]glucose was less (P < 0.01) than the mean glucose infusion rate (7.6 ± 0.3 vs. 10.5 ± 0.3 mg · kg-1 · min-1) yielding apparent 'negative' (P < 0.001) hepatic glucose release. In contrast, when HPLC-purified [6-3H]glucose was employed, glucose turnover equaled the glucose infusion rate (10.4 ± 0.09 vs. 10.2 ± 0.9 mg · kg-1 · min-1) and hepatic glucose release was no longer negative. We conclude that removal of a tritiated nonglucose contaminant in [6-3H]glucose by HPLC yields correct estimations of glucose turnover at steady state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E228-E233
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1 21-1
StatePublished - 1990


  • contamination
  • hyperinsulinemic clamp
  • negative glucose production
  • radioactive isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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