Meal-induced platelet activation in diabetes mellitus type 1 or type 2 is related to postprandial insulin rather than glucose levels

Galia Spectre, Ragnhild Stålesen, Claes Göran Östenson, Paul Hjemdahl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim Postprandial platelet activation was related to postprandial insulin rather than glucose levels in a previous meal insulin study in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We therefore compared postprandial platelet activation in type 1 (T1DM) patients without insulin secretion and T2DM patients with high postprandial insulin levels. Material and methods Patients with T1DM (n = 11) and T2DM (n = 12) were studied before and 90 min after a standardized meal without premeal insulin. Five T1DM patients volunteered for a restudy with their regular premeal insulin. Platelet activation was assessed by flow cytometry, with and without the thromboxane analogue U46619 or ADP, and by whole blood aggregometry (Multiplate®). Effects of insulin (100 μU/mL) in vitro were also studied. Results Before the meal, glucose, insulin and platelet activation markers other than platelet-leukocyte aggregates (PLAs) were similar in T1DM and T2DM; PLAs were higher in T1DM. Postprandial glucose levels increased more markedly in T1DM (to 22.1 ± 1.4 vs. 11.2 ± 0.6 mmol/L) while insulin levels increased only in T2DM (from 24.4 ± 4.4 to 68.8 ± 12.3 μU/mL). Platelet P-selectin expression, fibrinogen binding and PLA formation stimulated by U46619 were markedly enhanced (approximately doubled) and whole blood aggregation stimulated by U46619 was increased (p < 0.05 for all) after the meal in T2DM patients but not in T1DM patients. The pilot study with premeal insulin in T1DM patients showed postprandial platelet activation when postprandial insulin levels increased. In vitro insulin mildly activated platelets in both groups. Conclusion Postprandial platelet activation via the thromboxane pathway is related to postprandial hyperinsulinemia and not to postprandial hyperglycaemia in patients with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalThrombosis Research
StatePublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Platelet activation
  • Postprandial


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