Acute Insulin Resistance Mediated by Advanced Glycation Endproducts in Severely Burned Rats

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Hyperglycemia often occurs in severe burns; however, the underlying mechanisms and importance of managing postburn hyperglycemia are not well recognized. This study was designed to investigate the dynamic changes of postburn hyperglycemia and the underlying mechanisms and to evaluate whether early glycemic control is beneficial in severe burns.


Prospective, randomized experimental study.


Animal research laboratory.


Sprague-Dawley rats.


Anesthetized rats were subjected to a full-thickness burn injury comprising 40% of the total body surface area and were randomized to receive vehicle, insulin, and a soluble form of receptor for advanced glycation endproducts treatments. An in vitro study was performed on cultured H9C2 cells subjected to vehicle or carboxymethyllysine treatment.

Measurements and Main Results:

We found that blood glucose change presented a distinct pattern with two occurrences of hyperglycemia at 0.5- and 3-hour postburn, respectively. Acute insulin resistance evidenced by impaired insulin signaling and glucose uptake occurred at 3-hour postburn, which was associated with the second hyperglycemia and positively correlated with mortality. Mechanistically, we found that serum carboxymethyllysine, a dominant species of advanced glycation endproducts, increased within 1-hour postburn, preceding the occurrence of insulin resistance. More importantly, treatment of animals with soluble form of receptor for advanced glycation endproducts, blockade of advanced glycation endproducts signaling, alleviated severe burn–induced insulin resistance. In addition, early hyperglycemic control with insulin not only reduced serum carboxymethyllysine but also blunted postburn insulin resistance and reduced mortality.


These findings suggest that severe burn–induced insulin resistance is partly at least mediated by serum advanced glycation endproducts and positively correlated with mortality. Early glycemic control with insulin or inhibition of advanced glycation endproducts with soluble form of receptor for advanced glycation endproducts ameliorates postburn insulin resistance.

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