Studies on allergy and insulin resistance recognize the role of
insulin molecule as an inducer of the genesis of antibodies, as well as that of
cause complications of immunological type.
A large number of diabetic patients present allergy and insulin resistanc
Human insulins obtained by genetic recombination and even though
are structurally equal to endogenous insulin, they represent a source
potential antigenic Approximately 40% of patients treated with
NPH insulin antibodies have been detected against protamine.
These antibodies are rarely associated with allergic phenomena, but if
they are associated with anaphylactic reactions. An anticoagulant treatment with
heparin in patients treated with NPH insulin can produce effects
undesirable and should be prepared for a possible anaphylactic reaction.
In highly purified insulins the presence of other pancreatic peptides
are usually absent and therefore allergic pictures for this reason are
practically impossible. The formation of insulin dimers as
consequence of the oxidation of insulin would be another factor that would favor
formation of antibodies, these insulin dimeros occur when the
hormone is stored under inappropriate conditions such as temperature
Allergic reactions to zinc are extremely infrequent, now in the case
of suspicion should be carried out a test of allergic sensitivity to said
substance. A positive skin test on zinc acetate or sulfate will confirm the
diagnosis. Antibodies against the recombinant insulin obtained through the E.
coli have been described in isolation.
If we value from higher to lower the antigenic power of insulins we can
check that its antigenicity will depend on the origin of said hormone, thus the
bovine insulin is the most antigenic followed by porcine insulin and insulin
human Protamine or slow insulins have a similar antigenic power,
regardless of its origin.
Local insulin allergies
Approximately 2-3% of all treated patients have been described
with very purified insulins, both of bovine and human origin, while
that generalized allergic reactions are rare with these insulins.
Likewise, an insulin-resistance pattern caused by
formation of antibodies against insulin, we can talk about insulin-
resistance when pancreatic beta hormone needs are> 1.5
U / kg / day in adults. This complication of treatment is extremely infrequent
with the human insulins and with the very purified insulins of bovine origin.