Glucose consumption by various tissues in pregnant rats: effects of a 6-day euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

In the course of pregnancy maternal tissues become increasingly more insensitive to insulin. As 6 days of euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamping, from day 8 until 14 of gestation, ameliorates total glucose consumption, we analysed the contribution of individual tissues in this phenomenon. We measured not only glucose consumption, but also concentrations of the glucose transporter protein GLUT4 in selected tissues. On day 15 of pregnancy in saline-infused (pregnant control) rats, 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) consumption, as measured by positron emission tomography, as well as GLUT4 content were diminished in heart (P < 0.05), and in brown (P < 0.05) and white adipose tissues (P < 0.05) when compared with non-pregnant controls. During clamping, on day 13 of the experiments, both in pregnant and non-pregnant rats FDG consumption was increased in liver (P < 0.05), skeletal muscle (P < 0.05), brown (P < 0.05) and white adipose tissues (P < 0.05) when compared with saline-infused controls. In both the reproductive conditions, only in white adipose tissue was this increased FDG consumption associated with increased GLUT4 levels (P < 0.05); GLUT4 content of m. gastrocnemius, m. soleus, heart and brown adipose tissue was unaffected by clamping. In non-pregnant rats, 24 h after clamping ceased, FDG consumption was diminished in heart compared with control non-pregnant rats (P < 0.05). In pregnant rats, however, 24 h after clamping (i.e. day 15 of pregnancy) both FDG consumption (P < 0.05) and GLUT4 content (P < 0.05) were still increased in white adipose tissue only, when compared with saline-infused pregnant rats on the same day of gestation. It is suggested that hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamping ameliorates insulin action halfway pregnancy, in particular by stimulation of glucose consumption and GLUT4 protein content in white adipose tissue.

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