Glucose homeostasis in two degrees of sepsis lethality induced by caecum ligation and puncture in mice

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Sepsis is associated with high mortality. Both critically ill humans and animal models of sepsis exhibit changes in their glucose homeostasis, that is, hypoglycaemia, with the progression of infection. However, the relationship between basal glycaemia, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity is not well understood. Thus, we aimed to evaluate this glucose homeostasis triad at the late stage of sepsis (24 h after surgery) in male Swiss mice subjected to lethal and sublethal sepsis by the caecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model. The percentage of survival 24 h after CLP procedure in the Lethal and Sublethal groups was around 66% and 100% respectively. Both Lethal and Sublethal groups became hypoglycaemic in fasting and fed states 24 h after surgery. The pronounced fed hypoglycaemia in the Lethal group was not due to worsening anorexic behaviour or hepatic inability to deliver glucose in relation to the Sublethal group. Reduction in insulin sensitivity in CLP mice occurred in a lethality-dependent manner and was not associated with glucose intolerance. Analysis of oral and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests, as well as the gastrointestinal motility data, indicated that CLP mice had reduced intestinal glucose absorption. Altogether, we suggest cessation of appetite and intestinal glucose malabsorption are key contributors to the hypoglycaemic state observed during experimental severe sepsis.

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