Effect of Insulin on Glucose Uptake in Near-Term Fetal Lambs

William W. Hay, Huei Kang Meznarich, John W. Sparks, Frederick C. Battaglia, Giacomo Meschia

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36 Scopus citations


Glucose clamp experiments were performed in 27 chronically catheterized, late-gestation fetal lambs in order to measure the effect of fetal insulin concentration on fetal glucose uptake at a constant glucose concentration. Fetal arterial blood glucose concentration was measured over a 30-min control period and then maintained at the control value by a variable glucose infusion into the fetus while insulin was infused at a constant rate into the fetus. Plasma insulin concentration increased from 21 ± 10 (SD) to 294 ± 179 (SD) μU·ml−1. The exogenous glucose infusion rate necessary to maintain constant glycemia during the plateau hyperinsulinemia averaged 4.3 ± 1.6 (SD) mg·min−1 ·kg−1. In a subset of 13 animals, total fetal exogenous glucose uptake (FGU; sum of glucose uptake from the placenta via the umbilical circulation plus the steady-state exogenous glucose infusion rate) was measured during the control and hyperinsulinemia period. FGU was directly related to insulin concentration (y = 4.24 + 0.07x) at insulin levels < 100 μU/ml and increased 132% above control at insulin levels above 100 μU/ml. Hyperinsulinemia did not affect fetal glucose uptake from the placenta via the umbilical circulation. These studies demonstrate that insulin concentration is a major factor controlling glucose uptake in the near-term fetal lamb, and that an increase of fetal insulin does not affect the transport of glucose to the fetus from the placenta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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