Simultaneous measurements of umbilical uptake, fetal utilization rate, and fetal turnover rate of glucose

W. W. Hay, J. W. Sparks, B. J. Quissell

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89 Scopus citations


Fetal umbilical glucose uptake was compared with simultaneous measurements of glucose turnover and utilization rates in 12 pregnant sheep, at a mean of 137 days gestational age (range, 118-146 days). Umbilical glucose uptake was calculated by application of the Fick principle. Fetal glucose turnover rate was measured by a primed-constant infusion of [14C]- and [3H]glucose (glucose turnover rate = tracer infusiuon rate + fetal glucose sp act). The calculation of fetal glucose utilization rate required substraction of the loss of tracer to the placenta from the tracer infusion rate, thus defining the net tracer entry into the fetus for direct comparison with the net umbilical glucose uptake. In fed, normoglycemic sheep, these measurements demonstrated statistical equivalence of umbilical glucose uptake rate (4.77±0.34 SE) and glucose utilization rate ([14C]glucose, 5.58±0.54 SE; and [3H]glucose, 7.19±1.24 SE) when tested by two-way analysis of variance (P > 0.1). In three fasted, hypoglycemic sheep, the umbilical glucose uptake rate fell to 1.43±0.56 SE, which was considerably lower than the simultaneous glucose utilization rate ([14C]glucose, 4.78 ± 0.48 SE; and [3H]glucose, 6.81 ± 2.19 SE). Thus, in the normoglycemic, late-gestation fetal lamb, there appears to be little glucogenesis, whereas glucogenesis may become significant during fasting-induced fetal hypoglycemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E662-E668
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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