Epinephrine produces smaller incremental increases in plasma glucose concentration and rate of glucose appearance (Ra) in septic rats compared with nonseptic animals. In the present study, we investigated the role of insulin in the diminished response of septic rats to epinephrine-induced increases in glucose turnover. Glucose kinetics were assessed by the infusion of [6-3H]-glucose in conscious catheterized rats made septic by subcutaneous injections of live Escherichia coli. Epinephrine was infused at 1 μg/min/kg for 2 hours in the presence and absence of somatostatin and mannoheptulose (SRIF + MH). In comparison to nonseptic control animals, epinephrine-induced increases in plasma glucose concentration and glucose Ra were blunted by more than 50% in the septic rats. Infusion of SRIF + MH with epinephrine restored the blunted response to normal. During the infusion of epinephrine alone, the plasma insulin concentration in the septic rats was 2.8-fold higher than the nonseptic controls. SRIF + MH lowered the plasma insulin concentrations in both the nonseptic and septic rats to less than 10 μU/mL. SRIF + MH reversed the sepsis-induced hyperglucagonemia, but did not prevent a slight increase in glucagon levels during the epinephrine infusion in the nonseptic rats. In a second study, septic rats infused with SRIF + MH and replacement insulin showed a smaller increase in glucose concentration and glucose production in response to epinephrine than did septic animals administered SRIF + MH and no insulin. These results indicate that insulin plays an important role in the diminished response of septic rats to epinephrine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism