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Am J Physiol. 1975 Jan;228(1):276-83.

Hormone-substrate responses to total fasting in lean and obese mice.


The hormone-substrate milieu has been investigated in male fasted lean (C57BL/6-+/+) mice and mutant obese mice of the same strain (C57BL/6-obob). The lean mouse, in winter, mobilized insufficient fat (due to inadequate stores) to permit survival beyong 3 days and was unable to achieve any degree of conservation of vital protein stores. By contrast, in summer, the same animals survived 7 days and showed evidence of greater and more sustained fat mobilization and ketosis and the ability to conserve protein. The insulin, glucagon, and insulin/glucagon molar ratios changed in both groups in a direction consistent with conversion to a catabolic state, and hence were probably largely responsible for the mobilization of substrates and stimulation of gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis. The seasonal difference in response is unexplained. The obob mice, generally employed as a model for obesity, hyperglycemia, and hyperinsulinemia showed these features but also adapted to fasting in a fashion permitting prolonged survival during this state. In a fashion analogous to that known to occur in man, these animals developed fall in glycemia, rise in circulating fat-derived substrates, and marked protein conservation. Profound fall in insulinemia was associated with a fall in glucagonemia, the latter from normal levels. Thus the initial markedly "anabolic" insulin/glucagon molar ratio diminished, but nevertheless remained higher than at any time in the lean mice. Pancreatic contents of insulin showed markedly different changes with fasting in obob compared with lean mice. The ability of the obese mouse to adapt to prolonged fasting in a fashion largely analogous to that of man renders it a useful model for the study of metabolism in this state, with the potential of applicability of findings to man.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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