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Biochem J. 1979 Aug 15;182(2):585-92.

Metabolism of glucose in hyper- and hypo-thyroid rats in vivo. Relation of catecholamine actions to thyroid activity in controlling glucose turnover.


1. In euthyroid rats, treatment with reserpine of 6-hydroxydopamine, which deprived neuronal terminals of catecholamines, resulted in increases in rates and rate coefficients for blood glucose turnover in the starved states as determined by decay of [U-14C,6-3H]-glucose. Conversely, the injection of adrenaline or noradrenaline into starved euthyroid rats caused a marked decrease in rate coeeficients for glucose turnover. There was no change in the percentage glucose recycling under these conditions. 2. Adrenaline and noradrenaline caused more pronounced hyperglycaemia in hyperthyroid than in euthyroid rats owing to the greater activation of hepatic glucose production. 3. The increase in glucose turnover characteristics of hyperthyroidism was observed even after treatment with an alpha- or beta-adrenergic antagonist, showing the insignificant role of the balance between alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors in the thyroid-dependent metabolic changes. 4. Rate coefficients for glucose turnover were not affected by reserpine treatment or catecholamine injections when rats had been rendered hyperthyroid. 5. Thus catecholamines are direct determinants of glucose-turnover rates in the starved state, and depend to some extent on the prevailing thyroid state.

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