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Glucose intolerance in teleost fish: fact or fiction?

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Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, P.O. Box 450, Stn A, K1N 6N5, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


Teleost fish are generally considered to be glucose intolerant. This mini-review examines some of the background and the possible mechanistic bases for this statement. Glucose intolerance is a clinical mammalian term meaning that a glucose load results in persistent hyperglycemia. Teleost fish show persistent hyperglycemia that is generally coincident with transient hyperinsulinemia. The fact that teleost generally have high plasma insulin compared with mammals implies insulin-deficiency is not a suitable explanation for this persistent hyperglycemia. Instead, peripheral utilization of glucose is probably the principle cause of hyperglycemia. Recent evidence for muscle insulin receptors, glucose transporters and hexokinase/glucokinase is reviewed and future experimental directions are suggested. If by altering peripheral glucose utilization fish could become more glucose tolerant, costs to the aquaculture industry may be substantially reduced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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