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Alcohol Alcohol. 2004 Sep-Oct;39(5):418-26. Epub 2004 Aug 2.

Chronic alcohol consumption yields sex differences in whole-body glucose production in rats.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Chapman University, Orange, California, USA.



The effects of chronic alcohol consumption (8 weeks) on glucose kinetics, in the absence (water, 4 g/kg) and presence of an acute ethanol dose (4 g/kg), were examined in 48 h fasted male and female Wistar rats.


Primed continuous infusions of [6-3H]- and [U-14C]glucose were employed to assess rates of glucose appearance (Ra), glucose disappearance (Rd), and apparent glucose carbon recycling.


After injecting the male and female controls with water, there were no significant alterations in glucose kinetics. Compared to controls, chronic alcohol-fed female animals (injected with water) demonstrated significantly lower: glucose Ra, blood glucose concentration, and apparent glucose carbon recycling for a majority of the experimental period. In separate groups injected with ethanol, the glucose Ra fell by 31% for male rats fed the control diet (MC), 43% for male rats fed the ethanol diet (ME), 29% for female rats fed the control diet (FC), and 42% for female rats fed the ethanol diet (FE). Further, compared to controls (MC and FC), the blood glucose concentration was significantly lower prior to and following the ethanol injection for FE. In addition, FE animals had significantly lower rates of glucose Ra and glucose carbon recycling compared to controls prior to and after the ethanol injection. ME animals demonstrated similar declines in glucose Ra (compared to FE), but only after the ethanol injection. Conversely, ME were able to match the decrease in glucose Ra with comparable declines in glucose Rd resulting in blood glucose concentrations that did not differ from controls.


Chronic alcohol consumption results in sex differences in whole-body glucose production and glucose regulation.

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