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Seasonal glucose uptake in marmots (Marmota flaviventris): the role of pancreatic hormones.

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Department of Biology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122.


1. Glucose uptake was measured throughout the year in marmots (Marmota flaviventris) by the hyperglycemic clamp technique. During each 2 hr experiment, the plasma glucose level was maintained at 215 mg/dl while blood samples were collected and analysed for glucose, insulin, glucagon, cortisol and catecholamines. 2. Glucose uptake was calculated from the glucose infusion rate, changes in the glucose pool (using a correction factor), and urinary glucose excretion. 3. In autumn, animals peaked in body weight (greater than 4.0 kg) and ceased to feed. Basal plasma insulin levels in autumn were significantly elevated over all other seasons (P less than 0.01) and glucose uptake in autumn was 9.7 +/- 2.4 mg/min which was significantly lower (P less than 0.05) than summer (21.7 +/- 2.4 mg/min) during the steady state phase of the glucose clamp (90-120 min). 4. Plasma glucagon levels declined during the clamp in all seasons but there was no significant difference between seasons. Plasma cortisol and catecholamine (norepinephrine and epinephrine) levels remained unchanged under basal and experimental conditions throughout the seasons. 5. During glucose infusion, beta-hydroxybutyrate levels were suppressed suggesting that lipolysis was reduced during the experiment. 6. These results suggest that the marmot exhibits seasonal changes in glucose uptake; the lowest rate of glucose uptake occurring in the autumn after the animals peak in body weight and cease to feed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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