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Biochem J. 1979 Aug 15;182(2):577-84.

Metabolism of glucose in hyper- and hypo-thyroid rats in vivo. Minor role of endogenous insulin in thyroid-dependent changes in glucose turnover.


1. Rates and rate coefficients of glucose utilization and replacement (glucose turnover) as well as its recycling were determined in rats by using [U-14C]- and [2-3H]-, [3-3H]- or [6-3H]-glucose. 2. In euthyroid rats, the blood concentration of glucose was 1.5 times and its turnover rate was 2 times as high in the fed state as in the starved state; consequently the rate coefficient, a measure of the capacity of rats to utilize blood glucose, was also higher in the former than in the latter. 3. Induction of mild diabetes by streptozotocin exerted little influence on the content and turnover of blood glucose in the starved state, whereas it caused hyperglycaemia and a decrease in the rate coefficient after feeding. 4. Induction of hyperthyroidism caused increases in rates and rate coefficients of glucose turnover to substantially the same extent whether or not the plasma concentration of insulin was lowered by treatment with streptozotocin or injection with anti-insulin serum. 5. It is concluded that thyroid hormones are capable of enhancing glucose turnover in the starved state independently of endogenous insulin, which plays a significant role in increasing glucose utilization in the fed state.

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