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Am J Physiol. 1997 Jan;272(1 Pt 1):E133-8.

Insulin regulates liver glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase activity reciprocally in rhesus monkeys.

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Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland at Baltimore 21201, USA.


In skeletal muscle of both humans and monkeys, the effects of in vivo insulin during a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp on the enzymes and substrates of glycogen metabolism have been well established. In liver, such effects of insulin during a clamp have not been previously studied in primates. To examine insulin action at the liver, euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamps were performed in 10 lean young adult male rhesus monkeys. Liver biopsies were obtained at three time points: basal (fasting), that is, immediately before the onset of the clamp, and during insulin infusion at 130 and 195 min. Glycogen synthase (GS), glycogen phosphorylase (GP), glucose 6-phosphate (G-6-P), and glycogen were determined at each time point, with the greatest effects observed most frequently at 195 min. Whole body insulin-mediated glucose disposal rate was related to the change in the independent activity of GS (r = 0.63, P < 0.05). Insulin increased the GS fractional activity (P < 0.005) and decreased the activity ratio of GP (P < 0.001) compared with basal. The changes in fractional activity of GS and in activity ratio of GP were inversely related (r = - 0.68, P < 0.05), G-6-P concentration was decreased during insulin stimulation compared with basal (P = 0.01). Glycogen concentration was not significantly different between the basal and insulin-stimulated time points. We conclude that insulin during a euglycemic clamp activates liver GS while inhibiting liver GP and that insulin action on liver GS is positively related to whole body insulin-mediated glucose disposal rates in lean young adult rhesus monkeys.

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