Glucose homeostasis in pregnant rats submitted to dietary protein restriction
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In the present work, we examined the effects of feeding a low protein diet during pregnancy on glucose-induced insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis in rats. Young (60 days), pregnant (P) or non-pregnant (NP) rats were fed during pregnancy or for 21 days (the NP) a normal (17%) or a low (6%) protein diet. Serum glucose and insulin levels and pancreas insulin content in the fed state; total area under serum glucose curve (AG) after a glucose load and serum glucose disappearance rate (Kitt) after insulin administration; as well as 86Rb outflow, 45Ca uptake and insulin secretion by isolated pancreatic islets in response to glucose were evaluated. Serum glucose was lower in 17%-P (12%) and 6%-P (27%) than in corresponding NP-rats. Serum insulin was higher in 17%- P (153%) and 6%-P (77%) compared to the corresponding NP-rats. Pancreatic insulin was higher in 6%-rats (55%) than in 17%-rats. No differences were found in AG among the groups whereas Kitt was lower in 6%-NP and higher in 6%-P than in the equivalent 17% rats. Increasing glucose concentration from 2.8 to 16.7 mmol/l, reduced 86Rb outflow from isolated islets from all groups. Increasing glucose concentration from 2.8 to 16.7 mmol/l elevated 45Ca uptake by 17%-NP (47%), 17%-P (40%) and 6%-P (214%) islets but not by 6%-NP ones. The increase in 45Ca uptake was followed by an increase in insulin release by the 17%-NP (2767%), 17%-P (2850%) and 6%-P (1200%) islets. In conclusion, 6%-P rats show impaired glucose induced insulin secretion related to reduced calcium uptake by pancreatic islets. However, the poor insulin secretion did not fully compensate the high peripheral sensitivity to the hormone, resulting in hypoglycemia.
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