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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of hypoglycin A on insulin release.

Thirty experimental and fifteen control Wistar rats were studied to determine whether hypoglycin A influences insulin levels in the body to contribute to the state of hypoglycemia usually observed in Jamaican vomiting sickness, a condition arising after ingestion of unripe ackees. This fruit also grows in other Caribbean islands, as well as North and Central America. Hypoglycin A is one of the toxic compounds found in unripe ackees and is capable of inducing hypoglycemia. A fall in blood glucose occurred after administration of hypoglycin A. The lowest level of 42.60 +/- 4.84 mg/dl was attained 3 hr after administration of the drug. This alteration of blood glucose from the fasting level of 80.31 +/- 5.20 mg/dl was significant (P less than 0.01). The blood glucose level in the control rats showed no significant change from the fasting level. The insulin level in portal and peripheral blood showed no significant change. Results showed that, although hypoglycin A induced severe hypoglycemia after intravenous application, there was no significant change in insulin levels. This observation suggests that hypoglycin A has a mechanism of action other than an alteration in insulin levels to induce hypoglycemia.[1]


  1. Effect of hypoglycin A on insulin release. Mills, J., Melville, G.N., Bennett, C., West, M., Castro, A. Biochem. Pharmacol. (1987) [Pubmed]
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