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

Lowering plasma free fatty acid levels improves insulin action in conscious pregnant rabbits.

Acute elevation in plasma free fatty acid (FFA) levels in nonpregnant rabbits simulates some aspects of insulin resistance observed in late pregnancy. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate whether lowered FFA induced by nicotinic acid (NA) infusion can improve insulin action in pregnant rabbits. To assess insulin sensitivity we applied euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp without (control study) or with concomitant NA infusion (NA study; infusion started 150 min before the glucose clamp) in conscious virgin and pregnant rabbits after an 18-h fast. A primed constant infusion of [3-3H]glucose was used to measure total glucose disposal and hepatic glucose production. Hyperinsulinemia, in association with NA infusion (NA study) brings about a significantly greater stimulation of total glucose disposal in both pregnant (approximately 30%) and nonpregnant (approximately 35%) rabbits compared with the control study. A more pronounced inhibition of hepatic glucose production occurred in NA study in pregnant rabbits (approximately 30 vs. approximately 10%) but it did not reach a statistical significance, whereas there was a total inhibition in nonpregnant rabbits. We conclude that acute decrease in plasma FFA levels mainly improves insulin action at the site of glucose utilization. These results therefore suggest that elevated FFA would contribute to the peripheral insulin resistance in late pregnancy.[1]


  1. Lowering plasma free fatty acid levels improves insulin action in conscious pregnant rabbits. Gilbert, M., Basile, S., Baudelin, A., Pere, M.C. Am. J. Physiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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