Insulin replacement therapy in diabetic rats using an osmotic pump normalizes expression of enzymes key to hepatic carbohydrate metabolism

Kenneth L. Kramer, Bruce F. Giffin, James W. Fox, Richard L. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Intensively treating type I diabetics with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusions or multiple daily insulin injections to normalize mean blood glucose concentrations significantly reduces the onset of secondary diabetic complications when compared to conventionally treated diabetics. Our studies focused on characterizing hepatic enzyme expression in intensively and conventionally treated diabetic rats. Alloxan-induced diabetic rats were conventionally treated with insulin injected twice daily or intensively treated with similar daily dosages of insulin administered via a surgically implanted osmotic pump. Our results demonstrate a significant difference in hepatic enzyme expression when these treatment regimes are compared. In conventionally treated diabetic rats, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) protein and mRNA levels remained slightly elevated when compared to normal animals, glycogen phosphorylase (GP) protein levels were still slightly decreased, and glycogen synthase (GS) protein and mRNA levels remained at the elevated levels observed in untreated diabetics. In contrast, the protein and mRNA levels of all three enzymes were normalized in the insulin pump-treated animals. These results suggest that intensive insulin therapy improves glycemia directly by normalizing hepatic gene expression while conventional insulin therapy normalizes plasma glucose concentrations indirectly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 15 1999
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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