Insulin (IRI) and glucagon (IRG) increased in the plasma of the rat fetus from 18½ to 20½ days of gestation and decreased on day 21½. The demonstrated failure of insulin and glucagon to cross the placenta of the rat allowed the conclusion that fetal rat pancreas secreted IRI and IRG in the plasma of the fetus at the end of gestation. Fetal hyperglycemia induced by perfusing pregnant rats with glucose for one hour produced a marked increase in fetal plasma IRI but did not modify plasma IRG. Fetal hypoglycemia induced by perfusing pregnant rats with insulin for one hour produced a fall in fetal plasma IRI but no rise in fetal plasma IRG. Chronic fetal hypoglycemia produced by fasting pregnant rats for ninety-six hours or by intrauterine growth retardation of fetuses increased fetal plasma IRG and decreased fetal plasma IRI. Norepinephrine injection in term rat fetus increased plasma IRG and decreased plasma IRI. Acetylcholine injection increased both plasma IRI and IRG, whereas serotonin remained without effect. These data suggest that IRI and IRG secretion by the fetal rat pancreas is controlled by both the blood glucose level and autonomic nervous system activity. Lower blood glucose levels and higher plasma IRI and IRG levels in pregnant than nonpregnant rats are also reported.
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Original Contributions| April 01 1974
Factors Affecting the Secretion of Insulin and Glucagon by the Rat Fetus
Jean R Girard, Ph.D.;
Alain Kervran, Ph.D.;
Elizabeth Soufflet, M.S.;
Address reprint requests to: Jean R. Girard, Laboratoire de Physiologie comparée, Université de Paris VI, 9 quai Saint-Bernard, 75005 Paris, France.
Jean R Girard, Alain Kervran, Elizabeth Soufflet, Roger Assan; Factors Affecting the Secretion of Insulin and Glucagon by the Rat Fetus. Diabetes 1 April 1974; 23 (4): 310–317. https://doi.org/10.2337/diab.23.4.310
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