To evaluate the role of splanchnic and peripheral tissues in the disposal of an oral glucose load, splanchnic exchange of glucose, lactate, pyruvate, glycerol and amino acids was determined in ten healthy subjects in the basal state and for three hours following the oral ingestion of 100 gm. of glucose.

Following glucose ingestion, splanchnic glucose output rose rapidly, reaching values two to three times the basal rate at fifteen minutes and returning to baseline by ninety minutes. A secondary rise in splanchnic glucose output occurred at 150 minutes and coincided with a secondary increment in arterial glucose. Total splanchnic glucose output over three hours was 40 ± 3 gm., representing a total increase of only 15 ± 3 gm. above basal splanchnic glucose output. The peak rise in blood glucose was directly proportional to the increase in splanchnic glucose output.

Arterial concentrations of alanine, lactate and pyruvate rose by 15, 65 and 80 per cent, respectively, following oral glucose. These arterial elevations were preceded by a 75–100 per cent inhibition of splanchnic uptake of alanine and lactate; in the case of pyruvate there was a reversal from a net uptake in the basal state to a significant net splanchnic output after glucose ingestion. Arterial glycerol fell by 50 per cent and was accompanied by a comparable fall in splanchnic uptake.

It is concluded that in normal, postabsorptive man, (a) the major portion of a 100 gm. oral glucose load is retained within the splanchnic bed; (b) only 15 per cent of the ingested glucose is available for disposal by peripheral tissues as increased (abovebasal) glucose utilization; (c) the height and shape of the oral glucose tolerance curve are largely determined by the rate and pattern of splanchnic glucose escape; (d) glucose-induced hyperlactatemia, hyperpyruvicemia and hyperalaninemia are due at least in part, to altered splanchnic exchange of these substrates.

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