Inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin release by exogenous insulin has been demonstrated in pancreatic islets to be associated with a decrease of the NADPH/NADP ratio and the pentosephosphate cycle activity.

Batches of five islets were incubated for 15 and 90 minutes in 1 ml. of KRB buffer with 2 per cent albumin containing 3mg/.ml. glucose and 0, 200, 400, or 800 μU./ml. of rat insulin, and the glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) and 6-phosphogluconate (6PG) contents were determined by enzymatic cycling.

In response to a rise in the concentration of insulin, the 6PG/G6P ratio decreased. A close relationship was observed between this decrease of 6PG/G6P ratio and the net insulin release, the absolute rate of glucose oxidation via the pentose phosphate cycle, and the NADPH/NADP ratios measured under similar conditions. The results suggest that exogenous insulin, directly or indirectly, regulates the pentose cycle activity in the pancreatic islets at the G6P dehydrogenase step.

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