In view of reports that accessory pathways of glucose oxidation are enhanced in the diabetic state, we have determined the levels of key enzymes of the glucuronate-xylulose cycle in the livers of diabetic mice and rats. Genetically diabetic mice (db/db) were found to have increased levels of two NADP-linked enzymes of this cycle [NADP-xylitol dehydrogenase and NADP-L-hexonate dehydrogenase (aldehyde reductase II)], whereas other NAD- and NADP-linked dehydrogenase activities of the pathway were not changed. On the other hand, the livers of streptozotocin-diabetic mice and rats showed normal levels of all these enzymes. In the course of this study, evidence was obtained for the presence in db/db mouse liver of low molecular weight material inhibitory for glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase. The use of these animal models in diabetes research is briefly discussed.

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