Earlier investigations have revealed that polyethylene glycol-B1-insulin (PEG insulin) causes lower utilization of glucose in fat cells than does the unaltered hormone, even though the blood glucose-lowering activity of both preparations in intact animals is identical.
The present study was aimed to establish whether or not PEG insulin in regard to adipose tissues of intact animals has similar functions. Radioactive glucose was used to examine the influence of both native pork insulin and its PEG derivative on the incorporation of tracers into lipids. Male Wistar rats and male domestic rabbits received 14C- and/or 3H-labeled glucose intravenously, while the insulin preparations were administered by either the subcutaneous (s.c.) or the intravenous (i.v.) route. Under the influence of PEG insulin, diminished incorporation of 14C and/or 3H into adipose tissues was observed in all cases, yet both natural insulin and the derivative lowered the blood glucose to the same extent.
These observations allow the assumption that, by using certain modified insulins, it may also be possible to manipulate the extent of glucose metabolism by lipid tissues in diabetic patients.