The effects of aging on various aspects of insulin secretion and action were studied in male Sprague-Dawley rats, maintained from 1½ to 12 mo of age on conventional rat chow, sucrose-rich, or calorie-restricted diets. In chow-fed rats, islet volume increased as the animals grew from 1½ to 12 mo of age, but glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (per volume islet) declined over the same interval. In addition, in vivo insulin-stimulated glucose utilization fell in these rats. However, the plasma insulin response to an oral glucose challenge was sufficient to prevent frank decompensation of glucose tolerance (presumably due to an increase in total pancreatic endocrine cell mass). All these changes, with the exception of the decline in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion per volume islet, were accentuated by feeding sucrose. Thus, 12-mo-old sucrose-fed rats had larger islets and higher plasma insulin levels in response to an oral glucose challenge, and the rats were more insulin-resistant than chow-fed rats. However, glucose-stimulated insulin release per volume islet was similar in 12-mo-old chow-fed and sucrose-fed rats. In contrast, calorie restriction led to an amelioration in all but one of the age-related changes, i.e., islets from calorie-restricted rats were comparable in size to those of 2-mo-old rats, the animals had lower plasma insulin levels in response to an oral glucose load, and they were less insulin resistant than the other two groups of 12-mo-old rats. On the other hand, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion per volume islet was similar to that of the other 12-mo-old rats. These results suggest that aging leads to marked changes in both insulin secretion and insulin action. The decline in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion per unit endocrine pancreas appears to be an inevitable consequence of the aging process. In contrast, the age-related changes in islet size, insulin response to a glucose load, and in vivo insulin-stimulated glucose uptake are extremely responsive to variations in amount and kind of calories.
Skip Nav Destination
Original Contributions| February 01 1983
Effect of Age and Diet on Insulin Secretion and Insulin Action in the Rat
C E Mondon;
Address reprint requests to Dr. Eve Reaven, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, 3801 Miranda Avenue (182B), Palo Alto, California 94304.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
E Reaven, D Wright, C E Mondon, R Solomon, H Ho, G M Reaven; Effect of Age and Diet on Insulin Secretion and Insulin Action in the Rat. Diabetes 1 February 1983; 32 (2): 175–180. https://doi.org/10.2337/diab.32.2.175
Download citation file: