Sprague-Dawley male rats were injected at 2 days of age with streptozotocin (SZ). At 4 wk of age the fed plasma glucose concentration of the SZ group was 151 ± 6 mg/dl as compared with 133 ± 4 for the control group. The fed plasma insulin values were indistinguishable, however. In response to an intraperitoneal glucose challenge the SZ group had marked glucose intolerance and virtually no rise in plasma insulin. After a meal challenge the SZ group also had glucose intolerance, but plasma insulin responses were similar to those of the control. The pancreata of the 4-wk-old rats were perfused in vitro and the SZ group had essentially no response to glucose, but did respond to arginine. Adipocytes of the 4-wk-old SZ rats had impaired glucose conversion to CO2 similar to that seen in the more hyperglycemie 6-wk-old SZ rats. Castration carried out at about 3 wk of age did not influence the hyperglycemia seen at 6 wk of age and later. These data indicate that 4-wk-old SZ rats, while having near-normal plasma glucose levels and normal plasma insulin values, have clearly abnormal B-cell and adipocyte function. With increasing age and weight gain these SZ rats develop frank hyperglycemia.

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