We studied certain metabolic requirements for insulin-induced increases in phospholipids, and the relationship of phospholipid changes to the insulin-induced activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase, in rat adipocytes and fat pads in vitro. Increases in the contents of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylserine mass were maximal in rat fat pads within 10 min of incubation with insulin, and preceded or accompanied measurable increases in pyruvate dehydrogenase activity. In dose-response studies, the contents of these phospholipids and pyruvate dehydrogenase activity increased in parallel in response to increasing concentrations of insulin. Cycloheximide and puromycin inhibited insulin-induced increases in the mass of both of these phospholipids, as well as (in confirmation of previous reports) pyruvate dehydrogenase activity. Effects of insulin on phospholipid metabolism and pyruvate dehydrogenase were found to require an exogenous carbohydrate source, and fructose was nearly as effective as glucose in this regard. Insulin-induced increases in phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylserine were demonstrated in the mitochondrial fraction, which is also the subcellular locus of pyruvate dehydrogenase. The present findings suggest that there is a relationship between insulin-induced increases in phospholipids and pyruvate dehydrogenase activity, but the nature of this relationship remains to be defined.

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