The neonatal streptozocin (STZ) rat model of NIDDM has been previously found to have a markedly reduced insulin response to an acute increase in glucose concentration. We studied the effect of an acute reduction in glucose concentration on insulin and glucagon secretion in this model and contrasted the results with the effects of epinephrine and somatostatin using the in vitro isolated, perfused pancreas.
The reduction in perfusate glucose concentration from 11.1 to 2.8 mM caused a rapid suppression of insulin release in the control rats, but had no inhibitory effect in the STZ group. Epinephrine (55 nM) and somatostatin (110 nM) caused similar decreases in insulin secretion in both groups. The glucose reduction also caused an increase in glucagon release in the controls, but had no effect in the STZ rats. Epinephrine, however, stimulated glucagon secretion in both groups in a similar fashion, and inhibition by somatostatin was also comparable. The baseline insulin and glucagon concentrations were enhanced in a separate series of experiments by the addition of arginine (5 mM) to the perfusate, and while the insulin and glucagon responses to the glucose reduction remained lost, appropriate inhibition of insulin secretion was demonstrated in the STZ rats with epinephrine.
These data indicate that A- and B-cells in this rat model of NIDDM are selectively unresponsive to both increases and decreases in glucose concentration, while the responsiveness to nonglucose agents remains intact.