The specific effect of hyperglycemia on the reported decrease in liver glycogen synthase phosphatase activity was studied in STZ-induced diabetic rats with normal fasting insulinemia. Four groups of animals were investigated: control (nondiabetic), diabetic hyperglycemic (STZ), diabetic normoglycemic (STZ followed by 3-day phloridzin treatment), and a diabetic normoglycemic group injected with glucose to reinstate hyperglycemia. None of the treatments significantly altered fasting plasma insulin and glucagon concentrations. We found that hepatic synthase phosphatase activity decreased in STZ-induced diabetic rats and was further markedly reduced when glycemia was normalized in the diabetic animals. This additional decrease in phosphatase activity was almost fully reversed when hyperglycemia was restored by acute glucose infusion of the normoglycemic diabetic rats. In parallel, the levels of liver G6P and F6P were markedly reduced in the diabetic normoglycemic rats and restored with reinstatement of hyperglycemia. In contrast, liver microsomal glucose-6-phosphatase activity was enhanced and glucokinase activity was lowered in all diabetic groups, regardless of glycemia. Our results indicate that hyperglycemia per se counteracts part of the loss of hepatic synthase phosphatase in diabetic animals and provokes the stable conversion of synthase phosphatase from a less active to a more active form.

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