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Central but not peripheral glucocorticoid infusion in adrenalectomized male rats increases basal and substrate-induced insulinemia through a parasympathetic pathway


OBJECTIVE: Glucocorticoids acting through the central nervous system are postulated to play a role in the hyperinsulinemia and increased adiposity of obesity. We investigated the role of parasympathetic activation in glucocorticoid-induced hyperinsulinemia. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Plasma pancreatic polypeptide (PP) levels were used as an index of parasympathetic output. Insulinemia and plasma PP levels were measured basally and after intravenous glucose injection (300 mg/kg) in adrenalectomized male rats infused with dexamethasone (7.5 microg/kg per day) intracerebroventricularly (ICV) or subcutaneously (SC) for 3 to 6 days in the presence or absence of acute atropine blockade (1.0 mg/kg). Food intake was controlled between groups. RESULTS: Compared with normal rats, adrenalectomy decreased white adipose tissue depot weights and leptinemia, and these were restored to normal values by ICV but not SC dexamethasone infusion. Adrenalectomy significantly reduced insulinemia below normal levels, which was restored by SC dexamethasone replacement. However, ICV dexamethasone replacement increased insulinemia of adrenalectomized rats to levels higher than normal control values (basal, 500 +/- 40 pM vs. 280 +/- 40 pM; 1-minute postglucose, 2500 +/- 180 pM vs. 1240 +/- 260 pM; p < 0.0001) and increased plasma PP levels, which were correlated with insulinemia. Atropine significantly reduced plasma insulin and PP to levels similar to normal controls but had no effect in any other group. DISCUSSION: These data show that glucocorticoids act within the brain to increase insulinemia, most likely through activation of parasympathetic efferent fibers. Such an affect would contribute to the adipogenic effects of central glucocorticoids.

Type Journal
ISBN 1071-7323 (Print)
Authors Sainsbury, A.;Wilks, D.;Cooney, G. J. :
Publisher Name OBES RES
Published Date 2001-01-01
Published Volume 9
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 274-81
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version