The present studies were performed to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the impairment of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion observed in fasting. Rats fasted for 48 hr displayed marked impairment in their insulin secretory response to both oral and intravenous glucose. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was restored within 24 hr by refeeding; actinomycin D given before refeeding blocked the expected return of normal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion despite adequate food intake. Fasted rats refed a diet devoid of carbohydrate failed to display a return of normal insulin secretory responsiveness to oral glucose in contrast to rats fed isocalorically a high carbohydrate diet. Differences in insulin secretion in fed, fasted, and fasted-refed rats could not be attributed to changes in pancreatic insulin content. There was no significant difference in the insulin secretory response to aminophylline of fed, fasted, or fasted-refed rats. The intermittent pulsing of fasted rats with hyperglycemic episodes by the injection of small amounts of glucose (500 mg) intraperitoneally every 8 hr ameliorated the impairment of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion characteristic of the fasting state. These results suggest that the impairment of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion during fasting and its restoration by refeeding are regulated by changes in a glucose-inducible enzyme system in the pancreatic beta cell.
N. J. Grey, S. Goldring, D. M. Kipnis