1. The overall metabolic changes in lactating mammary gland in alloxan-diabetic and anti-insulin-serum-treated rats were assessed by measurement of the incorporation of 14C from specifically labelled glucose, pyruvate and acetate into carbon dioxide and lipid, together with measurements of enzymes concerned with the pentose phosphate pathway and with citrate metabolism. 2. Alloxan-diabetes depressed the rate of formation of 14CO2 from [1−14C]glucose and [2−14C]glucose to approx. 10% of the control rate; this was partially reversed by addition of insulin in vitro. The quotient Oxidation of [1−14C]glucose/Oxidation of [6−14C]glucose fell from a value of 17·6 in the control group to 3·9 in the diabetic group and was restored to 14·3 in the presence of insulin in vitro. In keeping with these results it was shown that glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase activities were significantly decreased in alloxan-diabetic rats. 3. Alloxan-diabetes depressed the decarboxylation and the oxidation of labelled pyruvate, but not the oxidation of labelled acetate. 4. The synthesis of lipid from specifically labelled glucose was greatly decreased, that from [2−14C]pyruvate was almost unchanged and that from [1−14C]acetate alone was increased in alloxandiabetic rats. However, the stimulation of lipid synthesis from acetate by glucose was small in the alloxan-diabetic rats compared with the controls. Insulin in vitro partially reversed all these effects. Both citrate-cleavage enzyme and acetate thiokinase activities were decreased in alloxan-diabetic rats. 5. Treatment of rats with anti-insulin serum depressed the formation of 14CO2 from [1−14C]glucose and [2−14C]glucose, but increased that from [6−14C]glucose. This was completely restored by the presence of insulin in vitro. The quotient Oxidation of [1−14C]glucose/Oxidation of [6−14C]glucose fell from a value of 17·6 in the control group to 3·8 in the anti-insulin-serum-treated group. There were no changes in the activity of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase or 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, but the hexokinase distribution changed and the content of the soluble fraction increased significantly. 6. The synthesis of lipid from specifically labelled glucose was depressed in anti-insulin-serum-treated rats; this effect was completely reversed by addition of insulin in vitro to the tissue slices.
- © 1968 The Biochemical Journal