1. Adipocytes were isolated from the interscapular brown fat of male rats maintained at 21 degrees C. These animals were controls, streptozotocin-diabetics or 2-day insulin-treated diabetics. 2. With adipocytes from diabetic animals, maximum rates of noradrenaline-stimulated O2 uptake were decreased by 58%, and the Bmax. of [3H]GDP binding to mitochondria was decreased by 55%. Insulin administration reversed both of these changes. 3. Streptozotocin-diabetes increased basal lipolysis in adipocytes incubated with adenosine deaminase (1 unit/ml), decreased the EC50 (concn. giving 50% of maximum effect) for noradrenaline, but did not change the maximum rate of noradrenaline-stimulated lipolysis. Except for some small differences at very low concentrations (10-100 pM), diabetes or insulin treatment did not alter the sensitivity of noradrenaline-stimulated lipolysis or O2 uptake to the inhibitory effect of N6-phenylisopropyladenosine. It is therefore concluded that the lesion(s) in thermogenesis in diabetes are not attributable to any changes in lipolysis. 4. Blood flow through interscapular brown fat, measured by accumulation of [14C]DDT [14C-labelled 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl)ethane] was increased by 2.3-fold 70 min after a single administration of insulin to diabetic rats. This treatment decreased blood flow through epididymal white fat by 58%. 5. Propranolol treatment of diabetic rats muted the ability of insulin treatment to increase the maximum rate of noradrenaline-stimulated O2 uptake, suggesting that this action of insulin may be a secondary one rather than a direct effect of the hormone on the adipocytes.
- © 1988 London: The Biochemical Society