The activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDHC), a key enzyme complex in the oxidative disposal of glucose, was measured after an oral glucose load in the heart, liver, quadriceps muscle, white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT) of gold-thioglucose (GTG)-obese mice at different stages during the development of obesity and in age-matched controls. Significant responses to the glucose load were seen 30 min post-gavage in heart, WAT and BAT of control mice but no change was observed in quadriceps muscle. The increase in activity of the active form of PDHC (PDHCa) in response to glucose in heart was reduced 2 weeks after the induction of GTG-obesity with no response in 5 or 10 week obese mice. A 2-3-fold increase in the PDHCa response in both WAT and BAT of 2 week obese mice was absent in 5 and 10 week obese animals. Basal PDHCa activity in quadriceps muscle was increased in 2 week obese mice but subsequently returned to control levels as obesity progressed. The glucose load produced no change in the activity of PDHCa in quadriceps muscle of obese mice. These results demonstrate that changes in the capacity for oxidative glucose disposal in different tissues, as indicated by changes in PDHCa activity, may contribute to glucose-intolerance and insulin-resistance in GTG-obese mice and that the response of the PDHC to insulin during the development of obesity varies in different tissues.
- © 1995 The Biochemical Society, London