Removal of insulin by perfused rat liver: effect of concentration

Metabolism. 1975 Feb;24(2):153-60. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(75)90016-5.


The kinetics of insulin removal by isolated rat liver were investigated by measuring the rate of disappearance of insulin from the perfusate during recycling perfusion and by comparing the extraction of insulin over a wide range of constant arterial hormone levels during nonrecycling perfusion. In the recycling studies, insulin was removed from the perfusing medium at a uniform rate between 5 and 45 min. The reaction velocity constant, or hepatic clearance, during this period of uniform disappearance averaged 1.8 ml/min and represented 34% of the volume flow through the liver. In the nonrecycling flow-through studies at constant arterial insulin concentration, an initial period of accelerated hepatic uptake of insulin was seen. This period lasted for 3 to 7 min, was seen at every level of arterial insulin concentration, and was followed by a period of constant hepatic insulin removal. The hepatic removal rate during the period of constant uptake increased in a linear fashion until arterial insulin concentration reached 500 muU/ml and attained a maximal value at concentrations over 800 muU/ml. These findings indicate that the time course of hepatic insulin uptake by the perfused rat liver consists of two phases-an initial rapid phase, possibly associated with insulin binding, followed by a sustained rate of insulin removal, which probably represents insulin utilization and degradation. The rate of hepatic insulin removal was found to be proportional to arterial insulin concentration overa range of 20 to 500 muU/ML. Above this concentration, hepatic removal processes became saturated, reaching a maximal value of 183 muU of insulin per gram of liver per minute.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Half-Life
  • Insulin / analysis
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Liver / analysis
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Perfusion
  • Rats
  • Swine


  • Insulin