Blood amino acids concentration during insulin induced hypoglycemia in rats: the role of alanine and glutamine in glucose recovery

Amino Acids. 2007 Jul;33(1):151-5. doi: 10.1007/s00726-006-0397-8. Epub 2006 Sep 8.


Our purpose was to determine the blood amino acid concentration during insulin induced hypoglycemia (IIH) and examine if the administration of alanine or glutamine could help glycemia recovery in fasted rats. IIH was obtained by an intraperitoneal injection of regular insulin (1.0 U/kg). The blood levels of the majority of amino acids, including alanine and glutamine were decreased (P < 0.05) during IIH and this change correlates well with the duration than the intensity of hypoglycemia. On the other hand, the oral and intraperitoneal administration of alanine (100 mg/kg) or glutamine (100 mg/kg) accelerates glucose recovery. This effect was partly at least consequence of the increased capacity of the livers from IIH group to produce glucose from alanine and glutamine. It was concluded that the blood amino acids availability during IIH, particularly alanine and glutamine, play a pivotal role in recovery from hypoglycemia.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine / blood*
  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / biosynthesis*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Gluconeogenesis / drug effects*
  • Glutamine / blood*
  • Hypoglycemia / blood*
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Amino Acids
  • Blood Glucose
  • Drug Combinations
  • Insulin
  • Glutamine
  • Alanine