Glucose and ketone body turnover in fasting grey seal pups

Acta Physiol Scand. 1991 Apr;141(4):565-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.1991.tb09118.x.


Concentration and metabolic replacement (turnover) rate of glucose and ketone bodies were determined at intervals during a 52 day postweaning fast in five grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) pups, using bolus injections of radiotracers. Blood glucose was maintained at a high level throughout the fast, while beta-hydroxybutyrate increased 26 times from day 3 to day 37, whereafter it by and large was maintained. Glucose replacement rate decreased to 56% of the day 9 value at day 37 and dropped further to only 32% of the day 9 level at day 52 in two seals, while in another 2 seals it increased at this late stage. The average ketone body replacement rate ranged between 8.6 and 13.8 mumols min-1 kg-1, but did not change significantly (P greater than 0.05) during the fasting period. These results suggest a reduced gluconeogenesis from protein and increased production of ketone bodies, which may in part replace glucose as energy source during fasting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Fasting / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glycosuria / metabolism
  • Hydroxybutyrates / blood
  • Ketone Bodies / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Seals, Earless / metabolism*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Glucose