Effects of free fatty acids and ketone bodies on in vivo non-insulin-mediated glucose utilization and production in humans

Metabolism. 1989 Nov;38(11):1056-61. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(89)90040-1.


The current study was undertaken to examine the effect of an acute elevation of serum levels of free fatty acids (FFA) and ketone bodies (KB) on non-insulin-mediated glucose uptake (NIMGU) in humans. The study group consisted of 11 healthy men, mean age (+/- SD) 30 (+/- 7) years and mean weight (+/- SD) 72 (+/- 7) kg. To examine the effects of FFA levels on NIMGU and insulin-mediated glucose uptake (IMGU), glucose uptake was measured isotopically (3H-3-glucose) in six subjects on four separate days during saline infusion or lipid + heparin infusion with concomitant infusions of somatostatin (SHIF, 0.16 micrograms/kg/min) with or without insulin infusion (40 mU/m2/min) while the serum glucose level was clamped at approximately 11 mmol/L. To examine the effect of KB on NIMGU, saline or sodium acetoacetate (20 mumol/kg/min) was infused in five subjects on separate days during SRIF-induced insulinopenia while the serum glucose level was clamped sequentially at euglycemia and at approximately 11 mmol/L. During insulinopenia basal FFA levels rose twofold during saline infusion and sixfold during infusion of lipid + heparin. Rates of NIMGU were 2.49 +/- 0.27 v 2.41 +/- 0.14 mg/kg/min during saline and lipid infusion, respectively (P = NS). Rates of IMGU were decreased by 55% during lipid + heparin infusion. During insulinopenia basal beta-hydroxybutyrate (BOB) levels rose twofold during saline and approximately 11-fold during sodium acetoacetate infusion. Rates of NIMGU were unchanged by the sodium acetoacetate infusion at euglycemia and hyperglycemia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetoacetates / pharmacology
  • Adult
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / biosynthesis
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Insulin / deficiency
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Ketone Bodies / pharmacology*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male


  • Acetoacetates
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Ketone Bodies
  • acetoacetic acid
  • Glucose