The effect of acetoacetate on plasma insulin concentration

Biochem J. 1971 Nov;125(2):541-4. doi: 10.1042/bj1250541.


1. Sodium acetoacetate was infused into the inferior vena cava of fed rats, 48h-starved rats, and fed streptozotocin-diabetic rats treated with insulin. Arterial blood was obtained from a femoral artery catheter. 2. Acetoacetate infusion caused a fall in blood glucose concentration in fed rats from 6.16 to 5.11mm in 1h, whereas no change occurred in starved or fed-diabetic rats. 3. Plasma free fatty acids decreased within 10min, from 0.82 to 0.64mequiv./l in fed rats, 1.16 to 0.79mequiv./l in starved rats and 0.83 to 0.65mequiv./l in fed-diabetic rats. 4. At 10min the plasma concentration rose from 20 to 49.9muunits/ml in fed unanaesthetized rats and from 6.4 to 18.5muunits/ml in starved rats. There was no change in insulin concentration in the diabetic rats. 5. Nembutal-anaesthetized fed rats had a more marked increase in plasma insulin concentration, from 30 to 101muunits/ml within 10min. 6. A fall in blood glucose concentration in fed rats and a decrease in free fatty acids in both fed and starved rats is to be expected as a consequence of the increase in plasma insulin. 7. The fall in the concentration of free fatty acids in diabetic rats may be due to a direct effect of ketone bodies on adipose tissue. A similar effect on free fatty acids could also be operative in normal fed or starved rats.

MeSH terms

  • Acetoacetates / pharmacology*
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / chemically induced
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery
  • Hydroxybutyrates / blood
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Pentobarbital
  • Rats
  • Starvation / blood*
  • Streptozocin
  • Vena Cava, Inferior


  • Acetoacetates
  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Insulin
  • Streptozocin
  • Pentobarbital