In vivo hepatic and peripheral insulin resistance in genetically obese (fa/fa) rats

Endocrinology. 1983 Apr;112(4):1346-51. doi: 10.1210/endo-112-4-1346.


The techniques of hyperglycemic and euglycemic clamps previously used in human investigation have been adapted to small rodents to measure in vivo peripheral (muscle, adipose tissues) glucose metabolism and in vivo hepatic glucose production, in lean and genetically obese (fa/fa) rats. The aim of the study was 1) to assess the in vivo relevance of previously described in vitro abnormalities of muscle and adipose tissues producing insulin resistance in genetically obese (fa/fa) rats; 2) to decide whether livers of obese rats were insulin resistant. It was observed that during either hyperglycemic or euglycemic clamps, peripheral glucose metabolism by muscle and adipose tissue of obese rats was similar to that of lean controls but at the cost, for the obese rats, of plasma insulin levels that were 3.5 times higher than control. This indicated that peripheral tissues of obese rats were indeed insulin resistant when tested in vivo. It was also observed that raising plasma insulin levels in lean rats inhibited the in vivo hepatic glucose production. In contrast, in obese rats, hepatic glucose production was high in spite of a marked increase in basal insulinemia. Furthermore, hepatic glucose production of obese rats failed to be inhibited by further increasing their hyperinsulinemia. This is the first demonstration of a hepatic insulin resistance in genetically obese fa/fa rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Liver / physiopathology*
  • Mathematics
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Zucker


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin