Vanadate treatment restores the expression of genes for key enzymes in the glucose and ketone bodies metabolism in the liver of diabetic rats

J Clin Invest. 1993 Jul;92(1):4-11. doi: 10.1172/JCI116580.


Oral administration of vanadate to diabetic streptozotocin-treated rats decreased the high blood glucose and D-3-hydroxybutyrate levels related to diabetes. The increase in the expression of the P-enolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene, the main regulatory enzyme of gluconeogenesis, was counteracted in the liver and the kidney after vanadate administration to diabetic rats. Vanadate also counteracted the induction in tyrosine aminotransferase gene expression due to diabetes and was able to increase the expression of the glucokinase gene to levels even higher than those found in healthy animals. Similarly, an induction in pyruvate kinase mRNA transcripts was observed in diabetic vanadate-treated rats. These effects were correlated with changes on glucokinase and pyruvate kinase activities. Vanadate treatment caused a decrease in the expression of the liver-specific glucose transporter, GLUT-2. Thus, vanadate was able to restore liver glucose utilization and block glucose production in diabetic rats. The increase in the expression of the mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase (HMGCoAS) gene, the key regulatory enzyme in the ketone bodies production pathway, observed in diabetic rats was also blocked by vanadate. Furthermore, a similar pattern in the expression of PEPCK, GLUT-2, HMGCoAS, and the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha genes has been observed. All of these results suggest that the regulation of the expression of genes involved in the glucose and ketone bodies metabolism could be a key step in the normalization process induced by vanadate administration to diabetic rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Glucokinase / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Synthase / metabolism
  • Ketone Bodies / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mitochondria, Liver / enzymology
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (GTP) / genetics
  • Pyruvate Kinase / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tyrosine Transaminase / genetics
  • Vanadates / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vanadates
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Synthase
  • Tyrosine Transaminase
  • Glucokinase
  • Pyruvate Kinase
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (GTP)
  • Glucose