Measuring glycerol turnover, gluconeogenesis from glycerol, and total gluconeogenesis with [2-13C] glycerol: role of the infusion-sampling mode

Metabolism. 1996 Jul;45(7):897-901. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(96)90166-3.


Mass isotopomer distribution analysis (MIDA) of glucose during infusion of [2-13C]glycerol is a new method for measuring total gluconeogenesis (GNG). Since this method relies on calculation of the isotopic enrichment (IE) of hepatic triose phosphates (TP), the results should be independent of the sites of tracer infusion and blood sampling. Postabsorptive and starved rats were infused with [2-13C]glycerol and sampled either in the arterial-venous (A-V) or venous-arterial (V-A) modes. Blood was also sampled from the portal vein. In both postabsorptive and starved rats, glycerol turnover rate (Rt) and the percent contribution of glycerol to total glucose production were higher in the A-V mode than in the V-A mode (P < .05). Glycerol IE in portal venous blood was intermediate between IE values observed in peripheral arterial and venous blood. Its use for calculating the contribution of glycerol to glucose production reconciled the results obtained with the two infusion-sampling modes in both postabsorptive and starved rats; this contribution was increased by starvation (P < .01). In postabsorptive rats, total GNG calculated from MIDA of glucose accounted for approximately 50% of glucose production whatever the infusion-sampling mode (A-V, 48.8% +/- 4.7%; V-A, 52.2% +/- 3.9%). This contribution increased to 90% in starved rats, again, with no difference between A-V (95.2% +/- 1.8%) and V-A (89.2% +/- 1.3%) modes. In conclusion, during infusion of [2-13C]glycerol, total GNG measured from MIDA of glucose is independent of the infusion-sampling mode, contrary to calculations of Rt and GNG from glycerol. Measurement of glycerol IE in portal venous blood reconciles the results obtained with the two modes with respect to the contribution of glycerol to GNG.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Gluconeogenesis*
  • Glucose / biosynthesis
  • Glycerol / administration & dosage
  • Glycerol / blood
  • Glycerol / metabolism*
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Blood Glucose
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Glucose
  • Glycerol