With aging, there is a decrease in parasympathetic nervous activity. Since the hepatic parasympathetic nerves (HPNs) are essential to the disposal of nutrients, through the hepatic insulin sensitizing substance (HISS), we tested the hypothesis that aging leads to a lowering of postprandial glucose disposal by a decrease of the HISS-dependent component of insulin action. Insulin sensitivity was quantified in fed or fasted, male and female Wistar rats (from 6 to 52 weeks), using a euglycemic clamp. The HISS-dependent component was quantified by administration of the muscarinic antagonist atropine. Total insulin action decreased gradually up to 52 weeks of age: The HISS-independent component of insulin action decreased until 9 weeks of age and remained unchanged thereafter; the HISS-dependent component decreased from 9 weeks of age throughout aging. The continuous decrease of HISS action, uncovered by blocking the HPN, is the key phenomenon for the gradual decrease of insulin sensitivity with aging.
|Journal||Journals Of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences And Medical Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|