Sensibilidade à insulina pós-prandial: mecanismos fisiológicos de activação e fisiopatologia na obesidade

Translated title of the contribution: Postprandial insulin sensitivity: activation physiological mechanisms and pathophysiology in obesity

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Hypoglycemic insulin action is maximal in the postprandial state and depends on the hepatic insulin sensitizing substance (HISS). The present thesis focus on the postprandial insulin action and, in particular, on the HISS-dependent pathway, both in physiological and pathological (obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus) animal models.
Different meals were tested in Sprague-Dawley rats (physiological model) for their capacity to potentiate insulin action. It was observed that intragastric administration of either glucose or sucrose does not affect insulin sensitivity, unlike the mixed meal, composed of lipids carbohydrates and proteins, which significantly potentiated insulin action through a process that seems to be initiated at the intestine and involves activation of the HISS pathway.
For the obesity studies, the first of the two obesity models used was the high fat-fed rat (HFD), in which the postprandial insulin resistance was almost exclusively caused by the decrease of HISS action, probably due to the impairment of HISS synthesis. This impairment correlates with both corporal and abdominal adiposity.
The second obesity model used was the obese Zucker rat (OZR), a genetic model, which presented a similar impairment of both components of insulin action (HISS-dependent and –independent). The modification in HISS pathway in OZR seems to be located downstream from HISS synthesis, that is, at its site of action – the skeletal muscle -, suggesting that one or several points common to both HISS and insulin per se signaling cascades are defective, resulting in a decreased glucose uptake.
In OZR, HISS action does not decrease with age and is also low at 52 weeks of age. In non-obese rats (LZR), HISS action decreases from 9 to 52 weeks and it is accompanied by a lower, although significant, impairment of insulin action per se. HISS action impairment with aging seems to be the major cause of insulin resistance in old LZR, whereas insulin resistance is not aggravated in aging OZR.
In the type 2 diabetes model, the diabetic Zucker rat (ZDF), both components of insulin action were also equally impaired. However, feeding the animals with Purina rat chow, which is slightly more caloric and more lipidic, induces additional HISS deterioration when compared with the standard lab diet, suggesting that insulin sensitivity in ZDF is very susceptible to nutritional factors.
In conclusion, HISS pathway is essential to potentiate insulin action from the fasted to the fed state and its dysfunction is highly responsible for the insulin resistance observed in the obesity and diabetes animal models studied.
Translated title of the contributionPostprandial insulin sensitivity: activation physiological mechanisms and pathophysiology in obesity
Original languagePortuguese
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • NOVA Medical School|Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (NMS|FCM)
  • Macedo, Paula, Supervisor
Award date22 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2009


  • Insulin
  • Insulin action
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes


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