1. The concentrations of cyclic AMP were compared in islets of Langerhans isolated from the pancreases of normal female and pregnant rats and were higher in islets in pregnancy. 2. There was also a significant increase in adenylate cyclase activity in homogenates of islets from pregnant rats compared with those from normal rats. 3. Increased cyclic AMP concentration in islets from pregnant rats was reflected in increased protein kinase activity. When the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase activity was increased by 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine this stimulated activity was significantly greater in pregnancy. 4. Insulin-secretion studies with islets from normal and pregnant rats showed that theophylline or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, which raise intracellular cyclic AMP concentrations, caused a significantly greater insulin secretion in pregnancy. 5. It was also found that in the presence of a glucose concentration too low to stimulate insulin secretion, the latter could be induced if the cyclic AMP concentrations were raised sufficiently with 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine. 6. It is suggested that the higher cyclic AMP concentrations observed in islets in pregnancy mediate the greater insulin-secretory capacity, as well as the greater sensitivity of these islets to low glucose concentrations.

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