Experiments were performed in which the effects of inhibiting gluconeogenesis on ketone-body formation were examined in vivo in starved and severely streptozotocin-diabetic rats. The infusion of 3-mercaptopicolinate, an inhibitor of gluconeogenesis (DiTullio et al., 1974), caused decreases in blood [glucose] and increases in blood [lactate] and [pyruvate] in both normal and ketoacidotic rats. Patterns of liver gluconeogenic intermediates after 3-mercaptopicolinate infusion suggested inhibition at the level of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. This was confirmed by measurement of hepatic oxaloacetate concentrations which were increased 5-fold after 3-mercaptopicolinate administration. The infusion of 3-mercaptopicolinate caused a decrease in total ketone-body concentrations of 30% in starved rats and 73% in the diabetic animals. Blood glycerol and hepatic triglyceride concentrations remained unchanged. The decreases in ketone-body concentrations were associated with increases in the calculated hepatic cytosolic and mitochondrial [NADH]/[NAD+] ratios. The decrease in ketogenesis seen after inhibition of gluconeogenesis may have resulted from an inhibition of hepatic fatty acid oxidation by the more reduced mitochondrial redox state. It was concluded that gluconeogenesis may stimulate ketogenesis by as much as 30% in severe diabetic ketoacidosis.

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