The oxidation of alanine, arginine, leucine, glucose, and pyruvate was studied in microdissected pancreatic islets of obese–hyperglycaemic mice. The following main observations were made. The oxidation of glucose was enhanced severalfold when its concentration was raised from 3 to 20mm. At the latter concentration the rate was about 65mmol/h per kg dry wt. The oxidation of 17mm-pyruvate amounted to 20mmol/h per kg dry wt. indicating a significant entry of this compound into the β-cells. Leucine oxidation was little affected by concentration changes above 5mm, the rate at 20mm corresponding to about 25% of that obtained with 20mm-glucose. In the absence of glucose, the oxidation of alanine or arginine was barely significant. Glucose stimulated the oxidation of alanine but depressed that of leucine. These effects of glucose were blocked by mannoheptulose or iodoacetamide but were not influenced by adrenaline, diazoxide, dibutyryl 3′:5′-cyclic AMP, or glibenclamide. The rate of alanine oxidation was doubled in the presence of 17mm-pyruvate but was unaffected by citrate or succinate. Succinate depressed the oxidation of leucine. Neither alanine nor leucine significantly affected the oxidation of glucose. It is suggested that the effects of glucose on the oxidation of alanine and leucine were mediated by metabolism of the sugar, and that amino acids do not act as insulin secretagogues by serving as fuels for the β-cells. The results are consistent with the existence of mechanisms auxiliary to glucose metabolism for control of insulin release.

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