Obese gold thioglucose injected mice were reduced to lean control weight by food restriction. When pair fed with lean controls these animals then gained weight (were metabolically more efficient). Serum glucose was also elevated in this group (14.5±0.4 (14) vs 12.1±0.3 mmol/L, p<0.001). If previously obese animals were weight maintained with lean controls (by mild food restriction), serum glucose remained at control levels. The activity of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in heart muscle was decreased in both obese and pair fed previously obese, whilst it was similar to that of lean controls in the weight maintained previously obese and in obese mice actually dieted. In all obese and previously obese animals serum insulin was elevated. In hearts from control animals subjected to mild food restriction the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex was activated (11.53±1.80 (5) vs 3.34±0.62 (9) U/g dry weight), despite a reduced serum insulin level (42±2 vs 74±10 μU/ml, p<0.01). These diverse changes in the proportion of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in the active form and insulin levels argue for a persistent alteration in the sensitivity of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex to insulin in obesity, as well as indicating that glucose metabolism in obese animals is altered by both body weight and diet amount.

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