Renal failure is associated with peripheral insulin resistance and consequent carbohydrate intolerance. This report investigates carbohydrate metabolism in vitro in epitrochlearis and hemidiaphragm muscles taken from acutely uraemic and sham-operated rats. Muscles from acutely uraemic rats (compared to those from sham-operated rats) incubated with 5 mM glucose showed increased rates of basal and insulin-stimulated glycolysis and glycogen turnover, but pyruvate dehydro-genase and tricarboxylic acid – cycle flux was not increased in uraemia. Glycolysis (but not glycogen turnover) in muscles from acutely uraemic rats tended to show decreased responsiveness to stimulation by insulin. It is concluded that acute uraemia is associ-ated with a defect(s) in muscle that produces intrinsic insulin resistance and results in diversion of glucose (both in basal and insulin-stimulated states) from glycogen synthesis into glycolysis.

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