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Whole body protein kinetics in women: Effect of pregnancy and IDDM during anabolic stimulation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Roy Taylor


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The effects of pregnancy and type 1 diabetes [insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)] on protein metabolism are still uncertain. Therefore, six normal and five IDDM women were studied during and after pregnancy, using [13C]leucine and [2H5]phenylalanine with a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and amino acid infusion. Fasting total plasma amino acids were lower in pregnancy in normal but not IDDM women (2,631 ± 427 vs. 2,057 ± 471 and 2,523 ± 430 vs. 2,500 ± 440 μmol/l, respectively). Whole body protein breakdown (leucine) increased in pregnancy [change in normal (ΔN) and IDDM women (ΔD) 0.59 ± 0.40 and 0.48 ± 0.26 g·kg-1·day-1, both P < 0.001], whereas reductions in protein breakdown due to insulin/amino acids (ΔN -0.57 ± 0.19, ΔD -0.58 ± 0.20 g·kg-1·day-1, both P < 0.001) were unaffected by pregnancy. Protein breakdown in IDDM women was not higher than normal, and neither pregnancy nor type 1 diabetes altered the insulin sensitivity of amino acid turnover. Nonoxidized leucine disposal (protein synthesis) increased in pregnancy (ΔN 0.67 ± 0.45, ΔD 0.64 ± 0.34 g·kg-1·day-1, both P < 0.001). Pregnancy reduced the response of phenylalanine hydroxylation to insulin/amino acids in both groups (ΔN -1.14 ± 0.74, ΔD -1.12 ± 0.77 g·kg-1·day-1, both P < 0.05). These alterations may enable amino acid conservation for protein synthesis and accretion in late pregnancy. Well-controlled type 1 diabetes caused no abnormalities in the regulation of basal or stimulated protein metabolism.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Whittaker PG, Lee CH, Taylor R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism

Year: 2000

Volume: 279

Issue: 5

Pages: E978-E988

Print publication date: 01/01/2000

ISSN (print): 0193-1849

ISSN (electronic): 1522-1555

Publisher: American Physiological Society


PubMed id: 11052951