The influence of pancreatectomy on the blood sugar and on the serum lipids and ketone bodies has been examined in fifteen male baboons while receiving insulin as well as during periods of insulin deprivation. In insulin-treated baboons, a daily hyperglycaemia, alternating with periods of reduced blood-sugar concentration, was not associated with the development of a lipaemia. During insulin withdrawal, it was shown that (1) hyperlipaemia, cholesterolaemia, phospholipaemia and ketonaemia developed consistently in all baboons; (2) hyperglycaemia preceded lipaemia by 24–48 hr; (3) the triglycerides were the most sensitive fraction of the serum lipids, largely accounting for the initial lipaemia following insulin deprivation and showing the most rapid decline during the 24 hr following the re-administration of insulin; and (4) insulin exerted a transitory action on the blood sugar but a more prolonged one on the serum lipids. It is suggested that this differential action of insulin on the blood sugar and on the blood fats might assist in interpreting the seeming inconsistency between the severity of the diabetes and the observed levels of the blood fats in man.
No direct relationship could be established between the severity of the lipaemia or of the hyperglycaemia and the severity of the ketosis in insulin-deprived, depancreatized baboons. It is suggested that the wide variations in the levels of the serum lipids and of the ketone bodies following insulin withdrawal are indicative of subtle individual differences in the relative intensity of activity of the endocrine glands, particularly the adrenal cortex, the thyroid and the pituitary, in each baboon at any given moment.
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