in Journal of Endocrinology
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It has been reported that hypoglycin and hypoglycin-like compounds, including 4-pentenoic acid, inhibit fatty acid oxidation and gluconeogenesis as well as inducing profound hypoglycaemia (Bressler, Corredor & Brendel, 1969). A vinyl group separated by two carbon atoms from the carboxyl group is apparently a structural requirement for biological effects (Corredor, Brendel & Bressler, 1967), valeric acid, the saturated analogue of 4-pentenoic acid, being inactive. In the course of investigations on insulin secretion in ruminants we observed that valerate is a very potent insulin secretogogue (Horino, Machlin, Hertelendy & Kipnis, 1968). In this communication evidence is presented which shows that 4-pentenoic acid is also a potent stimulant of insulin secretion in the sheep and, contrary to observations in non-ruminants, it can induce hyperglycaemia and inhibit lipolysis.

Four castrated male sheep (35–50 kg) were infused through a polyethylene catheter inserted into a jugular vein after a 24-h fast. Two animals received I


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