The Japanese journal of veterinary research

Changes in blood glucose and insulin responses to intravenous glucose tolerance tests and blood biochemical values in adult female Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

PMID 22458193


The metabolic mechanisms to circannual changes in body mass of bears have yet to be elucidated. We hypothesized that the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) has a metabolic mechanism that efficiently converts carbohydrates into body fat by altering insulin sensitivity during the hyperphagic stage before hibernation. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the changes in blood biochemical values and glucose and insulin responses to intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTT) during the active season (August, early and late November). Four, adult, female bears (5-17 years old) were anesthetized with 6 mg/kg TZ (tiletamine HCl and zolazepam HCl) in combination with 0.1 mg/kg acepromazine maleate. The bears were injected intravenously with glucose (0.5 g/kg of body mass), and blood samples were obtained before, at, and intermittently after glucose injection. The basal triglycerides concentration decreased significantly with increase in body mass from August to November. Basal levels of plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations were not significantly different among groups. The results of IVGTT demonstrated the increased peripheral insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in early November. In contrast, peripheral insulin resistance was indicated by the exaggerated insulin response in late November. Our findings suggest that bears shift their glucose and lipid metabolism from the stage of normal activity to the hyperphagic stage in which they show lipogenic-predominant metabolism and accelerate glucose uptake by increasing the peripheral insulin sensitivity.

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Acepromazine maleate, ≥98% (HPLC)
C19H22N2OS · C4H4O4