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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth R. Seaquist x
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Objective—To measure and compare insulin secretion and sensitivity in healthy alpacas and llamas via glucose clamping techniques.

Animals—8 llamas and 8 alpacas.

Procedures—Hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamping (HEC) and hyperglycemic clamping (HGC) were performed on each camelid in a crossover design with a minimum 48-hour washout period between clamping procedures. The HEC technique was performed to measure insulin sensitivity. Insulin was infused IV at 6 mU/min/kg for 4 hours, and an IV infusion of glucose was adjusted to maintain blood glucose concentration at 150 mg/dL. Concentrations of blood glucose and plasma insulin were determined throughout. The HGC technique was performed to assess insulin secretion in response to exogenous glucose infusion. An IV infusion of glucose was administered to maintain blood glucose concentration at 320 mg/dL for 3 hours, and concentrations of blood glucose and plasma insulin were determined throughout.

Results—Alpacas and llamas were not significantly different with respect to whole-body insulin sensitivity during HEC or in pancreatic β-cell response during HGC. Alpacas and llamas had markedly lower insulin sensitivity during HEC and markedly lower pancreatic β-cell response during HGC, in comparison with many other species.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—New World camelids had lower glucose-induced insulin secretion and marked insulin resistance in comparison with other species. This likely contributes to the disorders of fat and glucose metabolism that are common to camelids.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine effects of dexamethasone on insulin sensitivity, serum creatine kinase (CK) activity 4 hours after exercise, and muscle glycogen concentration in Quarter Horses with polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM).

Animals—4 adult Quarter Horses with PSSM.

Procedure—A 2 × 2 crossover design was used with dexamethasone (0.08 mg/kg) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution administered IV every 48 hours. Horses were exercised on a treadmill daily for 3 wk/treatment with a 2-week washout period between treatments. Serum CK activity was measured daily 4 hours after exercise. At the end of each treatment period, serum cortisol concentrations were measured, a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp (HEC) technique was performed, and muscle glycogen content was determined.

Results—Mean ± SEM serum cortisol concentration was significantly lower after 48 hours for the dexamethasone treatment (0.38 ± 0.08 mg/dL), compared with the saline treatment (4.15 ± 0.40 mg/dL). Dexamethasone significantly decreased the rate of glucose infusion necessary to maintain euglycemia during the HEC technique, compared with the saline treatment. Muscle glycogen concentrations and mean CK activity after exercise were not altered by dexamethasone treatment, compared with the saline treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dexamethasone significantly reduced whole-body insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in Quarter Horses with PSSM after a 3-week period but did not diminish serum CK response to exercise or muscle glycogen concentrations in these 4 horses. Therefore, a decrease in glucose uptake for 3 weeks did not appear to alleviate exertional rhabdomyolysis in these horses. It is possible that long-term treatment may yield other results. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1718–1723)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research