Involvement of insulin in the acute thermogenic responses to food and nonmetabolizable substances

Nancy J. Rothwell, Michael J. Stock, Barry P. Warwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gastric intubation with 40 kJ of a carbohydrate slurry (4 mL) produced increases in resting oxygen consumption (VO2) of 15% to 22% in control, cold-adapted, and hyperthyroid rats, but the absolute rise in metabolic rate after food was greater in the latter group. Tube-feeding methyl cellulose (4 mL, 7% wt/vol) evoked similar increases in VO2 to carbohydrate (15% to 23%), but all of these responses were inhibited by β-adrenergic blockade with propranolol. In cold-adapted animals, fat (40 kJ, 1.2 mL) produced a greater thermic effect than carbohydrate or methyl cellulose, and water (4 mL) also induced a small (8%), significant increase in VO2. Treatment with diazoxide shortly before the meal, to inhibit insulin release, almost completely inhibited the thermic responses to carbohydrate and methyl cellulose in all groups, but did not alter the effects of fat or water. Ingestion of a nonmetabolizable substance (methyl cellulose), would appear to stimulate metabolic rate to a similar extent to carbohydrate, possibly by causing gastric distention. Thermic effects of both these substances appear to involve insulin release and activation of the sympathetic nervous system. The thermic response to fat can also be inhibited by β-adrenergic blockade, but apparently does not involve insulin release. © 1985.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1985


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