The diurnal rhythms of plasma glucose, insulin, liver glycogen, and hepatic glycogen synthase and phosphorylase activities were determined in control and genetically diabetic (db/db) mice 8 weeks of age. The diabetic mice showed wide fluctuations in their plasma glucose levels, although being similar to controls near the end of the light period. Little variation was observed in their elevated plasma insulin levels. Liver glycogen levels in diabetic mice were not depleted to the low levels seen in controls during the last part of the light period but were maintained at significantly higher levels. However, maximum attained glycogen levels were similar in the two groups of mice. Alterations were also observed for the diurnal rhythms of glycogen synthase and phosphorylase activities, although again the daily maximums were similar in control and diabetic mice. These findings suggest that the reported changes of several of these metabolic parameters in the db/db mouse may be due to alterations in the diurnal pattern rather than to absolute changes.
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