Skip to content

Ethanol Acutely Stimulates Islet Blood Flow, Amplifies Insulin Secretion, and Induces Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia induced by alcohol ingestion is a well-known problem in diabetics. However, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon have remained largely unknown.

Because insulin secretion can be rapidly adjusted in vivo by changes in pancreatic microcirculation, we investigated the effect of acute alcohol administration on pancreatic islet blood flow (IBF) and dynamic changes in insulin secretion and glycemia in the rat.

Wistar rats were injected intravenously with ethanol (10%) or saline as a bolus, resulting in serum ethanol concentrations of approximately 8 mmol/liter. Pancreatic blood flow (PBF) measurements were performed using a microsphere technique in combination with a freeze-thaw technique after 10 minutes of injection.

Alcohol preferentially and significantly increased pancreatic IBF by approximately 4-fold, whereas it did not affect total PBF. Alcohol also increased insulin secretion in the late phase and induced late hypoglycemia after ip glucose tolerance tests. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N-w-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester and atropine prevented the increased pancreatic IBF, increased insulin secretion, and ethanol-induced hypoglycemia.

Thus, our results show that ethanol acutely exerts substantial influences on the pancreatic microcirculation by inducing a massive redistribution of PBF from the exocrine to the endocrine part via mechanisms mediated by nitric oxide and vagal stimuli, which enhances insulin secretion in the late phase, thereby inducing hypoglycemia.

This effect may partly underlie the known hypoglycemic properties of alcohol in diabetics or in alcoholics with liver failure.

Endocrinology: Ethanol Acutely Stimulates Islet Blood Flow, Amplifies Insulin Secretion, and Induces Hypoglycemia via Nitric Oxide and Vagally Mediated Mechanisms

Found at Alkohol adé (german)

Powered by BetterDocs

Close Popup

Bye bye booze needs a few cookies, too.

However, we try only to activate as few as possible technically necessary cookies so that your visit to this site cannot be tracked as far as possible by third parties. We do not share any information about your visit with anyone.

But even we we do need a few - e.g. to display this legal notice or to care for that you do not have to log in again for each page or see this popup again for each page.

As soon as you click on an external link or video, cookies may be set by the operators of these sites, which we cannot influence. Learn more on our privacy page.

Close Popup