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Open Access Effects of Ketamine-Xylazine and Isoflurane on Insulin Sensitivity in Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate-treated Minipigs (Sus scrofa domestica)

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Isoflurane and ketamine-xylazine (KX) combinations are widely used veterinary anesthetics, KX being the particularly common agent for immobilizing swine. Results of previous studies indicate that KX and xylazine suppress insulin release. The steroid hormones, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfated form, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS), have variable effects on insulin sensitivity in animals. We evaluated the effect of DHEAS on plasma glucose and insulin concentrations in female Yucatan swine under KX and isoflurane anesthesia. A 2 ¥ 2 factorial design was used. Twenty-four 17-week-old gilts were randomly assigned to receive vehicle (placebo) or DHEAS as part of an ongoing study. The KX was given intramuscularly to all animals prior to blood sample collection at weeks two and four. At week three, all animals received isoflurane by inhalation. During KX anesthesia, mean insulin concentration in DHEAS-treated and control groups approximated half the postisoflurane values (P < 0.001). While under isoflurane, the DHEAS group had significantly higher mean plasma insulin concentration and mean insulin-to-glucose ratio, compared with values for controls (P < 0.05). These findings are consistent with changes in insulin values following DHEAS treatment observed previously in nonanesthetized swine. The effect of DHEAS treatment was absent in animals under KX anesthesia. These results suggest that KX significantly decreases plasma insulin concentration and blunts DHEAS-associated insulin resistance in female minipigs.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, Human Nutrition Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, 36 Colovos Road, Durham, New Hampshire, 03824-3505

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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