Splanchnic factors enhance the norepinephrine response to oral glucose in aged man

Richard P. Tonino, Kenneth L. Minaker, James B. Young, Lewis Landsberg, John W. Rowe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Oral glucose has been shown to increase sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity more in old than in young subjects. In contrast intravenous glucose during euglycemic hyperinsulinemia increases SNS activity in young but not in old subjects. To evaluate the role of splanchnic factors in this discrepancy, we employed a modification of the glucose clamp technique in 6 young (24-39 years) and 8 old (65-83 years) normal males. Each subject underwent two studies in which insulin was infused at 120mU/m2 · min for 3 h and either oral glucose (50 gms) or water was given 60 min after initiating insulin. Euglycemia was maintained in all studies. When compared to control drink, oral glucose elevated norepinephrine in old (p < 0.01), but not in young subjects. The difference between old and young was significant (p < 0.02). When compared to control drink, oral glucose increased pulse rate and double product in the young, and pulse rate in the old. These results indicate that oral glucose activates the SNS in the elderly via splanchnic mechanisms independent of changes in circulating levels of glucose or insulin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 1986


  • carbohydrate ingestion
  • cardiovascular response
  • catecholamines
  • glucose clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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