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Trefz, F. M.; Lorenz, I.; Constable, P. D. (2017): Effects of profound acidemia on the dynamic glucose and insulin response and plasma potassium and phosphorus concentrations during an intravenous glucose tolerance test in neonatal calves. In: Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 100, No. 11: pp. 9163-9176
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Abstract

Acidemia and electrolyte imbalances such as hyper-kalemia are common in neonatal calves with diarrhea. Acidemia negatively affects the cellular response to insulin and may therefore result in deranged glucose, potassium, and phosphorus homeostasis. The primary aim of this study was to compare indices that characterize the dynamic glucose and insulin response between acidemic and nonacidemic neonatal diarrheic calves and a healthy control group during an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) that consisted of i.v. administration of 0.3 g of glucose per kg of body weight. Secondary aims were to characterize the associated changes in plasma potassium and phosphorus concentrations. The effect of correction of profound acidemia with a sodium bicarbonate containing infusion on these parameters was also assessed. Thirty calves (age <= 21 d) were purposively assigned to one of the following groups: 10 calves with diarrhea and profound acidemia (venous blood pH <7.20) where an IVGTT was performed before and after treatment with sodium bicarbonate, 10 calves with diarrhea and minimal acid-base disturbance (venous blood pH >7.35), and 10 healthy control calves. Profoundly acidemic diarrheic calves (jugular venous blood pH 6.99 +/- 0.10) had a similar initial increase in plasma insulin concentration to that in healthy control calves or nonacidemic calves with diarrhea. However, insulin concentrations remained relatively stable in acidemic calves between 15 and 60 min after the start of the IVGTT, whereas a marked decrease in plasma insulin concentrations occurred in all other groups during the same period of time. We conclude that acidemia does not alter cell glucose availability or the dynamic response of glucose, phosphorus, and potassium to insulin;however, acidemia markedly prolongs plasma insulin concentrations following an IVGTT through an unidentified mechanism. Results of this study emphasize the importance of correcting acidemia and metabolic acidosis in neonatal calves with diarrhea.