Sympathetic Denervation of the Common Hepatic Artery Lessens Glucose Intolerance in the Fat- and Fructose-Fed Dog

This study assessed the effectiveness of surgical sympathetic denervation of the common hepatic artery (CHADN) in improving glucose tolerance. CHADN eliminated norepinephrine content in the liver and partially decreased it in the pancreas and the upper gut. We assessed oral glucose tolerance at baseline and after 4 weeks of high-fat high-fructose (HFHF) feeding. Dogs were then randomized to sham surgery (SHAM) (n = 9) or CHADN surgery (n = 11) and retested 2.5 or 3.5 weeks later while still on the HFHF diet. CHADN improved glucose tolerance by ~60% in part because of enhanced insulin secretion, as indicated by an increase in the insulinogenic index. In a subset of dogs (SHAM, n = 5; CHADN, n = 6), a hyperinsulinemic-hyperglycemic clamp was used to assess whether CHADN could improve hepatic glucose metabolism independent of a change in insulin release. CHADN reduced the diet-induced defect in net hepatic glucose balance by 37%. In another subset of dogs (SHAM, n = 4; CHADN, n = 5) the HFHF diet was continued for 3 months postsurgery and the improvement in glucose tolerance caused by CHADN continued. In conclusion, CHADN has the potential to enhance postprandial glucose clearance in states of diet-induced glucose intolerance.