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Eur J Clin Invest. 1983 Feb;13(1):33-9.

Peripheral blood cell changes in response to acute hypoglycaemia in man.


Peripheral white and red blood cell changes were studied in response to acute insulin-induced hypoglycaemia in six normal, six splenectomized and five sympathectomized (tetraplegic) subjects. The normal subjects were restudied during beta (propranolol) and beta 1-selective (metoprolol) adrenergic blockade. In the normal subjects a lymphocytosis immediately followed the acute hypoglycaemic reaction (R) with a neutrophilia 2 h later. The early lymphocytosis was absent in sympathectomized subjects (P less than 0.001) and reduced under beta blockade (P less than 0.02) in normal subjects, indicating mediation via an adrenergic mechanism. The later neutrophilia from R + 60 min was not abolished by adrenergic blockade or preceding sympathectomy; the enhanced response with propranolol was associated with an elevated plasma cortisol. Haemoglobin, packed cell volume and total erythrocyte count rose maximally at R in all groups except the sympathectomized subjects in whom all parameters declined progressively from basal values. These peripheral erythrocytes changes appear to be mediated via an adrenergic mechanism which is unaffected by beta adrenergic blockade and which does not involve splenic contraction.

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