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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jun;276(6 Pt 1):E1130-5.

Glucose production during strenuous exercise in humans: role of epinephrine.

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School of Health Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood 3125, Australia.


The increase in hepatic glucose production (HGP) that occurs during intense exercise is accompanied by a simultaneous increase in epinephrine, which suggests that epinephrine may be important in regulating HGP. To further investigate this, six trained men were studied twice. The first trial [control (Con)] consisted of 20 min of cycling at 40 +/- 1% peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) followed by 20 min at 80 +/- 2% VO2 peak. During the second trial [epinephrine (Epi)], subjects exercised for 40 min at 41 +/- 2% VO2 peak. Epinephrine was infused during the latter 20 min of exercise and resulted in plasma levels similar to those measured during intense exercise in Con. Glucose kinetics were measured using a primed, continuous infusion of [3-3H]glucose. HGP was similar at rest (Con, 11.0 +/- 0.5 and Epi, 11.1 +/- 0.5 micromol. kg-1. min-1). In Con, HGP increased (P < 0.05) during exercise to 41.0 +/- 5.2 micromol. kg-1. min-1 at 40 min. In Epi, HGP was similar to Con during the first 20 min of exercise. Epinephrine infusion increased (P < 0.05) HGP to 24.0 +/- 2.5 micromol. kg-1. min-1 at 40 min, although this was less (P < 0.05) than the value in Con. The results suggest that epinephrine can increase HGP during exercise in trained men; however, epinephrine during intense exercise cannot fully account for the rise in HGP. Other glucoregulatory factors must contribute to the increase in HGP during intense exercise.

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