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J Appl Physiol. 1975 Jan;38(1):70-6.

Glucagon and plasma catecholamine responses to graded and prolonged exercise in man.


Eight men were studied during graded (47, 77, and 100% of maximal oxygen uptake) and prolonged (76%) exhaustive treadmill running. During graded exercise the glucagon concentration increased 35% from 81 plus or minus 7 pg/ml (mean and SE) at rest to 109 plus or minus 17 after the heaviest load. During prolonged exercise glucagon increased progressively to three times (226 plus or minus 40) the resting value. Norepinephrine increased from 0.40 plus or minus 0.06 ng/ml to 2.22 plus or minus 0.39, epinephrine from 0.07 plus or minus 0.01 to 0.42 plus or minus 0.13 during graded, and to 1.51 plus or minus 0.08 and 0.33 plus or minus 0.04, respectively, during prolonged exercise. Insulin concentrations were depressed during work except for the heaviest load. Fatty acids rose throughout prolonged exercise, whereas blood glucose significantly diminished 30 min afterward. Glucagon concentrations correlated significantly with norepinephrine and epinephrine concentrations during prolonged and with epinephrine during graded exercise. Although increments in catecholamines were similar, the glucagon secretion was larger during prolonged than during graded exercise. While increments in catecholamines might explain increased glucagon secretion during graded exercise, they cannot account completely for the rise of glucagon during prolonged exercise.

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