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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 May;86(5):2085-9.

Physiological levels of glucagon do not influence lipolysis in abdominal adipose tissue as assessed by microdialysis.

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Department of Endocrinology M and Medical Research Laboratories, Arhus University Hospital, Denmark.


To determine whether glucagon stimulates lipolysis in adipose tissue, seven healthy young male volunteers were studied, with indwelling microdialysis catheters placed sc in abdominal adipose tissue. Subjects were studied three times: 1) during euglucagonemia (EG; glucagon infusion rate, 0.5 ng/kg.min); 2) during hyperglucagonemia (HG; (glucagon infusion rate, 1.5 ng/kg.min); and 3) during EG and a concomitant glucose infusion mimicking the glucose profile from the day of HG (EG+G). Somatostatin (450 microg/h) was infused to suppress hormonal secretion, and replacement doses of insulin and GH were administered. Sampling was done every 30 min for 420 min. Baseline circulating values of insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, GH, glycerol, and free fatty acids were comparable in all three conditions. During EG and EG+G, plasma glucagon was maintained at fasting level (20-40 ng/L); whereas, during HG, it increased (110-130 ng/L). Interstitial concentrations of glycerol were similar in the three conditions [30,870 +/- 5,946 (EG) vs. 31,074 +/- 7,092 (HG) vs. 29,451 +/- 6,217 (EG+G) micromol/L.120 min, P = 0.98]. Plasma glycerol (ANOVA, P = 0.5) and free fatty acids (ANOVA, P = 0.3) were comparable during the different glucagon challenges. We conclude that HG per se does not increase interstitial glycerol (and thus lipolysis) in abdominal sc adipose tissue; nor does modest hyperglycemia, during basal insulinemia and glucagonemia, influence indices of abdominal sc lipolysis.

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