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Metabolism. 1992 Dec;41(12):1295-303.

The effects of acute elevations in plasma cortisol levels on alanine metabolism in the conscious dog.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Surgery, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232.


The present study was undertaken to determine whether an acute physiological increase in plasma cortisol level had significant effects on alanine metabolism and gluconeogenesis within 3 hours in conscious, overnight-fasted dogs. Each experiment consisted of an 80-minute tracer and dye equilibration period, a 40-minute basal period, and a 3-hour experimental period. A primed, continuous infusion of [3-3H]glucose and continuous infusions of [U-14C]alanine and indocyanine green dye were initiated at the start of the equilibration period and continued throughout the experiment. Dogs were studied with (1) a hydrocortisone infusion ([CORT] 3.0, n = 5), (2) hydrocortisone infused as in CORT, but with pancreatic hormones clamped using somatostatin and basal intraportal replacement of insulin and glucagon (CLAMP+CORT, n = 5), or (3) saline infusion during a pancreatic clamp (CLAMP, n = 5). Glucose production and gluconeogenesis were determined using tracer and arteriovenous difference techniques. During CLAMP, all parameters were stable except for a modest 67% +/- 6% increase in gluconeogenic conversion of alanine to glucose and a 53% +/- 26% increase in gluconeogenic efficiency. When plasma cortisol levels were increased fourfold during CLAMP+CORT, there was no change in the concentration, production, or clearance of glucose. Gluconeogenic conversion of alanine to glucose increased 10% +/- 34% and gluconeogenic efficiency increased 65% +/- 43%, while net hepatic alanine uptake (NHAU) increased 60% +/- 19% and hepatic fractional extraction of alanine increased 38% +/- 12%. Cortisol did not cause an increase in the arterial glycerol level or net hepatic glycerol uptake.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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