Send to

Choose Destination
J Inherit Metab Dis. 1991;14(4):407-20.

The role of the liver in metabolic homeostasis: implications for inborn errors of metabolism.

Author information

Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, International Institute of Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Brussels, Belgium.


The mechanisms by which the liver maintains a constant supply of oxidizable substrates, which provide energy to the body as a whole, are reviewed. During feeding, the liver builds up energy stores in the form of glycogen and triglyceride, the latter being exported to adipose tissue. During fasting, it releases glucose and ketone bodies. Glucose is formed by degradation of glycogen and by gluconeogenesis from gluconeogenic amino acids provided by muscle. Ketone bodies are produced from fatty acids, released by adipose tissue, and from ketogenic amino acids. The major signals which control the transition between the fed and the fasted state are glucose, insulin and glucagon. These influence directly or indirectly the enzymes which regulate liver carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism and thereby orient metabolic fluxes towards either energy storage or substrate release. In the fed state, the liver utilizes the energy generated by glucose oxidation to synthesize triglycerides. In the fasted state it utilizes that produced by beta-oxidation of fatty acids to synthesize glucose. The mechanisms whereby a number of inborn errors of glycogen metabolism, of gluconeogenesis and of ketogenesis cause hypoglycaemia are also briefly overviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center