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Mol Endocrinol. 2010 Aug;24(8):1605-14. doi: 10.1210/me.2010-0120. Epub 2010 Jun 30.

Glucagon deficiency reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose tolerance in adult mice.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

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  • Mol Endocrinol. 2010 Oct;24(10):2072.


The major role of glucagon is to promote hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis to raise blood glucose levels during hypoglycemic conditions. Several animal models have been established to examine the in vivo function of glucagon in the liver through attenuation of glucagon via glucagon receptor knockout animals and pharmacological interventions. To investigate the consequences of glucagon loss to hepatic glucose production and glucose homeostasis, we derived mice with a pancreas specific ablation of the alpha-cell transcription factor, Arx, resulting in a complete loss of the glucagon-producing pancreatic alpha-cell. Using this model, we found that glucagon is not required for the general health of mice but is essential for total hepatic glucose production. Our data clarifies the importance of glucagon during the regulation of fasting and postprandial glucose homeostasis.

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