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Metabolism. 2011 Jun;60(6):867-73. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2010.08.006. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Continuous low-dose fructose infusion does not reverse glucagon-mediated decrease in hepatic glucose utilization.

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Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-0615, USA.


An adaptation to continuous total parenteral nutrition (TPN; 75% of nonprotein calories as glucose) is the liver becomes a major consumer of glucose with lactate release as a by-product. The liver is able to further increase liver glucose uptake when a small dose of fructose is acutely infused via the portal system. Glucagon, commonly elevated during inflammatory stress, is a potent inhibitor of glucose uptake by the liver during TPN. The aim was to determine if continuous fructose infusion could overcome the glucagon-mediated decrease in hepatic glucose uptake. Studies were performed in conscious, insulin-treated, chronically catheterized, pancreatectomized dogs that adapted to TPN for 33 hours. They were then assigned to 1 of 4 groups: TPN (C), TPN + fructose (4.4 μmol kg(-1) min(-1); F), TPN + glucagon (0.2 pmol kg(-1) min(-1); GGN), or TPN + fructose and glucagon (F + GGN) for an additional 63 hours (33-96 hours). Insulin, fructose, and glucagon were infused into the portal vein. During that period, all animals received a fixed insulin infusion of 0.4 mU·kg(-1)·min(-1) (33-96 hours); and the glucose infusion rates were adjusted to maintain euglycemia (6.6 mmol/L). Continuous fructose infusion was unable to further enhance net hepatic glucose uptake (in micromoles per kilogram per minute) (31.1 ± 2.8 vs 36.1 ± 5.0; C vs F), nor was it able to overcome glucagon-mediated decrease in net hepatic glucose uptake (10.0 ± 4.4 vs 12.2 ± 3.9; GGN vs F + GGN). In summary, continuous fructose infusion cannot augment liver glucose uptake during TPN; nor can it overcome the inhibitory effects of glucagon.

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