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Am J Physiol. 1990 May;258(5 Pt 1):E841-9.

Effect of hyperglucagonemia on hepatic glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis after a prolonged fast.

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1
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine if glucagon can stimulate hepatic glucose production in prolonged fasted (7 days) animals. Two protocols were used; in one ("hormone replacement"; n = 4), intraportal basal replacement amounts of insulin and glucagon were given during a somatostatin infusion, whereas, in the other ("glucagon excess"; n = 5) basal insulin was given along with somatostatin and excess glucagon. Plasma insulin levels were similar and constant throughout both protocols (6 +/- 1 microU/ml). The plasma glucagon was basal in the hormone-replacement protocol (49 +/- 9 pg/ml) but rose from 46 +/- 7 to 448 +/- 35 pg/ml (P less than 0.05) in the other protocol. Plasma glucose levels and the rates of glucose production were unchanged during hormone replacement but rose from 100 +/- 5 to 199 +/- 28 mg/dl and from 1.5 +/- 0.1 to a peak of 5.6 +/- 0.2 mg.kg-1.min-1 at 15 min (P less than 0.05) and an eventual plateau of 2.7 +/- 0.2 mg.kg-1.min-1 (P less than 0.05) in response to glucagon excess. Because of the sluggish increase in gluconeogenic parameters, the early marked rise in glucose production was attributable to increased glycogenolysis. Eventually, however, the gluconeogenic rate rose, with net hepatic uptake of alanine increasing 50% and fractional alanine extraction doubling. Gluconeogenic efficiency and conversion increased in response to glucagon excess by 0.30 +/- 0.05 and 159 +/- 48%, respectively, although it should be noted that these parameters rose 0.15 +/- 0.06 and 150 +/- 49% in the hormone-replacement protocol. In conclusion, even after a prolonged fast physiological glucagon can cause hyperglycemia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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