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Ciba Found Symp. 1982;87:168-91.

Some hormonal influences on glucose and ketone body metabolism in normal human subjects.


Control of glucose and ketone body metabolism is integrated by a variety of hormones. Insulin is the major anabolic hormone, and its actions are antagonized by rapidly acting catabolic hormones, such as glucagon and the catecholamines, and by others such as cortisol, growth hormone and the thyroid hormones, which generally have more delayed effects. In the normal human subject, the effects of catabolic hormones to raise blood glucose are limited by a compensatory increase in insulin secretion, and these effects are enhanced in insulin deficiency. Hyperketonaemic actions of the catabolic hormones may result from increased supply of non-esterified fatty acids from lipolysis, although glucagon has a major direct action to increase ketogenesis at the liver. As expected, these actions are also restricted in normal humans by the compensatory rise in insulin secretion. Hyperketonaemia does, however, occur with adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine), even in the presence of mildly elevated insulin concentrations. These catecholamines may assume particular importance in mobilization of lipid fuels in milder forms of stress, when insulin secretion is normal or mildly increased. In severe stress, when there is catecholamine-induced suppression in insulin secretion, lipolytic and hyperketonaemic effects of all the catabolic hormones may be manifest. Starvation in humans also results in diminished insulin secretion and increased catabolic hormone secretion. The relative importance of individual hormones in lipid mobilization during starvation is uncertain, although glucagon, growth hormone, noradrenaline and, possibly, dopamine may all play a part.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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