Role of glucagon, catecholamines, and growth hormone in human glucose counterregulation. Effects of somatostatin and combined alpha- and beta-adrenergic blockade on plasma glucose recovery and glucose flux rates after insulin-induced hypoglycemia

The Journal of Clinical Investigation
R A RizzaJ E Gerich


To further characterize mechanisms of glucose counterregulation in man, the effects of pharmacologically inducd deficiencies of glucagon, growth hormone, and catecholamines (alone and in combination) on recovery of plasma glucose from insulin-induced hypoglycemia and attendant changes in isotopically ([3-(3)H]glucose) determined glucose fluxes were studied in 13 normal subjects. In control studies, recovery of plasma glucose from hypoglycemia was primarily due to a compensatory increase in glucose production; the temporal relationship of glucagon, epinephrine, cortisol, and growth hormone responses with the compensatory increase in glucose appearance was compatible with potential participation of all these hormones in acute glucose counterregulation. Infusion of somatostatin (combined deficiency of glucagon and growth hormone) accentuated insulin-induced hypoglycemia (plasma glucose nadir: 36+/-2 ng/dl during infusion of somatostatin vs. 47+/-2 mg/dl in control studies, P < 0.01) and impaired restoration of normoglycemia (plasma glucose at min 90: 73+/-3 mg/dl at end of somatostatin infusion vs. 92+/-3 mg/dl in control studies, P<0.01). This impaired recovery of plasma glucose was due to blunting of the compensatory increase in...Continue Reading


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