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How the hormone glucagon tips the balance to increase blood glucose levels

Date:
November 15, 2010
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Scientists have provided new insight into the mechanisms by which blood levels of glucose — one of the main sources of energy for the cells in our body — are regulated.

A team of researchers, led by Alan Cherrington, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, has provided new insight into the mechanisms by which blood levels of glucose -- one of the main sources of energy for the cells in our body -- are regulated.

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Given the importance of glucose as a source of energy for cells, maintaining adequate levels of glucose in the blood is extremely important. The opposing effects of the hormones insulin and glucagon are key to this: insulin induces liver, muscle, and fat cells to take up glucose from the blood and store it, while glucagon induces the liver to release stored glucose into the blood.

In the study, Cherrington and colleagues show in dogs that although insulin potently inhibits the effects of glucagon when blood glucose levels are normal, glucagon overcomes the inhibitory effects of insulin when blood glucose levels are low. Further analysis provided insight into the mechanisms underlying this critical regulatory process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Noelia Rivera et al. Insulin-induced hypoglycemia increases hepatic sensitivity to glucagon in dogs. J Clin Invest., November 15, 2010 DOI: 10.1172/JCI40919

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "How the hormone glucagon tips the balance to increase blood glucose levels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115122639.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2010, November 15). How the hormone glucagon tips the balance to increase blood glucose levels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115122639.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "How the hormone glucagon tips the balance to increase blood glucose levels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115122639.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

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