Effects of glucagon on free fatty acid metabolism in humans

Michael D. Jensen, Valarie J. Heiling, John M. Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


To determine whether physiological changes in plasma glucagon concentrations are important in regulating basal adipose tissue lipolysis, FFA flux ([1-14C]palmitate) was measured in response to increases and decreases in plasma glucagon. Eight volunteers with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and nine healthy nondiabetic volunteers were studied using the pancreatic clamp technique to control plasma insulin, GH, and glucagon concentrations at desired levels. Palmitate flux at the chosen euglucagonemic hormone infusion rates was similar to baseline values (1.73 ± 0.12 vs. 1.75 ± 0.23 and 1.35 ± 0.18 vs. 1.35 ± 0.16 μmol/kg-min, respectively, in IDDM and nondiabetic subjects). No significant changes in palmitate flux occurred in response to glucagon withdrawal or mild (non-diabetic volunteers) or high physiological (IDDM volunteers) hyperglucagonemia. Thus, under conditions of normal FFA availability, changes in plasma glucagon concentrations within the physiological range have little or no effect on adipose tissue lipolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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