Effects of 13-Hour Hyperglucagonemia on Energy Expenditure and Hepatic Glucose Production in Humans

Glucagon (GCG) acutely stimulates energy expenditure (EE) and hepatic glucose production (HGP) in humans, but whether these effects persist during hyperglucagonemia of longer duration is unclear. Using a prospective, randomized, single-blind, crossover study design, we therefore measured EE and rates of glucose appearance (glucose RA) during three separate infusion protocols in healthy lean males: A) 10-h overnight GCG infusion (6 ng/[kg x min]) followed by 3-h infusion of GCG, octreotide (OCT), and insulin (INS) for basal replacement; B) overnight saline (SAL) infusion followed by GCG/OCT/INS infusion; and C) overnight SAL infusion followed by SAL/OCT/INS infusion. Sleep EE, measured at 6 to 7 h of the overnight infusion, was increased 65–70 kcal/24 h in A compared with B and C. During the 3-h infusion, mean resting EE remained significantly increased in A versus C by ~50 kcal/24 h; in B, resting EE increased with a statistical trend but was not significantly greater than in C. Glucose RA increased to comparable levels in A and B. We conclude that in healthy lean males, stimulation of EE and HGP is sustained during hyperglucagonemia of longer duration when insulin secretion is inhibited. The increase in EE at the present GCG dose was of marginal clinical significance.

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