The role of glucagon in regulating peripheral tissue metabolism in man was assessed in the present studies. To do this, glucagon was infused for two hours into the brachial artery to produce a high but physiologic increment in the glucagon content of arterial blood supplying ipsilateral tissues. Metabolic effects on muscle and on subcutaneous adipose tissue plus skin were sought in seven overnight-fasting subjects and seven subjects starved briefly (60 hours).

In the overnight-fasted group the infusion increased bassl glucagon concentration by 1,216 pg./ml. but was without effect on forearm tissue metabolism of glucose, lactate, glycerol, or amino acids. Starvation significantly reduced basal insulin (11.0 to 7.4 μU./ml.) and increased endogenous glucagon (116 to 134 pg./ml.). Basally, there was substantial ketone utilization and a decrease in glucose consumption by both muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue plus skin. The glucagon infusion increased basal glucagon by 784 pg./ml. Muscle balances of glucose, lactate, acetoacetate, amino acids, and glycerol were unaffected. The metabolism of glucose, lactate, acetoacetate, glycerol, and free fatty acids by subcutaneous adipose tissue plus skin was also unchanged. It is concluded that physiologic increments of glucagon lasting two hours are without effect on forearm tissues in overnight-fasted and briefly starved man.

This content is only available via PDF.