The effect of elevated glucagon concentrations on insulin requirements and on blood glucose concentrations was studied in five insulin-requiring diabetic subjects during feedback control of hyperglycemia with an automated glucose-controlled insulin infusion system (artificial endocrine pancreas) for six to eight hours. Two levels of hyperglucagonemia were induced by means of constant intravenous infusion. Raising plasma glucagon concentrations to levels reported in poorly controlled diabetics (450 to 665 pg. per milliliter) did not alter total insulin requirements or blood glucose concentrations. Higher glucagon concentrations (850 to 1,050 pg. per milliliter) caused a modest (26 per cent) increase in insulin requirements and only a slight increase in mean blood glucose concentrations. These studies demonstrate that the degree of hyperglucagonemia found most frequently in insulin-requiring diabetics does not increase insulin requirements or decrease insulin effectiveness in patients given insulin in amounts appropriate to maintain euglycemia.

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