Contribution of liver nerves, glucagon, and adrenaline to the glycaemic response to exercise in rats

Gertjan van Dijk, B. Balkan, J. Lindfeldt, G. Bouws, A.J.W. Scheurink, B. Ahrén, A.B. Steffens

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The contribution of hepatic sympathetic innervation, glucagon and adrenaline to the glycaemic response to exercise was investigated in rats. Hepatically denervated (LDX) or sham operated (SHAM) rats with permanent catheters were therefore submitted to swimming with or without infusion of somatostatin in combination with adrenodemedullation. Blood samples were taken for measurements of blood glucose, plasma free fatty acids (FFA), adrenaline (A), noradrenaline (NA), insulin and glucagon. Liver denervation by itself did not influence glucose levels during exercise. Infusion of somatostatin in SHAM animals, which inhibited the exercise-induced glucagon response, led to enhanced sympathoadrenal outflow (measured as plasma A and NA) and a reduced blood glucose during exercise, suggesting that glucagon serves as a powerful mediator of the glycaemic response during swimming. Infusion of somatostatin in LDX animals failed to enhance plasma NA levels and led to a more pronounced reduction in blood glucose levels. This indicates that liver nerves do contribute to the glycaemic response to exercise when glucagon secretion is suppressed. Reduced blood glucose levels after adrenodemedullation revealed that adrenal A is another important mediator of the glucose response to exercise. Infusion of somatostatin in adrenodemedullated SHAM or LDX animals was not accompanied with increased NA outflow, suggesting that adrenal A is necessary to allow the compensatory increased outflow of NA from sympathetic nerves. In conclusion, the study shows that pancreatic glucagon and adrenal A are the predominant factors influencing the glycaemic response to exercise, whereas a role of the sympathetic liver nerves becomes evident when glucagon secretion is suppressed.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)305-313
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftActa Physiologica Scandinavica
Volume150
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusPublished - 1994

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