Gender difference in the glucagon response to glucopenic stress in mice

S. Karlsson, A.J.W. Scheurink, B. Ahren


22 Citaten (Scopus)
270 Downloads (Pure)


A gender difference in the glucagon response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia was previously demonstrated in humans. Whether this reflects a gender difference in autonomic activation or in pancreatic α-cell regulation is not known. We investigated the glucagon, epinephrine, and norepinephrine responses to neuroglycopenic stress induced by 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) or insulin in female and male mice. 2-DG increased plasma glucagon levels by 559 ± 68% in females versus 281 ± 46% in males (P < 0.01). Plasma levels of epinephrine or norepinephrine after 2-DG administration did not differ between genders. During insulin-induced hypoglycemia, the glucagon response was similarly higher in females (P < 0.001), whereas the plasma catecholamine response was higher in males (P < 0.05). In vivo, the glucagon response to carbachol or clonidine was higher in females (P < 0.05). In isolated islets, the glucagon response to carbachol (100 µM; P = 0.003) but not to clonidine (1 µM) was larger in females. We conclude that in addition to a larger α-cell mass (previously described in female mice), an increased sensitivity of the glucagon-producing α-cell to cholinergic activation contributes to the larger glucagon response to glucopenic stress in female mice.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)281 - 288
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - jan-2002

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