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January 6, 1969

Glucagon, Glucose, and Insulin

JAMA. 1969;207(1):142-143. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03150140094022

Recent investigations have aroused new interest in the interrelation of glucagon and carbohydrate metabolism. As with other hormones, studies with this one have been of two kinds: first, measurements of the effects of its injection upon various aspects of physiology and biochemistry, and second, measurements of its secretion (blood levels) resulting from various manipulations of the organism. As regards the first approach, it has been known for many years that injected glucagon raises blood glucose levels by stimulating hepatic glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. In the second approach, investigators,1 using radioimmunoassay technics, found that circulating glucagon concentrations were increased by hypoglycemia and starvation (manipulation of the organism) and reduced by moderate intravenous doses of glucose and refeeding. Glucagon, therefore, has been termed by some "the hormone of glucose need." A new door was opened on the properties of this hormone when Porte et al2 observed incidentally and Samols' group3