Opposing effects of chronic glucagon receptor agonism and antagonism on amino acids, hepatic gene expression, and alpha cells

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The pancreatic hormone, glucagon, is known to regulate hepatic glucose production, but recent studies suggest that its regulation of hepatic amino metabolism is equally important. Here, we show that chronic glucagon receptor activation with a long-acting glucagon analog increases amino acid catabolism and ureagenesis and causes alpha cell hypoplasia in female mice. Conversely, chronic glucagon receptor inhibition with a glucagon receptor antibody decreases amino acid catabolism and ureagenesis and causes alpha cell hyperplasia and beta cell loss. These effects were associated with the transcriptional regulation of hepatic genes related to amino acid uptake and catabolism and by the non-transcriptional modulation of the rate-limiting ureagenesis enzyme, carbamoyl phosphate synthetase-1. Our results support the importance of glucagon receptor signaling for amino acid homeostasis and pancreatic islet integrity in mice and provide knowledge regarding the long-term consequences of chronic glucagon receptor agonism and antagonism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105296
Issue number11
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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© 2022 The Author(s)

    Research areas

  • Biological sciences, Endocrinology, Transcriptomics

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