Actions of glucagon on flux rates in perfused rat liver: 1. Kinetics of the inhibitory effect on glycolysis and the stimulatory effect on glycogenolysis

Rainer KIMMIG, Teri Jo MAUCH, Willibald KERZL, Ursula SCHWABE, Roland SCHOLZ

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Changes in the rates of glucose, lactate and pyruvate production following infusion of glucagon were studied in isolated livers from fed or fasted rats perfused with non‐recirculating Krebs‐Henseleit bicarbonate buffer. Evidence was presented that under these experimental conditions, the release of lactate plus pyruvate into the perfusate represents 80–90% of the total glycolytic flux; oxidation of pyruvate derived from glucose and/or glycogen accounts for the remaining 10–20%, whereas recycling of pyruvate to glucose is negligible. In the presence of glucagon, rates of lactate plus pyruvate production were diminished to less than 30% in the fed state (glycogen as substrate) and to less than 10% in the fasted state (glucose as substrate). Rates of pyruvate oxidation were unchanged. Although recycling of pyruvate to glucose was enhanced, it could account for not more than 20% of the decrease in lactate plus pyruvate production. The data indicate a strong inhibition of the substrate flux through glycolysis. The glucagon concentration for half‐maximal inhibition of glycolysis was 0.2 nM, independent of the substrate (glucose or glycogen) and the nutritional state. The effective concentrations were within the physiological range of glucagon concentrations reported for portal venous blood. Transient state analyses indicated that the inhibition of glycolysis precedes the stimulation of glycogenolysis. When after a delay glycogenolysis was accelerated, it was followed by a transient stimulation of glycolysis. The stimulatory component in the glucagon effect on glycolysis was diminished in glycogen‐depleted livers and when glucose was the main substrate. The coordinated control of glycolysis and glycogenolysis by glucagon and the interaction of the two processes in the transient state are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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