Insulin counterregulatory hormones are ineffective in neonatal hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia

Metabolism. 1999 May;48(5):568-74. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(99)90052-5.


Insulin counterregulatory hormones play a major role in the maintenance of glucose homeostasis. To evaluate the hypothesis that the reported imprecise control of glucose production by insulin is mirrored by a corresponding lack of response to the various insulin counterregulatory hormones, 30 spontaneously delivered mixed-breed term lambs weighing 4.9 +/- 0.5 kg (mean +/- SD) were studied at 5.0 +/- 0.7 days after birth following administration of 100 microCi D-[6-(3)H2]glucose in 0.9% NaCl by the primed-constant infusion technique to measure glucose kinetics. Infusion of 2.0 mU kg(-1) x min(-1) insulin produced hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia and was combined with 1.0 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1) somatostatin (SRIF) to block insulin, glucagon, and growth hormone release. Infusion of 2 ng x mg(-1) x min(-1) glucagon or 10 microg x kg(-1) x h(-1) growth hormone with SRIF and insulin isolated the glucagon or growth hormone effect, respectively. The addition of metyrapone blocked cortisol release. Controls received only the isotope. In toto, the data can be interpreted to suggest that insulin has a greater effect on glucose uptake than on glucose production, and that neither glucagon, growth hormone, nor cortisol appreciably influenced the endogenous glucose production rate (Rp) during hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. The imprecise effect of these insulin counterregulatory hormones on neonatal glucose production mirrors the previously documented imprecise control by insulin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / blood
  • Glucose / biosynthesis
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hormones / blood
  • Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Hyperinsulinism / complications*
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology*
  • Hypoglycemia / physiopathology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Sheep
  • Time Factors


  • Hormones
  • Insulin
  • Glucose