Glucagon as a target for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2005 Jun;9(3):593-600. doi: 10.1517/14728222.9.3.593.


Glucagon is the key counter-regulatory hormone that opposes the action of insulin. In states of relative hypoglycaemia, glucagon acts to increase blood glucose by stimulating hepatic glycogen breakdown and gluconeogenesis to achieve euglycaemia. Type 2 diabetes is characterised by inappropriate regulation of hepatic glucose production, which is due, at least in part, to an imbalance in the bihormonal relationship between plasma levels of glucagon and insulin. The glucose-lowering effects of glucagon peptide antagonists and antiglucagon neutralising antibodies first demonstrated the potential of glucagon receptor (GCGR) antagonism as a treatment for hyperglycaemia. In recent years, the development of GCGR antisense oligonucleotides and small molecular weight GCGR antagonists have been pursued as possible therapeutic agents to target glucagon action as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Glucagon / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Glucagon / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Glucagon / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Glucagon / genetics
  • Receptors, Glucagon / metabolism


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Receptors, Glucagon
  • Glucagon