Insulin and glucagon secretion in swimming mice: effects of autonomic receptor antagonism

Metabolism. 1990 Jul;39(7):724-32. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(90)90108-o.


To study the regulation of islet hormone secretion in exercise-stress, we developed a swimming mouse model. Mice swam for 2, 6, or 10 minutes whereafter blood was sampled for analysis of plasma levels of insulin, glucagon, and glucose. Plasma insulin levels, which were not different from resting controls after 2 or 6 minutes of swimming, were slightly lower after 10 minutes of swimming (P less than .05). Plasma glucagon levels were increased after 2, 6, and 10 minutes of swimming (P less than .001), and plasma glucose levels were lower after 6 and 10 minutes of swimming (P less than .05). Glucose (5.6 mmol/kg)-stimulated insulin secretion was inhibited by 52% +/- 9% by the swimming (P less than .001). The mechanisms behind this inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and the increase in basal plasma glucagon levels induced during 2 minutes of swimming were investigated by the use of autonomic receptor antagonists, administered intraperitoneally 20 minutes before the swimming period. The ganglionic antagonist hexamethonium (56 mumols/kg) prevented the swimming-induced inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, indicating involvement of nerves in the inhibition. Also the nonselective alpha-adrenoceptor antagonist phentolamine (6.0 mumols/kg) and the alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonist yohimbine (3.6 mumols/kg) prevented the inhibition of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion induced by swimming, whereas the beta-adrenoceptor antagonist L-propranolol (9.6 mumols/kg) had no effect. The swimming-induced increase in plasma glucagon levels was partially inhibited by hexamethonium by (58% +/- 24%, P less than .05). Phentolamine and yohimbine totally prevented the increase in plasma glucagon levels, whereas L-propranolol had no effect.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Female
  • Ganglionic Blockers / pharmacology
  • Glucagon / metabolism*
  • Hexamethonium
  • Hexamethonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Mice
  • Phentolamine / pharmacology
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Propranolol / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha / drug effects
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha / physiology
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / drug effects
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / physiology
  • Swimming
  • Yohimbine / pharmacology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Ganglionic Blockers
  • Hexamethonium Compounds
  • Insulin
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Yohimbine
  • Hexamethonium
  • Glucagon
  • Propranolol
  • Phentolamine