Minireview: Glucagon in stress and energy homeostasis

Endocrinology. 2012 Mar;153(3):1049-54. doi: 10.1210/en.2011-1979. Epub 2012 Jan 31.


Glucagon is traditionally thought of as an antihypoglycemic hormone, for example in response to starvation. However, it actually increases energy expenditure and has other actions not in line with protection from hypoglycemia. Furthermore, it is often found to be elevated when glucose is also raised, for example in circumstances of psychological and metabolic stress. These findings seem more in keeping with glucagon having some role as a hormone enhancing the response to stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Glucagon / chemistry
  • Glucagon / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homeostasis*
  • Hormones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / metabolism
  • Metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Receptors, Glucagon / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Stress, Psychological


  • Hormones
  • Receptors, Glucagon
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose