Regulation of hepatic glucose uptake and storage in vivo

Adv Nutr. 2012 May 1;3(3):286-94. doi: 10.3945/an.112.002089.


In the postprandial state, the liver takes up and stores glucose to minimize the fluctuation of glycemia. Elevated insulin concentrations, an increase in the load of glucose reaching the liver, and the oral/enteral/portal vein route of glucose delivery (compared with the peripheral intravenous route) are factors that increase the rate of net hepatic glucose uptake (NHGU). The entry of glucose into the portal vein stimulates a portal glucose signal that not only enhances NHGU but concomitantly reduces muscle glucose uptake to ensure appropriate partitioning of a glucose load. This coordinated regulation of glucose uptake is likely neurally mediated, at least in part, because it is not observed after total hepatic denervation. Moreover, there is evidence that both the sympathetic and the nitrergic innervation of the liver exert a tonic repression of NHGU that is relieved under feeding conditions. Further, the energy sensor 5'AMP-activated protein kinase appears to be involved in regulation of NHGU and glycogen storage. Consumption of a high-fat and high-fructose diet impairs NHGU and glycogen storage in association with a reduction in glucokinase protein and activity. An understanding of the impact of nutrients themselves and the route of nutrient delivery on liver carbohydrate metabolism is fundamental to the development of therapies for impaired postprandial glucoregulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Fructose / administration & dosage
  • Fructose / metabolism
  • Glucose / administration & dosage
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Models, Animal
  • Portal Vein / metabolism
  • Postprandial Period / drug effects


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Fructose
  • Glycogen
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Glucose