Characterization of response of circulating glucagon to intraduodenal and intravenous administration of amino acids

J Clin Invest. 1968 Oct;47(10):2305-22. doi: 10.1172/JCI105916.


Studies were carried out to determine if hyperaminoacidemia stimulates the secretion of pancreatic glucagon, and, if so, to evaluate the effect of endogenous and exogenous pancreozymin and of hyperglycemia upon this response. The intravenous administration to 16 dogs of 1 g/kg of a 10 amino acid mixture over a 60 min period raised amino nitrogen to a mean level of 13.5 mg/100 ml; mean pancreaticoduodenal vein insulin rose from 84 to 459 muU/ml and glucagon from 1.1 to 2.7 mmug/ml. Further augmentation of both insulin and glucagon secretion was achieved during hyperaminoacidemia by infusing pancreozymin. Since endogenous pancreozymin is known to be stimulated by amino acids in the gut, it seemed possible that intraduodenal loading of amino acids would elicit a greater insulin and glucagon response than could be explained by the accompanying hyperaminoacidemia. The intraduodenal administration of 1 g/kg of the amino acid mixture was followed by substantial hyperinsulinemia and hyperglucagonemia, which frequently anticipated the hyperaminoacidemia, and in many of the dogs the ratio of hormone rise to amino nitrogen rise was greater after intraduodenal than after the intravenous route of amino acid administration in the same animal. Intraduodenal administration of amino acids did not cause measurable release of intestinal glucagon-like immunoreactivity into the mesenteric vein plasma. Hyperglycemia induced by constant glucose infusion prevented aminogenic hyperglucagonemia and even suppressed the augmenting action of pancreozymin; sudden termination of the infusion with continued amino acid infusion was associated with a striking rise in glucagon. It is concluded (a) that hyperaminoacidemia stimulates pancreatic glucagon secretion, (b) that aminogenic hyperglucagonemia is augmented by the infusion of pancreozymin, (c) that intraduodenal administration of amino acids stimulates pancreatic glucagon secretion without measurable release of glucagon-like immunoreactivity into the mesenteric vein, and (d) that hyperglycemia prevents aminogenic hyperglucagonemia even during augmentation with pancreozymin. This conclusion suggests that the prevention of hypoglycemia during amino acid-induced insulin secretion may be an important function of glucagon.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Amino Acids / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cholecystokinin / pharmacology
  • Dogs
  • Duodenum
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Glucagon / metabolism*
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Amino Acids
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucagon
  • Cholecystokinin