Effects of dexamethasone on hepatic glucose production and fructose metabolism in healthy humans

Am J Physiol. 1997 Aug;273(2 Pt 1):E315-20. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1997.273.2.E315.


This study was designed to determine whether glucocorticoids alter autoregulation of glucose production and fructose metabolism. Two protocols with either dexamethasone (DEX) or placebo (Placebo) were performed in six healthy men during hourly ingestion of[13C]fructose (1.33 mmol.kg-1.h-1) for 3 h. In both protocols, endogenous glucose production (EGP) increased by 8 (Placebo) and 7% (DEX) after fructose, whereas gluconeogenesis from fructose represented 82 (Placebo) and 72% (DEX) of EGP. Fructose oxidation measured from breath 13CO2 was similar in both protocols [9.3 +/- 0.7 (Placebo) and 9.6 +/- 0.5 mumol.kg-1.min-1 (DEX)]. Nonoxidative carbohydrate disposal, calculated as fructose administration rate minus net carbohydrate oxidation rate after fructose ingestion measured by indirect calorimetry, was also similar in both protocols [5.8 +/- 0.8 (Placebo) and 5.9 +/- 2.0 mumol.kg-1.min-1 (DEX)]. We concluded that dexamethasone 1) does not alter the autoregulatory process that prevents a fructose-induced increase in gluconeogenesis from increasing total glucose production and 2) does not affect oxidative and nonoxidative pathways of fructose. This indicates that the insulin-regulated enzymes involved in these pathways are not affected in a major way by dexamethasone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fructose / metabolism*
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / biosynthesis*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Reference Values
  • Respiration
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hormones
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Fructose
  • Dexamethasone
  • Glucose