β-cell-mediated signaling predominates over direct α-cell signaling in the regulation of glucagon secretion in humans

Benjamin A. Cooperberg, Philip E. Cryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE - Given evidence of both indirect and direct signaling, we tested the hypothesis that increased β-cell-mediated signaling of α-cells negates direct α-cell signaling in the regulation of glucagon secretion in humans. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We measured plasma glucagon concentrations before and after ingestion of a formula mixed meal and, on a separate occasion, ingestion of the sulfonylurea glimepiride in 24 basal insulin-infused, demonstrably β-cell- deficient patients with type 1 diabetes and 20 nondiabetic, demonstrably β-cell-sufficient individuals; the latter were infused with glucose to prevent hypoglycemia after glimepiride. RESULTS- After the mixed meal, plasma glucagon concentrations increased from 22 = 1 pmol/l (78 ± 4 pg/ml) to 30 ± 2 pmol/l (103 ± 7 pg/ml) in the patients with type 1 diabetes but were unchanged from 27 ± 1 pmol/l (93 ± 3 pg/ml) to 26 ± 1 pmol/l (89 ± 3 pg/ml) in the nondiabetic individuals (P < 0.0001). After glimepiride, plasma glucagon concentrations increased from 24 ± 1 pmol/l (83 ± 4 pg/ml) to 26 ± 1 pmol/l (91 ± 4 pg/ml) in the patients with type 1 diabetes and decreased from 28 ± 1 pmol/l (97 ± 5 pg/ml) to 24 ± 1 pmol/l (82 ± 4 pg/ml) in the nondiabetic individuals (P < 0.0001). Thus, in the presence of both β-cell and α-cell secretory stimuli (increased amino acid and glucose levels, a sulfonylurea) glucagon secretion was prevented when β-cell secretion was sufficient but not when β-cell secretion was deficient. CONCLUSIONS - These data indicate that, among the array of signals, indirect reciprocal β-cell-mediated signaling predominates over direct α-cell signaling in the regulation of glucagon secretion in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2275-2280
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes care
Volume32
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

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