Role of growth hormone in glucose counter-regulation

Philip E. Cryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Glucose counterregulation, the physiological mechanisms that normally very effectively prevent or correct hypoglycemia, involves both dissipation of insulin and activation of glucose counterregulatory (glucose-raising) systems. Glucagon and epinephrine stand high in the hierarchy of redundant counterregulatory factors. Hypoglycemia develops or progresses when both glucagon and epinephrine are deficient and insulin is present despite the actions of other glucose-counterregulatory factors. Growth hormone (like cortisol) is demonstrably involved in defense against prolonged (as opposed to short-term) hypoglycemia, but it is not critical to recovery from even prolonged hypoglycemia or to the prevention of hypoglycemia after an overnight fast. Thus, growth hormone, like cortisol, stands lower in the hierarchy of the redundant glucose-counterregulatory factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-194
Number of pages3
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Jan 1996


  • Cortisol
  • Epinephrine
  • Glucagon
  • Growth hormone
  • Hypoglycemia


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