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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Endotoxin stimulates glycogenolysis in the liver by means of intercellular communication.

Escherichia coli endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) was shown to increase glycogenolysis in the perfused liver 2-3-fold. In isolated parenchymal liver cells, however, endotoxin did not influence glycogenolysis, whereas stimulation by endotoxin of glycogenolysis in the perfused liver could be blocked by aspirin. This suggests that the effect of endotoxin on liver glycogenolysis is mediated by eicosanoids. The amount of prostaglandin D2 (which is the major prostanoid formed by Kupffer cells) in the liver perfusates was increased 5-fold upon endotoxin addition, with a time course which preceded the increase in glucose output. It is concluded that endotoxin stimulates glycogenolysis in the liver by stimulating prostaglandin D2 release from Kupffer cells, with a subsequent activation of glycogenolysis in parenchymal liver cells. This mechanism of intercellular communication may be designed to provide the carbohydrate source of energy necessary for the effective destruction of invaded microorganisms, by phagocytic cells, including the Kupffer cells.[1]


  1. Endotoxin stimulates glycogenolysis in the liver by means of intercellular communication. Casteleijn, E., Kuiper, J., Van Rooij, H.C., Kamps, J.A., Koster, J.F., Van Berkel, T.J. J. Biol. Chem. (1988) [Pubmed]
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