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

Glucagon lowers canine biliary cholesterol output at physiologic doses.

Pharmacologic doses of glucagon affect canine bile secretion by increasing bile flow while simultaneously decreasing biliary cholesterol output. The present study was performed to determine if physiologic doses of glucagon reduce biliary cholesterol output. Awake dogs received both intravenous 1% sodium taurocholate (50 ml/hr) to stabilize bile flow and somatostatin (12 micrograms/kg/hr) to suppress endogenous pancreatic hormone release. Suppression was documented by significant decreases in portal plasma glucagon and insulin levels. During experimental trials, dogs received, in addition, glucagon (5 ng/kg/min) infused via a splenic vein catheter. Bile flow significantly decreased during the initial hour of somatostatin infusion but increased significantly only in experimental trials during subsequent glucagon infusion. Biliary cholesterol output showed no change during control studies (N = 9), but decreased significantly during glucagon infusion studies (N = 11). Biliary phospholipids and bile salts failed to show any changes during glucagon infusion. These data demonstrate that glucagon at physiologic levels influences both the volume and cholesterol content of bile and suggest the mechanism of decreasing cholesterol output must be independent of pathways for influencing bile salt or phospholipid secretion.[1]


  1. Glucagon lowers canine biliary cholesterol output at physiologic doses. Schirmer, B.D., Kortz, W.J., Miller, R.J., Christian, K.G., Hayes, E., Jones, R.S. Dig. Dis. Sci. (1986) [Pubmed]
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