Increased lipid oxidation but normal muscle glycogen response to epinephrine in humans with IDDM

Neil Cohen, Meyer Halberstam, Luciano Rossetti, Harry Shamoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The effects of physiological increments in epinephrine and insulin on glucose production (GP), skeletal muscle glycogen metabolism, and substrate oxidation were studied in eight insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and nine control subjects. Epinephrine was coinfused for the final 120 min of a 240-min euglycemic, hyperinsulinemic clamp. In both groups, insulin increased glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis, and whole body carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation and inhibited GP (by 70-80%) and lipid oxidation (by ~50%), whereas epinephrine antagonized the effect of insulin on glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis. In contrast, GP increased in IDDM subjects (P < 0.02) but remained suppressed by insulin in controls. CHO oxidation felt (1.37 ± 0.25 vs. 2.08 ± 0.32 mg · kg-1 · min-1) and lipid oxidation increased to baseline in IDDM subjects, with increments in plasma free fatty acids (FFA) and glycerol. In contrast, in controls, plasma FFA and glycerol remained suppressed and lipid oxidation decreased further with epinephrine (P < 0.005). Epinephrine completely reversed insulin's activation of muscle glycogen synthase in both groups. Thus, during hyperinsulinemia, the hepatic response to epinephrine in IDDM subjects may be dependent on activation of lipid oxidation. Skeletal muscle glycogen metabolism is exquisitely sensitive to epinephrine despite the presence of hyperinsulinemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E284-E293
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2 34-2
StatePublished - Aug 1996


  • free fatty acids
  • glucose turnover
  • glycerol
  • glycogen synthase
  • glycolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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