Indirect versus direct routes of hepatic glycogen synthesis

I. J. Kurland, S. J. Pilkis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


During refeeding after a brief period of starvation, glucose carbon is deposited into hepatic glycogen by both a direct and an indirect route. In the indirect route glucose is first metabolized to 3-carbon precursors, which then transverse the gluconeogenic pathway before being deposited into glycogen. Recent studies have yielded widely different estimates of the percentage of glucose carbon that follows the indirect route. Work summarized here demonstrates that the relative contributions of glucose carbon to hepatic glycogen formation by the indirect and direct pathways are greatly dependent on experimental design, and at least in vitro, are possibly dependent on the extent of glycogen/glucose 1-P recycling. Under physiological refeeding conditions in vivo, both pathways are used, each contributing approximately 50% of the amount of carbon appearing in glycogen. The level of glucokinase activity does not appear to be responsible for poor glucose utilization in liver. Poor glucose utilization in isolated liver preparations may result from the absence of a neurophysiological feedback loop that senses the arterial/portal glucose gradient and then regulates whole liver glucose uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2277-2281
Number of pages5
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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