Effects of epinephrine and norepinephrine on glucose release from chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) liver incubated in vitro

Mark A. Sheridan, Nancy A. Muir

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The effects of two catecholamines, epinephrine (EP) and norepinephrine (NE), on carbohydrate metabolism were studied by incubating chinook salmon liver in vitro. Basal release of glucose over the course of a 5‐h incubation was 7.93 ± 1.70 μmol/g dry weight. Both EP and NE (2 × 10−7 M) stimulated glucose release rapidly during the first hour. After 5 h, EP and NE significantly increased glucose release over basal levels to 43.55 ± 9.01 and 32.75 ± 6.17 μmol/g dry weight, respectively. Epinephrine‐ and NE‐stimulated glucose release was dose dependent, with a minimum effective dose of 10−9 M. ED50 for both agents was approximately 2 × 10−7 M; maximal stimulation occurred at 10−5 M. No difference in potency between the two catecholamines was found. The effects of adrenergic agonists and antagonists were also studied. Alpha‐agonists, methoxamine and phenylephrine, had no effect on glucose release. Isoproterenol, a β‐agonist, stimulated glucose release in a manner similar to EP. The β‐antagonist, propranolol, inhibited both catecholamine‐ and isoproterenol‐stimulated glucose release. Alpha‐antagonists (phentolamine, prazosin, and yohimbine) had no effect on either catecholamine‐ or isoproterenol‐stimulated glucose release. Epinephrine and NE stimulate glycogen phosphorylase activity; propranolol inhibits catecholamine‐stimulated phosphorylase activity. These results indicate that catecholamines stimulate glucose mobilization in salmon liver by promoting glycogenolysis mediated through β‐adrenergic receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-159
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1988


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