Glucagon is a hormone produced by the alpha cells of the pancreas. Its effect is the opposite to insulin -- it causes the liver to release stored glucose into the blood, raising blood glucose levels. This process is called glycogenolysis. Glucagon is the main counterregulatory hormone to insulin.
The hormone is used at times for hypoglycemia treatment, since it causes the liver to release its stores of glycogen, which the body turns into glucose. Treating hypoglycemia with glucagon will be unsuccessful if the liver's glycogen stores are depleted, because there would be nothing available for release.
Glucagon release at low, or fast-dropping blood sugar levels is known as Somogyi rebound.
- Article on Glucagon/Insulin equilibrium
- Illustration of the actions of insulin and glucagon in the body.
- Intervet-Caninsulin UK-Diagram of Glucagon Metabolism
- Intervet-Caninsulin UK-Glucose Metabolism
- The Genetic Landscape of Diabetes
- Colorado State University: Physiologic Effects of Glucagon
- Intervet-Caninsulin UK-Insulin & Glucagon--Glucose Metabolism
- Intervet-Caninsulin UK-Diagram of Glucose Metabolism
- Intervet-Caninsulin UK-Pathophysiology of Diabetes Mellitus-What Happens With Insufficient Insulin
- Southpaws.com-Fall, 2000-Glucagon Infusions
- BD Diabetes- FAQ's About Diabetic Dogs-Dr. Greco
- Ineffectivity of Glucagon When Liver Glycogen Stores Are Depleted