Letter | Published:

Failure of Physiological Concentrations of Epinephrine to affect Glycogen-levels in the Isolated Rat Liver



ALTHOUGH it is generally believed that the hyperglycæmia which follows the administration of epinephrine is due, at least in part, to hepatic glycogenolysis, attempts to demonstrate a direct effect of epinephrine on liver glycogen-levels have led to conflicting conclusions. In the rat, for example, Cori, Cori and Buchwald1 found that a decrease in liver glycogen occurred during the first 15 min after subcutaneous epinephrine injection, and considered this to represent a direct action of epinephrine on the liver. On the other hand, Sherlock2 found that portal veining infusions of epinephrine did not affect liver glycogen- or blood glucose-levels and concluded that the hormone did not exert a direct effect on hepatic glycogen metabolism of rats. We repeated and extended the experiments of Cori, Cori and Buchwald and also observed the transient hepatic glycogenolysis which they had described3. However, we presented evidence that this represented an indirect rather than a direct effect of epinephrine and suggested that it might be due to stimulation of endogenous glucagon release.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Cori, G. T., Cori, C. F., and Buchwald, K. W., J. Biol. Chem., 86, 375 (1930).

  2. 2

    Sherlock, S., Amer. J. Physiol., 157, 52 (1959).

  3. 3

    Sokal, J. E., and Sarcione, E. J., Amer. J. Physiol., 196, 1253 (1959).

  4. 4

    Sokal, J. E., Miller, L. L., and Sarcione, E. J., Amer. J. Physiol., 195, 295 (1958).

  5. 5

    Miller, L. L., Sokal, J. E., and Sarcione, E. J., Amer. J. Physiol., 197, 286 (1959).

  6. 6

    Miller, L. L., Bly, C. G., Watson, M. L., and Bale, W. F., J. Exp. Med., 94, 431 (1951).

  7. 7

    Sokal, J. E., Sarcione, E. J., and Henderson, A. M., Endocrinology (submitted).

  8. 8

    Unger, R. H., Eisentraut, A. M., McCall, M. S., and Madison, L. L., J. Clin. Invest., 41, 682 (1962).

  9. 9

    Heiffer, M. H., Mundy, R. L., and Mehlman, B., Endocrinology, 69, 746 (1961).

  10. 10

    Goldfien, A., Zileli, S., Despointes, R., and Bethune, J., Endocrinology, 62, 749 (1958).

  11. 11

    Goldfien, A., Zileli, S., Goodman, D., and Thorn, G., J. Clin. Endocrin. and Metab., 21, 281 (1961).

  12. 12

    Goldfien, A., Moore, R., Zileli, S., Havens, L., Boling, L., and Thorn, G., J. Clin. Endocrin. and Metab., 21, 296 (1961).

  13. 13

    Cohen, G., Holland, B., Sha, J., and Goldenberg, M., J. Clin. Invest., 38, 1935 (1959).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

To obtain permission to re-use content from this article visit RightsLink.

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.