Glucagon: Functions

by Thad Wilson, PhD

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    00:02 Now what does glucagon do? The functions of glucagon are primarily it's break down glycogen.

    00:11 So there's a lot of glycogen stored in places like the liver.

    00:14 And this is one of the stimuli to have it break down.

    00:18 It's done by activating the enzymes which break down glycogen and inhibiting the enzymes that form new glycogen.

    00:30 The last thing that it does is stimulates the enzymes which do the final break down product going from glucose 6-phosphate to glucose.

    00:42 Then the glucose is transported out of the cell to transporter.

    00:49 Now that is the process of breaking down glycogen, releasing glycogen out in the circulation.

    00:56 So this should remind you of the process of --we're not building things here with glucagon.

    01:02 We're breaking down glycogen so we can use that blood glucose.

    01:07 What else does it stimulate.

    01:10 The enzymes associated with gluconeogenesis.

    01:13 So gluconeogenesis is the process of making new glucose out of things that weren't glucose to start with like amino acids.

    01:24 It also stimulates the enzymes associated with lipolysis.

    01:27 So there you have fat.

    01:30 You can break it down into more simple form and release free fatty acids into the circulation.

    01:36 And finally it stimulates ketogenesis which is the formation of ketone bodies.

    01:42 So between all four of these processes, you should think of --okay, we're breaking down glycogen so that we can get more blood glucose.

    01:51 We're making new blood glucose.

    01:53 We're breaking down fats.

    01:54 So the free fatty acids are in the circulation.

    01:57 And we're forming ketone bodies.

    01:59 All of those can be used as energy substrates for different tissues of the body.

    02:05 So glucagon is really preparing you so make sure you can use energy that's been stored in the body.

    02:13 So you can use it for increase in metabolism.

    02:18 So let's now look at this in more of a systemic effect.

    02:22 The systemic view always let's us take a step back, point to the various tissues, see where the different molecules are going.

    02:31 And as you're studying for your test, this is a very important thing to do, it's easy to get lost in the leaves of a tree without taking a step back to look at the branches and how their shape is.

    02:43 So that is this kind of a process.

    02:45 So we know we have the release of blood glucose.

    02:50 Usually comes from the liver by breaking down glycogen through a number of steps and then finally releasing blood glucose.

    03:01 Fatty acids are also broken down through lipolysis and moved out of adipose tissue into the circulation.

    03:11 Those fatty acids are also form the basis of backdrop for ketoacids.

    03:19 So here we've got increases in glucose, fatty acids and ketoacids.

    03:25 All help us do what, increase our metabolism.

    03:30 Because we're responding to some sort of stressful environment.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Glucagon: Functions by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Endocrine Physiology.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Liver
    2. Adrenal gland
    3. Spleen
    4. Pancreas
    5. Gall bladder
    1. Proteolysis
    2. Glycogenolysis
    3. Gluconeogenesis
    4. Lipolysis
    5. Ketogenesis
    1. Liver
    2. Skeletal muscle
    3. Spleen
    4. Kidney
    5. Ovaries

    Author of lecture Glucagon: Functions

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD

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