Effects of exogenous fatty acid concentration on glucagon-induced changes in hepatic fatty acid metabolism

J. D. McGarry, D. W. Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Studies were conducted to clarify the relationship between the external fatty acid concentration and glucagon in the regulation of hepatic fatty acid metabolism. Hepatocytes from fed rats were incubated with increasing concentrations of oleate (up to 1 mM) in the presence and absence of glucagon and the time sequence of changes in cellular malonyl-CoA levels, fatty acid synthesis, fatty acid oxidation, and ketogenesis were measured. At low concentrations of fatty acid the effect of glucagon was to abolish malonyl-CoA synthesis and lipogenesis and to produce a marked stimulation of fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis. Similar effects were obtained with high concentrations of fatty acid in the absence of glucagon and, under these conditions, the additional presence of the hormone produced little further response. The results are consistent with the concept that the rate of fatty acid oxidation in liver is dictated largely by the relative concentrations of long-chain acyl-CoA (substrate for carnitine acyltransferase I) and malonyl-CoA (inhibitor of the transferase). They also indicate that the preemptive effect of fatty acids on glucagon-induced changes in fatty acid metabolism stems from their ability to reduce the tissue malonyl-CoA content, probably through long-chain acyl-CoA suppression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-240
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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