Suppression of weight gain by glucagon in obese Zucker rats

Eve K. Chan, Maureen A. Mackey, Dale C. Snover, Philip D. Schneider, Richard D. Rucker, C. Eugene Allen, Henry Buchwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Glucagon has been shown to lower blood lipids and to decrease food intake and body weight in short-term studies in man and animals. There is evidence of decreased secretion of glucagon in human obesity. The Zucker obese rat suffers from a genetic type of obesity and has an absolute reduction in circulating glucagon concentration. The effect of long-term administration of glucagon on the body weight in obese Zucker rats was studied. Glucagon caused a marked (-20%) reduction of body weight in obese Zucker rats with no change in feed intake. Urine glucose, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and ketone content, as well as serum triglyceride, cholesterol, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, and insulin levels remained unchanged. Weights of perirenal fat, kidneys, and heart also remained unchanged. However, glucagon injection in obese Zucker rats caused significant decrease in serum glucose, and increases in SGOT, liver weight, and liver lipid and glycogen content. Further investigations are needed concerning the safety of chronic glucagon administration for weight control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-327
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1984

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
’ This work was supported by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HL-11901) and a special legislative appropriation of the State of Minnesota. ’ Currently at the Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. 20205. 6 To whom correspondence should be addressed.


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