Experimental evidence of the hepatotrophic effect of insulin and glucagon
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Insulin and glucagon have been reported to be hepatotrophic since they are effective in potentiating liver regeneration and protecting the liver from atrophy 1–7. These results were obtained under experimental conditions with a deficiency of endogenous insulin and glucagon induced by portal deprivation1,2,4, evisceration5,6, or alloxan diabetes3,7. Thus, it is possible that the effect was only supplementary to the restoration from retardation. Both hormones have been applied to the treatment of acute hepatic failure8–11. The action, however, seems to be complicated. The favourable effect of glucagon and insulin on the survival of mice with fulminant viral hepatitis reported by Farivar et al.8 might be the result of hepatoprotection, since 24 h after viral infection they observed morphologically an attenuation of hepatocellular necrosis with the therapy. The promotion of liver functions besides the stimulation of liver regeneration could explain the rapid improvement of prothrombin time and total bilirubin levels after hormone infusion in alcoholic hepatitis patients reported by Baker et al.9.
KeywordsLiver Injury Prothrombin Time Liver Regeneration Partial Hepatectomy Hepatic Regeneration
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- 11.Oka H, Okita K, Fujiwara K. Glucagon and insulin therapy in fulminant hepatic failure in Japan. In: Picazo J, ed. Glucagon in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Lancaster, Boston, The Hague: MTP Press, 1982: 171–180.Google Scholar