1. Rapid effects of hormones on glycogen metabolism and fatty acid synthesis in the perfused liver of the mouse were studied. 2. In perfusions lasting 2h, of livers from normal mice, glucagon in successive doses, each producing concentrations of 10(-10) or 10(-9)M, inhibited fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. In perfusions lasting 40–50 min, in which medium was not recycled, inhibition of fatty acid synthesis was only observed with glucagon at concentrations greater than 10(-9)M. This concentration was about two orders of magnitude higher than that required for the stimulation of glycogen breakdown. Glucagon did not inhibit the activity of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, assayed 10 or 20 min after addition of glucagon (10(-9) or 10(-10)M). It is proposed that the action of glucagon on hepatic fatty acid biosynthesis could be secondary in time to depletion of glycogen. Insulin prevented the effect of glucagon (10(-10)M) on glycogenolysis, but not that of vasopressin. 3. Livers of genetically obese (ob/ob) mice did not show significant inhibition of lipid biosynthesis in response to glucagon, although there was normal acceleration of glycogen breakdown. This resistance to glucagon action was not reversed by food deprivation. Livers of obese mice exhibited resistance to the counteraction by insulin of glucagon-stimulated glycogenolysis, which was reversible by partial food deprivation.
- © 1978 London: The Biochemical Society