Glucagon, stress, and portal hypertension - Plasma glucagon levels and portal hypertension in relation to anesthesia and surgical stress
Glucagon has been proposed as the mediator of splanchnic hyperemia in portal hypertension. Employing an assay specific for pancreatic glucagon, we reevaluated the relationship between this peptide and portal hypertension in the portal vein (PV)-stenosed rat model addressing, in particular, the effects of anesthesia and surgical stress. Plasma glucagon levels were similar in sham-operated and portal hypertensive rats: glucagon, sham vs PV stenosed: 110.7 +/- 17.1 pmol/liter vs 140.6 +/- 23.3 pmol/liter (NS). Furthermore, plasma levels of glucagon and the related peptide VIP were not significantly influenced by anesthesia or surgical stress, and levels remained similar under all conditions in sham-operated and PV-stenosed animals. We conclude that pancreatic glucagon is not elevated in the PV-stenosed rat; differences between these results and those describing hyperglucagonemia in this model cannot be explained on the basis of a differential response to stress but may reflect differences in glucagon assay system.