Multiple metabolic effects of CGRP in conscious rats: Role of glycogen synthase and phosphorylase

L. Rossetti, S. Farrace, S. B. Choi, A. Giaccari, L. Sloan, S. Frontoni, M. S. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a neuropeptide that is released at the neuromuscular junction in response to nerve excitation. To examine the relationship between plasma CGRP concentration and intracellular glucose metabolism in conscious rats, we performed insulin (22 pmol · kg-1 · min-1) clamp studies combined with the infusion of 0, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 pmol · kg-1 · min-1 CGRP (plasma concentrations ranging from 2 x 10-11 to 5 x 10-9 M). CGRP antagonized insulin's suppression of hepatic glucose production at plasma concentrations (~10-10 M) that are only two- to fivefold its basal portal concentration. Insulin-mediated glucose disposal was decreased by 20-32% when CGRP was infused at 50 pmol · kg-1 · min-1 (plasma concentration 3 x 10-10 M) or more. The impairment in insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis in skeletal muscle accounted for all of the CGRP-induced decrease in glucose disposal, while whole body glycolysis was increased despite the reduction in total glucose uptake. The muscle glucose 6-phosphate concentration progressively increased during the CGRP infusions. CGRP inhibited insulin-stimulated glycogen synthase in skeletal muscle with a 50% effective dose of 1.9 ± 0.36 x 10-10 M. This effect on glycogen synthase was due to a reduction in enzyme affinity for UDP-glucose, with no changes in the maximal velocity. In vitro CGRP stimulated both hepatic and skeletal muscle adenylate cyclase in a dose-dependent manner. These data suggest that 1) CGRP is a potent antagonist of insulin at the level of muscle glycogen synthesis and hepatic glucose production; 2) inhibition of glycogen synthase is its major biochemical action in skeletal muscle; and 3) these effects are present at concentrations of the peptide that may be in the physiological range for portal vein and skeletal muscle. These data underscore the potential role of CGRP in the physiological modulation of intracellular glucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1-E10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1 27-1
StatePublished - 1993


  • adenylate cyclase
  • calcitonin gene-related peptide
  • insulin resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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