To evaluate the role of anti-insulin hormone actions and interactions in the pathogenesis of stress-induced hyperglycemia, the counterregulatory hormones, glucagon, epinephrine, and cortisol were infused alone as well as in double and triple combinations into normal conscious dogs in doses that were designed to simulate changes observed in severe stress. Infusion of glucagon, epinephrine, or cortisol alone produced only mild or insignificant elevations in plasma glucose concentration. In contrast, the rise in plasma glucose produced by combined infusion of any two counterregulatory hormones was 50-215% greater (P < 0.005-0.001) than the sum of the respective individual infusions. Furthermore, when all three hormones were infused simultaneously, the increment in plasma glucose concentration (144±2 mg/dl) was two- to fourfold greater than the sum of the responses to the individual hormone infusions or the sum of any combination of double plus single hormone infusion (P < 0.001).
Neal Eigler, Luigi Saccà, Robert S. Sherwin