Glucagon, Plasma


Glucagon is s 29-amino acid peptide hormone processed from proglucagon, which is secreted by several tissues such as the brain, pancreas and the intestine. Glucagon binding sites have been identified in multiple tissues, including liver, brain, pancreas, kidney, intestine, and adipose tissue. Glucagon is released into the bloodstream when circulating glucose is low and provides the major counter-regulatory mechanism for insulin in maintaining glucose homeostasis in vivo. Its main physiological role is to stimulate hepatic glucose output, thereby leading to increases in glycaemia.


Glucagon plays an important role in initiating and maintaining hyperglycaemic conditions in diabetics. The absolute levels of glucagon or the ratios of glucagon to insulin are often elevated in various forms of diabetes and glucagonoma (a glucagon tumour derived from pancreatic islet α-cells). Chronic hyper glucagonaemia correlates with increased hepatic glucose output and hyperglycemias in type 2 diabetes. In normal subjects, levels of glucagon decrease after a meal while insulin levels immediately increase. In individuals with type 2 diabetes, however, the postprandial secretion of insulin is delayed and depressed, whereas that of glucagon is not suppressed or is even elevated.

Sample Type, Quantity & Conditions

2 ml EDTA Plasma Frozen

Special Precautions

Normal Range

< 209 pg/ml

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