Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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HomeEndocrine PhysiologyGlucocorticoid's effects on Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat Metabolism

Glucocorticoid’s effects on Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat Metabolism

Carbohydrate Metabolism

  • Stimulation of gluconeogenesis
  • Cortisol increases the amount and activity of several key enzymes required to convert amino acids into glucose by the liver cells
  • Cortisol causes the mobilization of amino acids (the gluconeogenic substrate) from extrahepatic tissues, mainly from muscle.
  • Cortisol enhances the transport of amino acids into hepatic cells
  • Anti-insulin effects

Protein metabolism

  • Facilitates proteolysis, especially in skeletal muscle.
  • Mobilizes muscle protein for gluconeogenesis. 
  • Reduction in Cellular Protein
  • Cortisol increases liver protein and protein synthesis. 
  • This is due to increase amino acid transport into liver cells and increased activity of liver enzymes necessary for protein synthesis. 
  • Thus in the liver amino acids are used for gluconeogenesis, synthesis of liver proteins, and plasma proteins

Fat metabolism

  • Cortisol causes lipolysis causing the release of free fatty acid and glycerol from adipose tissues.
  • Increases their utilization of energy and large amounts of ketone bodies are formed.
    • This is called the ketogenic effect of cortisol.

  • In times of starvation and other stresses,
    •  cortisol shifts the metabolic systems of cells from the utilization of glucose for energy to the utilization of fatty acids. This is an important factor for the conservation of body glucose and glycogen.


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