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Post-Hypoglycemia Autonomic Failure Studied in Rats

Glycogen supercompensation not a dominant factor in impaired hormonal counterregulation

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Excessive deposition of glycogen in the brain does not occur after acute or recurrent hypoglycemia in rats and is thus not a dominant factor in the impaired hormonal counterregulation due to hypoglycemia, according to research published online Jan. 10 in Endocrinology.

Raimund I. Herzog, M.D., and colleagues from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., induced acute hypoglycemia or recurrent hypoglycemia with insulin in rats, then examined glycogen levels in the brain during recovery.

The researchers found that both treatments reduced glycogen levels in the cerebellum, cortex and hypothalamus by about half. Glycogen levels returned to baseline within six hours after treatment, although recovery of glycogen and glucose tended to be faster after recurrent hypoglycemia. Brain glycogen levels after hypoglycemia were not significantly increased above baseline levels.

"We conclude that glycogen supercompensation is not a major contributory factor to the pathogenesis of hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure," Herzog and colleagues write.

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