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Key Points

  • Glucagon
    • Peptide hormone
      • Binds to external cell receptors and initiates secondary messenger cascade
    • Origin: alpha cells of the pancreas
      • Produced in response to low blood glucose (hypoglycemia)
    • Function:
      • Increases blood glucose
        • Increases glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in the liver
          • Mobilizes glucose stores in liver
      • Promotes ketogenesis
        • Ketone bodies can be used as an alternative source of energy in hypoglycemic states