Hepatocytes from overnight-starved rats were incubated with 1-20 mM-fructose, -dihydroxyacetone, -glycerol, -alanine or -lactate and -pyruvate with or without 0.1 microM-glucagon. The production of glucose and lactate was measured, as was the content of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate. The concentrations of fructose (below 5 mM) and dihydroxyacetone (above 1 mM) that gave rise to an increase in fructose 2,6-bisphosphate were those at which a glucagon effect on the production of glucose and lactate could be observed. Glycerol had no effect on fructose 2,6-bisphosphate content or on production of lactate, and glucagon did not stimulate the production of glucose from this precursor. With alanine or lactate/pyruvate as substrates, glucagon stimulated glucose production whether the concentration of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate was increased or not. The extent of inactivation of pyruvate kinase by glucagon was not affected by the presence of the various gluconeogenic precursors. The role of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate in the effect of glucagon on gluconeogenesis from precursors entering the pathway at the level of triose phosphates or pyruvate is discussed.

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