Glucagon I pp 203-221 | Cite as

Immunoassays for Glucagon

  • J. W. Ensinck
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 66 / 1)


In 1959, Unger et al. first applied the principles of the radioimmunoassay (RIA) developed by Berson et al. (1956) to the measurement of glucagon. The subsequent refinement of this tool has enabled major strides to be made in describing the sources and functions of an array of substances related to glucagon and interpreting their roles in fuel homeostasis. It is now clear that glucagon is not only synthesized and released from the pancreatic A-cell, but that cells within the gastrointestinal tract (A- and L-cells) and brain also contain glucagon and/or peptides that share structural components of the glucagon molecule (molecular weight 3,485 daltons). As is the case for other peptide hormones, glucagon is the product of processing of precursor molecules which are detected within cells and also may be secreted into the circulation (see Chaps. 6, 7, 11). Because of structural homologies, several, if not all of these substances, may cross-react with antibodies generated against pancreatic glucagon. Since the regulation of the secretion of glucagon-related pep-tides may differ and these peptides do not share similar actions on target cells, in the early years, antisera used in RIA which were unable to distinguish between the different species of glucagon-related peptides inadvertently led to misinterpretations (Heding 1971; Assan and Slusher 1972; Unger 1972).


Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide Plasma Glucagon Pancreatic Glucagon Kallikrein Inactivate Unit Benzamidine Hydrochloride 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

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