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  3. πŸ“ Acute Physiological Effects Of Glucocorticoids On Fuel Metabolism In Humans Are Permissive But Not Direct

πŸ“ Acute Physiological Effects Of Glucocorticoids On Fuel Metabolism In Humans Are Permissive But Not Direct

Glucocorticoids are critical regulators of energy balance; however, their complex effects on fuel metabolism are highly context-dependent, are not linear in their dose response and are influenced by factors such as the diurnal rhythm.1 One area exemplifying this lack of certainty is the effects of glucocorticoids on adipose tissue.2 The prevailing belief is that, in times of acute stress, high cortisol concentrations promote lipolysis to provide adequate energy substrate for utilization by the body. However, chronically elevated cortisol concentrations, most commonly resulting from iatrogenic glucocorticoid administration to treat inflammatory diseases or, alternatively, because of ACTH- or cortisol-secreting tumours, leads to weight gain and, in particular, accumulation of visceral adipose tissue.3 The reasons for these 2 apparently conflicting observations are unclear. Several studies have examined the effects of glucocorticoids on lipolysis; however, results have been inconsistent. For example, in vitro studies in adipocytes have shown lipolytic rates to be increased,4 unchanged5 or decreased6 by glucocorticoids. These discrepancies may be attributed to several factors, including the dose and duration of glucocorticoid treatment, the effect of other hormones in the media and the species being studied.

Updated on June 26, 2020

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