Epi, a polar compound, penetrates poorly into the CNS and, at conventional therapeutic doses, is not a powerful CNS stimulant. While Epi may cause restlessness, apprehension, headache, and tremor, these effects in part may be secondary to the effects of Epi on the cardiovascular system, skeletal muscles, and intermediary metabolism (i.e., the result of somatic manifestations of anxiety).
METABOLIC EFFECTS Epi elevates the concentrations of glucose and lactate in blood (see Chapter 6), and can inhibit (a2 effect) or stimulate (b2 effect) insulin secretion; inhibition is the predominant effect. Glucagon secretion is enhanced via activation of b receptors of the a cells of pancreatic islets. Epi also decreases the uptake of glucose by peripheral tissues, in part because of its effects on the secretion of insulin, but also possibly due to direct effects on skeletal muscle. Glycosuria rarely occurs. The effect of Epi to stimulate glycogenolysis in most tissues and in most species involves b receptors.
Epi raises the plasma concentration of free fatty acids by stimulating b receptors in adipocytes, activating triglyceride lipase and accelerating triglyceride breakdown to free fatty acids and glycerol. The calorigenic action of Epi (increase in metabolism) is reflected by an increase of 20-30% in O2 consumption, mainly due to enhanced breakdown of triglycerides in brown adipose tissue, providing an increase in oxidizable substrate.
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