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Cell Metab. 2006 Mar;3(3):153-65.

The biology of incretin hormones.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, The Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C4, Canada. d.drucker@utoronto.ca

Abstract

Gut peptides, exemplified by glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are secreted in a nutrient-dependent manner and stimulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion. Both GIP and GLP-1 also promote beta cell proliferation and inhibit apoptosis, leading to expansion of beta cell mass. GLP-1, but not GIP, controls glycemia via additional actions on glucose sensors, inhibition of gastric emptying, food intake and glucagon secretion. Furthermore, GLP-1, unlike GIP, potently stimulates insulin secretion and reduces blood glucose in human subjects with type 2 diabetes. This article summarizes current concepts of incretin action and highlights the potential therapeutic utility of GLP-1 receptor agonists and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

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