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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2007 May;292(5):G1359-65. Epub 2007 Feb 8.

Nitrergic contribution to gastric relaxation induced by glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in healthy adults.

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  • 1Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research Program, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. S.W., Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


The incretin glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which is used to treat diabetes mellitus, delays gastric emptying by inhibiting vagal activity. GLP-1 also increases fasting and postprandial gastric volume in humans. On the basis of animal studies, we hypothesized that nitric oxide mediates the effects of GLP-1 on gastric volumes. To assess the effects of nitrergic blockade on GLP-1-induced gastric accommodation in humans, in this double-blind study, 31 healthy volunteers were randomized to placebo (i.e., saline), GLP-1, or the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine acetate (L-NMMA; 4 x h(-1)) alone or with GLP-1. Thereafter, 16 additional subjects were randomized to GLP-1 alone or together with a higher dose of L-NMMA (10 mg/kg bolus plus 8 infusion). Gastric volumes (fasting pre- and postdrug, postprandial postdrug) were measured by (99m)Tc-single-photon-emission computed tomography imaging. GLP-1 increased (P = 0.04) fasting gastric volume by 83 +/- 16 ml (vs. 17 +/- 11 ml for placebo) and augmented (P < or = 0.01) postprandial accommodation by 688 +/- 165 ml (vs. 542 +/- 29 ml for placebo). L-NMMA (low dose) alone did not affect fasting or postprandial gastric volume. L-NMMA (low dose) did not attenuate the effect of GLP-1 on gastric volumes. In contrast, L-NMMA (high dose) did not affect fasting volume but blunted GLP-1-mediated postprandial accommodation (postprandial change = 494 +/- 37 ml, P < or = 0.01 vs. GLP-1 alone). These data are consistent with the hypothesis that nitric oxide partly mediates the effects of GLP-1 on postprandial but not fasting gastric volumes in humans.

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