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Exp Diabetes Res. 2011;2011:279530. doi: 10.1155/2011/279530. Epub 2011 Jun 22.

Effects of GLP-1 and incretin-based therapies on gastrointestinal motor function.

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Discipline of Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia.


Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a hormone secreted predominantly by the distal small intestine and colon and released in response to enteral nutrient exposure. GLP-1-based therapies are now used widely in the management of type 2 diabetes and have the potential to be effective antiobesity agents. Although widely known as an incretin hormone, there is a growing body of evidence that GLP-1 also acts as an enterogastrone, with profound effects on the gastrointestinal motor system. Moreover, the effects of GLP-1 on gastrointestinal motility appear to be pivotal to its effect of reducing postprandial glycaemic excursions and may, potentially, represent the dominant mechanism. This review summarizes current knowledge of the enterogastrone properties of GLP-1, focusing on its effects on gut motility at physiological and pharmacological concentrations, and the motor actions of incretin-based therapies. While of potential importance, the inhibitory action of GLP-1 on gastric acid secretion is beyond the scope of this paper.

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