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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Apr;97(4):1363-70. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-2594. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Impaired incretin-induced amplification of insulin secretion after glucose homeostatic dysregulation in healthy subjects.

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Department of Clinical Physiology, Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Nordre Ringvej 57, DK-2600 Glostrup, Denmark.



The insulinotropic effect of the incretin hormones, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is impaired in patients with type 2 diabetes. It remains unclear whether this impairment is a primary pathophysiological trait or a consequence of developing diabetes. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the insulinotropic effect of GIP and GLP-1 compared with placebo before and after 12 d of glucose homeostatic dysregulation in healthy subjects.


The insulinotropic effect was measured using hyperglycemic clamps and infusion of physiological doses of GIP, GLP-1, or saline in 10 healthy Caucasian males before and after intervention using a high-calorie diet, sedentary lifestyle, and administration of prednisolone (37.5 mg once daily) for 12 d.


The intervention resulted in increased insulin resistance according to the homeostatic model assessment (1.2 ± 0.2 vs. 2.6 ± 0.5, P = 0.01), and glucose tolerance deteriorated as assessed by the area under curve for plasma glucose during a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (730 ± 30 vs. 846 ± 57 mm for 2 h, P = 0.021). The subjects compensated for the change in insulin resistance by significantly increasing their postintervention insulin responses during saline infusion by 2.9 ± 0.5-fold (P = 0.001) but were unable to do so in response to incretin hormones (which caused insignificant increases of only 1.78 ± 0.3 and 1.38 ± 0.3-fold, P value not significant).


These data show that impairment of the insulinotropic effect of both GIP and GLP-1 can be induced in healthy male subjects without risk factors for type 2 diabetes, indicating that the reduced insulinotropic effect of the incretin hormones observed in type 2 diabetes most likely is a consequence of insulin resistance and glucose intolerance rather than a primary event causing the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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