Twelve patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) under secondary failure to sulfonylureas were studied to evaluate the effects of subcutaneous glucagon-like peptide-1(7-36)amide (GLP-1) on (a) the gastric emptying pattern of a solid meal (250 kcal) and (b) the glycemic and endocrine responses to this solid meal and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT, 300 kcal). 0.5 nmol/kg of GLP-1 or placebo were subcutaneously injected 20 min after meal ingestion. GLP-1 modified the pattern of gastric emptying by prolonging the time to reach maximal emptying velocity (lag period) which was followed by an acceleration in the post-lag period. The maximal emptying velocity and the emptying half-time remained unaltered. With both meals, GLP-1 diminished the postprandial glucose peak, and reduced the glycemic response during the first two postprandial hours by 54.5% (solid meal) and 32.7% (OGTT) (P < 0.05). GLP-1 markedly stimulated insulin secretion with an effect lasting for 105 min (solid meal) or 150 min (OGTT). The postprandial increase of plasma glucagon was abolished by GLP-1. GLP-1 diminished the postprandial release of pancreatic polypeptide. The initial and transient delay of gastric emptying, the enhancement of postprandial insulin release, and the inhibition of postprandial glucagon release were independent determinants (P < 0.002) of the postprandial glucose response after subcutaneous GLP-1. An inhibition of efferent vagal activity may contribute to the inhibitory effect of GLP-1 on gastric emptying.
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