Glucagonostatic actions and reduction of fasting hyperglycemia by exogenous glucagon-like peptide I(7-36) amide in type I diabetic patients

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W O Creutzfeldt, N Kleine, B Willms, C Orskov, J J Holst, M A Nauck

OBJECTIVE: Glucagon-like peptide I(7-36) amide (GLP-1) is a physiological incretin hormone that, in slightly supraphysiological doses, stimulates insulin secretion, lowers glucagon concentrations, and thereby normalizes elevated fasting plasma glucose concentrations in type II diabetic patients. It is not known whether GLP-1 has effects also in fasting type I diabetic patients.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In 11 type I diabetic patients (HbA1c 9.1 +/- 2.1%; normal, 4.2-6.3%), fasting hyperglycemia was provoked by halving their usual evening NPH insulin dose. In random order on two occasions, 1.2 pmol . kg-1 . min-1 GLP-1 or placebo was infused intravenously in the morning (plasma glucose 13.7 +/- 0.9 mmol/l; plasma insulin 26 +/- 4 pmol/l). Glucose (glucose oxidase method), insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, GLP-1, cortisol, growth hormone (immunoassays), triglycerides, cholesterol, and nonesterified fatty acids (enzymatic tests) were measured.

RESULTS: Glucagon was reduced from approximately 8 to 4 pmol/l, and plasma glucose was lowered from 13.4 +/- 1.0 to 10.0 +/- 1.2 mmol/l with GLP-1 administration (plasma concentrations approximately 100 pmol, P < 0.0001), but not with placebo (14.2 +/- 0.7 to 13.2 +/- 1.0). Transiently, C-peptide was stimulated from basal 0.09 +/- 0.02 to 0.19 +/- 0.06 nmol/l by GLP-1 (P < 0.0001), but not by placebo (0.07 +/- 0.02 to 0.07 +/- 0.02). There was no significant effect on nonesterified fatty acids (P = 0.34), triglycerides (P = 0.57), cholesterol (P = 0.64), cortisol (P = 0.40), or growth hormone (P = 0.53).

CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, exogenous GLP-1 is able to lower fasting glycemia also in type I diabetic patients, mainly by reducing glucagon concentrations. However, this alone is not sufficient to normalize fasting plasma glucose concentrations, as was previously observed in type II diabetic patients, in whom insulin secretion (C-peptide response) was stimulated 20-fold.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes Care. Supplement
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)580-6
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996

    Research areas

  • Adult, Analysis of Variance, Blood Glucose/drug effects, C-Peptide/blood, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/blood, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/blood, Fasting, Fatty Acids, Nonesterified/blood, Female, Glucagon/blood, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, Glucagon-Like Peptides, Humans, Insulin/blood, Male, Peptide Fragments/blood, Protein Precursors/blood, Time Factors

ID: 194815550