Glucagon-like peptide 1 (7–37)/(7–36) amide (GLP-1) is derived from the intestinal proglucagon processing. It is considered an important insulin-releasing gut hormone. This study uses exendin (9–39) amide as a GLP-1 receptor antagonist to evaluate the contribution of GLP-1 to the incretin effect. Anesthetized rats were challenged by an intraduodenal glucose infusion to evaluate maximally occurring GLP-1 and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) plasma levels. Maximal immunoreactive (IR) GLP-1 plasma levels amounted to 10 pmol/l (IR-GIP 11 pmol/l). Exendin (9–39) amide abolished the insulin-stimulatory effect of 60 pmol of GLP-1 or of the GLP-1 agonist exendin-4 (0.5 nmol) injected as bolus, respectively. An intravenous bolus injection of 5.94 nmol of exendin (9–39) amide 3 min before enteral glucose infusion grossly reduced the total insulin secretory response (by 60%) and significantly increased circulating blood glucose levels (P < 0.05). In contrast, the GLP-1 antagonist left the insulin response after an intravenous glucose or glucose plus GIP (60 pmol) load unaltered. Our data support the concept that GLP-1 is an important incretin factor. Exendin (9–39) amide is a useful GLP-1 antagonist for in vivo studies.

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