Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) are potent insulinotropic peptides released from the small intestine. To examine their relative contribution to postprandial insulin release, a specific GIP antagonist (ANTGIP) and a GLP-1 antagonist, exendin-(9-39)-NH2, were infused into rats after an intragastric glucose meal. In control rats, plasma glucose and insulin levels rose gradually during the first 20 min and then decreased. Exendin-(9-39)-NH2 administration inhibited postprandial insulin secretion by 32% at 20 min and concomitantly increased plasma glucose concentrations. In contrast, ANTGIP treatment not only induced a 54% decrease in insulin secretion but also a 15% reduction in plasma glucose levels 20 min after the glucose meal. In vivo studies in rats demonstrated that glucose uptake in the upper small intestine was significantly inhibited by the ANTGIP, an effect that might account for the decrease in plasma glucose levels observed in ANTGIP-treated rats. When the two antagonists were administered to rats concomitantly, no potentiating effect on either insulin release or plasma glucose concentration was detected. Glucose meal-stimulated GLP-1 release was not affected by ANTGIP administration, whereas postprandial glucagon levels were diminished in rats receiving exendin-(9-39)-NH2. The results of these studies suggest that GIP and GLP-1 may share a common mechanism in stimulating pancreatic insulin release. Furthermore, the GIP receptor appears to play a role in facilitating glucose uptake in the small intestine.