Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) potentiate glucose-stimulated insulin secretion after enteral nutrient ingestion. We compared the relative incretin and nonincretin actions of GLP-1 and GIP in +/+ and GLP-1R-/- mice using exendin(9-39) and immunopurified anti-GIP receptor antisera (GIPR Ab) to antagonize GLP-1 and GIP action, respectively. Both antagonists produced a significant increase in glycemic excursion after oral glucose loading of +/+ mice (P < 0.05 for antagonists us. controls). Exendin(9-39) also increased blood glucose and decreased glucose-stimulated insulin in +/+ mice after ip glucose loading [0.58 +/- 0.02 vs. 0.47 +/- 0.02 ng/ml in saline- vs. exendin(9-39)-treated mice, respectively, P < 0.05]. In contrast, GIPR Ab had no effect on glucose excursion or insulin secretion, after ip glucose challenge, in +/+ or GLP-1R-/- mice. Repeated administration of exendin(9-39) significantly increased blood glucose and reduced circulating insulin levels but had no effect on levels of pancreatic insulin or insulin messenger RNA transcripts. In contrast, no changes in plasma glucose, circulating insulin, pancreatic insulin content, or insulin messenger RNA were observed in mice, 18 h after administration of GIPR Ab. These findings demonstrate that GLP-1, but not GIP, plays an essential role in regulating glycemia, independent of enteral nutrient ingestion in mice in vivo.