Overview of incretin hormones

Horm Metab Res. Nov-Dec 2004;36(11-12):742-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2004-826157.


Incretins are hormones released by nutrients from the GI tract. They amplify glucose-induced insulin release. By raising circulating incretin levels, oral glucose provokes a higher insulin response than that resulting from intravenous glucose. The two most important incretin hormones are glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). In patients with type 2 diabetes, the incretin effect is decreased, mainly due to loss of the GIP-regulated second phase of insulin secretion, and because of a decreased secretion of GLP-1. In addition to its insulinotropic effect, GLP-1 inhibits glucagon release, prolongs gastric emptying, and leads to decreases in body-weight, all of which explain the marked antidiabetogenic effect of this incretin hormone.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide / metabolism
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide / physiology*
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Glucagon / physiology*
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / physiology*
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • Protein Precursors / physiology*


  • Insulin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Protein Precursors
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon