Islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) is a beta-cell peptide that can oppose insulin action in animal systems, but has not been shown to have any action in man; previously, we failed to show an effect of infused IAPP on iv glucose tolerance in human volunteers. We have reexamined its effects at even higher concentrations in six volunteers who received iv glucose (0.5 g/kg) during infusions of IAPP (25 and 50 pmol/kg.min) or normal saline. IAPP rose from a mean basal of 14.7 +/- 5.3 pmol/L to peak levels of 1,420 +/- 110, 2,240 +/- 140, and 27.7 +/- 9 pmol/L, respectively. IAPP at 25 pmol/kg.min had no effect on the plasma glucose disposal rate or the total incremental insulin response, but, in contrast, at 50 pmol/kg.min decreased the insulin response to glucose compared to the saline infusion (incremental area under the curve, 11,276 +/- 2,353 vs. 17,549 +/- 2,687 U; mean +/- SEM; P less than 0.02). This decrease was observed both during the first phase (0-10 min postglucose) insulin response (3,210 +/- 985 vs. 4,382 +/- 815 U; P less than 0.05) and the second phase response (11-90 min, 8,520 +/- 1,719 vs. 13,679 +/- 2,326 U; P less than 0.03). Glucose disposal rate, however, was unaffected (2.0 +/- 0.2 vs. 1.9 +/- 0.2). Thus, circulating IAPP concentrations greater than 90 times normal postprandial peaks were necessary to affect the insulin response to glucose. IAPP appears unlikely to be a circulating hormone influencing carbohydrate metabolism in man.